Ethiopia: Game Changer?


Ethiopia: Game Changer?

Zelalem Eshete, Ph.D. (
It seems there is no choice for Ethiopians to be independent on the matter of politics. Our political culture demands one to be for the ruling party or the opposing team. I would like to express the voices of what I think are the silent independent Ethiopians. When I do this, I am very well aware that both groups on the opposite political spectrum may not like what I have to say, but cannot deny the fact. Who knows, you may find it refreshing to hear a neutral perspective if it finds its way past the Internet publishers. Itís all about the game changer in how we do politics now that we have witnessed never seen power transfer in our land.

Knowing that there is no one who is perfect, the silent independents do not wish to demonize or glorify either group, be it the ruling or the opposing. Instead, we tell the truth without giving loyalty to a given group. Here is the case in point.

The ruling party appears to put forth a game changer by making a peaceful power transfer to the new generation. This act never happened before in Ethiopia. We have a moment now, giving us a window of opportunity, unlike any time in the past to pause and wonder what comes next. This gap in time needs to be seized by all of us to express our good will and optimism. At this sacred moment in our history, let us keep hope aflame and fill the air with great expectations as we continue to pray for our leaders in both camps.

It is also exciting to witness the opposing team raising its optimism about PM Hailemariam Desalegn. While the opposition is giving valid demands to the new PM Hailemariam that are long overdue, it begs the question that the opposition also put forth a game changer itself. What is it that the opposition can do upon its own initiation that is also a first? Correct me if I am wrong, but I am thinking of supporting the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. I am not in a position to lecture anyone, for I myself am debating on its validity as an independent. Considering the optimism in the air, what else can we all do in the name of Ethiopia and in cooperation with the government as a game changer? Ethiopia is not blessed so far with the civilized political culture we observe in USA. That is okay, for we need to work to make it a reality in Ethiopia. We all would have been happy if we only make progress to the aspiration of getting there someday. The issue is not about the magnitude of progress we make toward our democratic goal either, for all steps begin with baby steps. The problem is that we are not even progressing in the right direction toward our aspiration, as both groups are not finding a common ground to foster a civilized political culture.

One may be tempted to go to the past and make a case for the behavior of its respective loyal group. However, the silent independents that felt hopeless in where Ethiopia was heading finally see an opportunity and choose to look forward now. What transpired in Ethiopia on this momentous occasion may be heavenís gift for all of us to get moving in the right direction to our democratic dream.

One has a choice to believe or doubt the impact that the new generation (PM Hailemariam Desalegn & DPM Demeke Mekonen) would bring in Ethiopia. Regardless, we can choose to put our trust in the Almighty who has put the new team in power, without the new team forcefully grabbing power in the first place. The game changer event that transpired in our land demands that we change the way we do politics now. It will be sad if any of the groups hold tight to the old playing book. A new dynamic has presented itself, and how we respond to it will make or break the hope that is on the horizon. It is a time of high expectation for all. If the political parties in opposite spectrum adopt the new game plan: the ruling party opens its door for all opposing parties, and the oppositions embrace the open door with a long journey in view, there is a greater miracle that awaits us in the future. That is, the peaceful transfer of power from the ruling to the opposing dictated by the choice of the people becomes normal.

The fact before our eyes made us pessimists about our future to the point that we braced ourselves to wait for decades if not centuries to see any significant change in the political culture of Ethiopia. However, what is happening now gives us a glimmer of hope and brings the Scripture to our remembrance: Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? Isaiah 66:8 ESV

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