State Affairs


Statements by Heads of State and governments provide so much assurance to the public and markets. But the case in Ethiopia is different. Often, it is confusion and uncertainty that follows the speeches by officials. It has not been different with last week’s statement by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. His statement and answers have left many things vague.


CONTRADICTIONS OF TRANSFORMATION

Evolution is natural to societies. What is debatable is whether the evolution is beneficial to all members. Often, the case is that benefits are shared unevenly. And much of it has to do with politics. Surprisingly, even the political field is not as even as it seems. It rather consists of some politicians that get it right and others that get it wrong.


IT IS ALL ABOUT FOOTBALL

There are many things going on in this country, and all seek for attention. They vary from the political to the social and from the religious to the economic. None, however, will get what they seek like football. Football seems to be a popular activity with the power to dominate everything in a given nation, not less elections.


Africa Means Business

Africa’s unity has been proclaimed for long. But little has been done to realise it. The whole current seems to be changing now. Countries are becoming committed to regional and continental unity. Major infrastructure investments are being undertaken to enhance interconnectivity. But things are going at a snail’s pace.


Too Young To Tell History

Travelling is a popular experience. Individuals travel to different places for various reasons. But all types of travelling involve new experiences. Addis Abeba is becoming a popular destination with increasing tourist inflow. Yet, the city can only serve as a transit to historical places as it has little to offer in terms of historical attractions.


Industrialisation : Lessons from History

Ethiopia is a nation with a rich history that crosses borders. A typical case is the global peacekeeping missions to which the country has contributed forces. But the practice of learning from history is not well-developed in the country. This trend seems to have drifted into the development arena. Worryingly, though, the case with development can be costly.


A Tale of Two Elections

The way elections are conducted varies between countries. So do the laws by which the whole process is guided. As much as elections in developed countries, such as the UK, are open and democratic, those conducted in countries such as Ethiopia face systemic challenges to reach that level. One can only hope that conditions will improve to be on par with the developed world, albeit with time.


ELECTION PROMISES Castles in Air?

Elections are unique events. They entail huge promises. This, however, does not mean that all promises will be kept. What will be kept or not, considerably depends on the realistic grounds on which the promises are based. Often, elections in developing countries involve castles in the air.


AFRICA A Land of Variations

I t has been almost half a century since Africa experienced liberation. Yet, the leftovers of colonialism still remain. One area where this is glaringly visible is governance and political management. Africa is still riddled with unfair elections. The distance between officials and the public remains wide. Little is coming in the form of improvement.


History Vs Reality History Vs Reality

Life is a convergence of history and reality. Yet, the definition of the line connecting the two depends on one’s perspective. In the case of political debates, for instance, the thread connecting history and reality in Ethiopia is very different from the situation in other countries. This could be evidenced from a comparison of the ongoing political debates in Ethiopia and United Kingdom.


Dreams Gone with the Wind

Ethiopia was shattered with sorrow as it heard the news of the beheading of its citizens in Libya by the militants of the Islamic State in Iraq & the Levant. Perspectives on the root causes of the problem, however, vary. The official line seems to be blaming things on human traffickers. But the line holds no water as it contradicts with the reality.


TOO BRUTAL TO IGNORE

The brutal killing of Ethiopians by Islamic State (IS) militants is shocking. It calls for decisive action from the side of the government. Good words are not enough. Inaction will have far reaching precedence. But joining hands to withstand the shock will be as important as government action.


Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics

Agriculture is the mainstay of Ethiopian economy. But it is also the mainstay of statistical controversy. Agricultural statistics are the most debated things in Ethiopia. An interview by one of the agriculture sector’s experts happens to have the facts wrong and has induced a debate. It is not that the facts he mentioned are wrong, but the causality.


It is getting late for many things.

This while mentioning the benefits the Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP) have brought. It is time for reformation, as transformation plan failed to solve all the problems of society, Teshale…


Cultural Renaissance

Cultural empowerment is as important as economic empowerment. It, however, needs dedicated policy. One key issue in these terms is constructing cultural centres. The new Oromo Cultural Centre (OCC) built in Addis Abeba ought to also be seen under the same prism.


Integration at Its Worst

Without integration there cannot be effective urban transport. The concept, however, does not represent integration of infrastructure only. It also means integration of services. In light of both faces of the concept, though, Addis Abeba is a city alien to it.




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