Ethiopian Prospect: State, Governance, Democratic Development


The creation of a governance and development learning network that could evolve into a transnational centre, facilitated by opportunities to combine digital and print technologies, is crucial to the creation of good governance, writes Richard Joseph (Prof.), John Evans Professor of International History & Politics at Northwestern University, who has had decades of engagement in African politics, including that of Ethiopia.


GERD, Symptom of African “Fertility” Challenge

The emerging conflict over the Nile water is rooted in a broader African “fertility” challenge – rapid human population growth, and poor soil productivity – writes Elfatih A B Eltahir (Prof) Breene M Kerr Professor of Hydrology and Climate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States, in a piece previously published by Nature Middle East.


Reinforcing Geo-information Knowledge Network in Ethiopia

Complex themes that are related to issues that constitute modern-day challenges in Ethiopia such as food security, water management and climate change were picked under the EENSAT programme. It strives to improve the nation’s capacity to capitalise on spatial data, writes B.H.P. (Ben) Maathuis (PhD) (info@eensat.org), project lead of EENSAT, and assistant professor at the University of Twente who has collaborated with public and private partners, like the National Meteorological Agency and the African Union Commission in Addis Abeba.


Regulatory, Bureaucratic Hurdles Kill Disruptors Softly

Asserting that entrepreneurship is critical to growth is one thing, but encouraging it through policies and capital is quite another. Hailemelekot T. Berhan (hailemt@gmail.com), thus, argues that the government should put its money where its mouth is for the reality on the ground discourages disruptors.


Celebrating International Human Rights Day in Ethiopia

Projects funded by the European Union in the field of civil society and human rights in partner countries, such as Ethiopia, aim to promote the rights and values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, writes Johan Borgstam, head of the European Union Delegation to Ethiopia.


Investing in Ethiopia: Beyond Indices, Rankings

The past couple of months do not lack global rankings by international institutions to measure the various economic and political statuses of the world’s nations.


Ebb of Malaria No Cause for Complacency

Much like that of HIV/AIDS, a decline in the number of malaria cases has allowed governments and concerned institutions to be lax in the fight against the disease. Kesetebirhan Admasu (MD) (kesetemoh@gmail.com), CEO of Roll Back Malaria (RBM), a partnership to end malaria, believes that the success of the past decade should be no reason for complacency.


Non-nationals’ Research Ripe for Oversight

There is more need for research, not less of it, but the yearning for it should not cloud the need for government oversight. Abdul Majid Takele (abdulmajidtakele@gmail.com), a social science researcher, believes studies conducted by non-Nationals without the necessary approval from local authorities is an issue worth mulling over.


Past Through Window of Present

There is much debate these days on the political tensions of the country at the moment, if not many viable solutions. Within every debate though, there is the agreement that history, and how it is represented, plays a significant role as Habtamu Girma (ruhe215@gmail.com), a lecturer at Jigjiga University’s Department of Economics, points out.


Culture of Impunity: the New Normal

In a country that has long been haunted by hollow political promises and reckless government spending, public outcry is perhaps not surprising. This though is just the manner of thinking, Sileshi Yilma Reta (sileshiyilma@gmail.com), who is interested in politics, media and communication, argues against. Such a culture of impunity has been inculcated to the point it has become trifling news to find that illegal transactions worth 20 billion Br were recorded by 158 public institutions in the past fiscal year.


Youth to Exonerate Nation

Political crisis will lead to economic deterioration, and vice-versa. Just look at Venezuela! But there is still hope for Ethiopia. The multiple economic challenges, with the nation’s lack of hard currency as a prime example, and unrests around the country, could see their resolution if only more was done to invest in the youth, opines Solomon Debebe (solethn@gmail.com), who works as a youth and adolescent development specialist.


Fate of Revolutionary Democratic Rule

It has been 26 long years since the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), and their party ideology- Revolutionary Democracy, took over the country’s political scene. Somewhat unique in its methodology, while the line of thought has allowed a rapid economic growth, it has proved unsatisfactory to the people that are currently venting their discontent on the streets. Habtamu Girma (ruhe215@gmail.com), a lecturer at Jigjiga University’s Department of Economics, deliberates on the possible way forward if Revolutionary Democracy is to hold.


Need to Heed WB’s Advice for Doing Business Unease

The World Bank Group’s 2018 annual Ease of Doing Business Ranking released two weeks ago shows that despite improvement on absolute term regulatory environment measurement by 2.08pc, Ethiopia has slipped by two ranks from yesteryear. Saron Lakew (saronlakewethiopia@gmail.com), an architect-planner with a management and consulting background, suspects that lack of comprehensive and diverse reforms is the culprit and that Ethiopia should take a page out of top reforming countries’ experiences if investments are to come its way.  


To Share, Not to Care Anymore

Since the undoing of legacy media as the ultimate source of information, the idolisation of social media has been worrying to many. Responsibly sourced news has been made a pariah for the sake of sensationalist gossip. Abraham Negussie (areyam2004@gmail.com), a PR and communication officer at Awash Bank, believes that for all of social media’s advantages, irresponsible use of this new technology can create socio-political tensions.


Foible in Too Much Reason

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is within humankind’s reach. Technology firms such as Apple, Google, Facebook and International Business Machine (IBM) are all racing to make what was once mere science fiction, a reality. But not everything that can be created should be, argues Neftalem Fikre (neftalemfikre@gmail.com), who has a background in international relations, ICT, sociology and behaviourism. AI distorts humankind’s intelligence in that it lacks empathy.


Uninformed Public Susceptible to Alternative Facts

Times are changing. Transparency has now become an important feature of a government than at any time. With the rise of social media as the primary means of obtaining information, “alternative facts” are created to every incident the government prefers not to discuss. Sileshi Yilma Reta (sileshiyilma@gmail.com), whose interests run amok in the fields of politics, media and communication, believes that it is high time to do away with governance behind closed doors.  


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