Ethiopia: The diaspora towards a meaningful contribution

September 18, 2018 Africa , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Andrea Moroni photo

 

By

Alem Hailu G/Kristos

 

 

By push and pull factors scattered throughout the world, members of the Ethiopian diaspora community have been leading lives estranged from their motherland.

 

Even if some yearned to come home drawn by the country’s irresistible magnetic pull, they could not translate their dreams into reality, because the political situation of the country was repulsive. As the saying goes “Once bitten twice shy!” Those who sought political asylum abroad were often reverting back to the harassment and gruesome experience they went through. The rest were hearing from them and independent media outlets of the despicable political situation in the country and lamenting the tragedy.

 

The lopsided political terrain, the rent-seeking mindset and the uneven distribution of wealth were revolting them.

 

Above all, the ethnicity-polarized political game, the incumbent before reform was pursuing by way of exercising divide and rule to prolong its stay in power, forcing citizens to go for one another’s necks. The domino effect of this evil trend crossing continents, oceans and seas was reflecting among members of the diaspora community.

 

As such, they could not feel at ease to discuss the fate of their country. Even religious leaders and churches were not immune from the divisive wedge.

 

Owing to this shortfall, from them and independent media outlets forging a strong Ethiopian community, they were not clicking with each other. As is the case with other Diasporas, they were not focusing on purchasing Ethiopian products by way of boosting the inflow of currency to the motherland.

 

Filled with rancor, pooling funds they were not irrigating flagship projects the country was pursuing.

 

Buckling under western culture they and their children were getting out of touch with their own pristine traditions. Owing to the aforementioned factors, they were remiss in transferring much-needed technological knowledge, thereby giving a kiss of life to the country’s democracy struggling to get off the ground. It is against this backdrop Ethiopia began to enjoy a breath of fresh air thanks to its reforming young leaders that rescued the country, going off track and hanging on a precipice.

 

Through conviction and unmatched political zeal that won public trust, credence and support, the new leaders have taken the driver’s seat of the political bandwagon.

 

Following measures-attended decisions made, the frontier of the political terrain is expanded. Hand-in-hand, it is being rendered less rocky. Stamping out corruption and removing the hassle were made objects of focus.

 

Freedom of expression is no longer made a right that is frowned upon. Following the wind of change that wafted across the country, Ethiopia has turned a safe haven to citizens as well as members of the diaspora community. That is why so many opposition political party leaders who opted to shun their country have begun to come back to their motherland in droves. Even those that picked arms feeling the bitterness of oppression to the full are getting back home opting for a peaceful political struggle. They are rolling up their sleeves to engage in the exercise of democracy and the pursuit of development. Now the door is wide open for them. They could come home and invest in lucrative business ventures beneficial for them, themselves and the country.

 

Moreover to assuage the plights of citizens pushed to the peripheries, as the premier put it, one dollar per day, they could become actively involved in philanthropic activities such as buying exercise books for students coming from poor families, rehabilitate the dilapidated houses of the old and share holiday joys with employees whose income is the lowest income bracket.

 

Ethiopia that has its own calendar has embarked on a new year (2011E.C), a right moment to reflect on the past and flex one’s muscle or brace up to handle tasks down the road. Hopefully, it will be a year the Ethiopian diaspora community members play their due role to the betterment of Ethiopia along with enthused citizens.

 

 

 

 

Alem Hailu G/Kristos

A published poet, novelist, editor, translator of masterpieces, literary critic, playwright and journalist from Ethiopia. M.A holder in literature, Addis Ababa University.

Looking for a traditional publisher of a collection of poems. My novel: ‘Hope from the debris of hopelessness’.

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