Ethiopia: Concerted effort needed

October 29, 2018 Africa , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

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Alem Hailu G/Kristos



Striding far in the arduous track of reform, Ethiopia is showcasing the amenities of civilization and democracy such as peacefully handing power as well as bringing the marginalized, yet capable, to power.


These sagacious moves were manifested this week when President Mulatu handed over power to his successor Sahle-Work Zewde before his tenure phased out.


Such gestures were unthinkable in the political history of the country, for leaders failing to fathom the ideals of democracy adored mongering power, while women, culturally programmed, fought shy from coming to the political limelight of the country. Tragic as it may sound, under a double yoke, the latter were denied the right for far too long.


Both the aforementioned leaps forward on the avenue of a genuine democracy are exemplary. That is why they resonated across local and international media outlets. The appointment of the seasoned diplomat Sahle-Work to the presidency was seen as the consummation of Dr Abiy Ahmed‘s government to empower women and get the country in skilled and fair hands; in the hands of the fair sex.


The fact that capable, trustful and considerate women leaders have become the jewels that 50 percent populated the cabinet of the reformed government sheds light on how the government is determined to root out social malice and catalyze its march towards joining the ranks of middle income countries.


In crystallizing good governance that sadly seemed largely confined to the domain of a political rhetoric, including the new president, a lot is expected from the recently appointed new cabinet members. All the more so, as they are charged with the lofty responsibilities and have taken training towards the long sought-after nation’s turnaround.


Research has indicated that, before reform, lack of good governance had become a formidable challenge whose genie was hard to bottle up. In actualizing the oath they made while sworn into parliament, and also to fast track the reform drive that rippled across the nation and age groups penetrating gender barriers, cabinet members have to double check they are committed and strong enough than ever before.


Turning up standard bearers as well as clicking and keeping in touch with government employees at every echelon, they have to see to the transformation of civil servants that handle ‘willy-nilly’ responsibilities to ones that discharge set responsibilities to the letter. They have to see to the coming of virtuoso, committed and change sustaining public servants.


Distancing themselves from improprieties, they are expected to satisfy citizens with heartwarming and timely services that placate citizens’ former grievances. They have to wipe out the grudges people held against the government, which went off track and sat for reform.


They are also entrusted with the role of mixing like milk and water with employees and the task of executing set action plans. They must be leaders that service seekers tap on the back.


At this juncture, it is appropriate to mention in dragging into light possible maladministration such as procrastination of tasks and rent seeking, especially harnessing journalism with a special focus on the investigative ones goes without saying.


Not only in checking government officials from going astray but also in ensuring citizens stay on track—timely paying taxes, observing the rule of law and upholding unity in diversity— journalism plays quite a role. They have to counter argue divisive points rather than fueling it.


The government and the public at large should exert their efforts in respecting the supremacy of law. The fact that the new administration is working to build democratic institutions, which could safeguard the right of citizens and ensure peace and stability is emboldening. To this effect the incumbent is aspiring to ensure the independence of the ombudsman and the National Election Board.


The bottom line is a concerted effort is required from all Ethiopians to sustain the ongoing change.





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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