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Showing posts from October, 2012

Optimism about Ethiopia

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Consider any indicator of development, be it economic, political, health, educational, and/or technological. You will find Ethiopia at the bottom of the list, sometimes outachieved even by Somalia and Eritrea. Not least worrisome is the exodus of Ethiopians to foreign lands. Journalists, politicians, academics, the youth, and even seniors are turning their backs to their country. Education and work are becoming more and more incompatible in Ethiopia. The cost of living and the rate of inflation are mind boggling. It is becoming hard to get independent and critical media back home. Ethiopia is also becoming a prison nation. And one could add a lot more problems. Despite all these, I turned to hold an optimistic view about Ethiopia’s future.

D-Day: The Ethiopian Type

During World War II, Nazi Germany invaded several key spots in Northwest Europe including France. To ‘check’ Hitler's aggressive expansion and then abolish his rule once and for all, a number of countries including the UK, USA, and surprisingly Ethiopia formed a military front, dubbed as the Allied forces. Operation Neptune was the name of the military campaign that sought to oust Nazi forces from Europe, first from France, particularly from the area known as Normandy. The operation did not initially set a specific day for attack and was simply called D-Day. Finally, June 6, 1944 heralded the beginning of the largest allied military operation ever against Nazi. Thousands of ships, tens of thousands of planes, and hundreds of thousands of ground forces participated. In just three months, the entire Normandy and then Paris were freed and that effectively ruined Hitler’s dream of becoming a world leader. Every year in June, the D-Day is remembered and gains large media coverage in th…

Medrek: An Insider's View

My latest post "Medrek: Challenges and Issues" also appered at Ethiomedia, from where I got several comments including one from an Executive Member of Medrek. Overall, my commentators seem to generally concur with the issues I raised. I also get some comments that seem to offer new insights. A very interesting comment came from a member of Medrek in Addis. I found it useful as it reveals new information about Medrek's activities on the ground. I thus decided to post it as it stands- with no edition. I have asked the commentator, Ahmed, for his permission and he is willing to see his response posted at my blog.

Medrek:Challenges and Issues

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One of the gravest mistakes one may make in life is exclusively focusing on individuals and not on ideas. In countries where dictatorship is the norm, people usually consider the death of top leaders as the beginning of the end of tyranny. But that does not often translate into reality. Africa is a region where this assertion stands tall; decades witnessed the replacement of one dictator by another. In Ethiopia, the collapse of the imperial feudal system culminated only in the entourage of one of the harshest military rules on earth. That again is succeeded by what appears at the surface a mild form of governance where democracy, the rule of law, freedom and being human are all systematically put at the edge. Still, people expected positive developments following the death of the late PM Meles Zenawi. So far, golden opportunities are missed mainly because we Ethiopians focus on individuals: Haile Selassie, Mengistu Haile Mariam, and Meles Zenawi. We failed so far to dissect, choose, a…

Ethiopian Intellectuals: The Sleeping Giant

Every society expects significant contributions from the educated. In fact, the very essence and rationale of education is to help people grow and develop mentally, morally, emotionally and physically, which all are crucial for a country’s socio-economic and cultural development. That contemporary economies require more than before the substantial production and application of knowledge puts the educated at the forefront of development initiatives including political participation. This is even more so in developing countries, where poverty is the order of the day. But what if hard educated people prefer to keep silent in the midst of struggling economy, corruption, absence of alternative media, absence of rule of law and freedom, and exodus of citizens?