Professor A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the renowned Indian scientist (“Missile Man of India”) and Eleventh President of India (2002-2007) said, “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.” Continue reading
Birtukan Mideksa is a fellow at Harvard University’s WEB Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research and a former prisoner of conscience in Ethiopia. Continue reading
According to the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, there are 79 political parties registered under Proclamation No573/2008. Of these, only 29% have country-wide (national) identity whereas 71% are regional parties that are organized around ethnic lines.
Of those parties dubbed to have national outreach, some such as All Amhara People’s Organization (AAPO), Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Front (EPRDF), Geda System Advancement Party, Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement, and All Oromo People Democratic Party do actually have, as their names indicate, ethnicity as their organizing logic. Several armed groups and parties are also following suit. Stated simply, Ethiopian politics is heavily smeared with ethnicism. On average, each nationality (ethnic group) has got its own political party. Continue reading
During the last two decades, Tigray has occupied the minds of Ethiopians. That EPRDF’s (the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Party) creator, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), is native to Tigray explains all the discourses. Ordinary conversations, media reports, and developments on the ground all seem to testify that Tigray is being preferentially and positively treated in all fronts. Continue reading
In his latest paper – Ethiopia: Where do we go (or not go) from here? – Professor Alemayehu cogently discussed possible trajectories Ethiopia would and should take in the years to come. He questioned how and to what extent the opposition is doing their jobs compared to what people in the governing party are doing. The implicit message of the paper is that the opposition and all concerned Ethiopians must choose and drive on the highway that leads to genuine democracy. I concur with his passionate call and would like to contribute to the discussion from a different perspective. Continue reading
All dictators on the African continent have sought immortality by leaving a legacy that will outlive them and endure for the ages. But all have inherited the wind.
Kwame Nkrumah led the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence from colonialism in 1957. Nkrumaism sought to transform Ghana into a modern socialist state through state-driven industrialization. He built the Akosombo Dam on the Volta River, at the time considered the “largest single investment in the economic development plans of Ghana”. He promoted the cult of personality and was hailed as the “Messiah”, “Father of Ghana and Pan Africanism” and “Father of African nationalism”. He crushed the unions and the opposition, jailed the judges, created a one-man, one-party state and tried to make himself “President for life”. He got the military boot in 1966. He left a bitter legacy of one-man, one-party rule which to this day serves as a model of dictatorship for all of Africa. Nkrumah died in exile and inherited the wind. Continue reading
By Messay Kebede
This article is not a rejoinder to Prof. Alemayehu G Mariam’s recently posted article titled “Ethiopia: The Irresponsibility of the Privileged.” Alemayehu’s article is well-thought-out and accurate in its analysis of the shortcomings of Ethiopian intellectuals. The apparent indifference of many Ethiopian intellectuals to the plight of the Ethiopian people and to the lack of democratic governance or their veiled support to a tyrannical government, mostly because of ethnic affiliations, is indeed appalling. Rather than a retort, this article is a complementary contribution with an eye to discerning the root of the derailment of Ethiopian intellectuals. Continue reading
“The tragic reality of today is reflected in the true plight of our spiritual existence. We are spineless and cannot stand straight.“ Ai Weiwei – Chinese dissident.
As a concept there is nothing wrong with Federalism as a system of government. There are plenty of examples of such arrangement like as in the USA, Canada, Germany, Mexico and India among others where it has shown to work. That is the system TPLF under Meles and company told the Ethiopian people that they are attempting to construct. It has been over twenty years now since the work has started and the question in front of us is, how is it going? Continue reading
By Fekade Shewakena
Over the last couple of weeks, particularly following news that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) foiled an assassination plot against Ato Abebe Gellaw, a journalist and political activist who heckled Meles Zenawi at a heads of states meeting in Washington DC last year, a completely misguided and unhelpful ethnic politicking is raging on the internet, Ethiopian social media and community radio stations. While I was nursing a terrible flue last weekend, I had some time to surf through several Ethiopian paltalk rooms and internet sites. By and large, the discussions, if you can call them that, are ugly , savage and most importantly unhelpful . It is sad that such a wonderful technology that can bring people from different corners of the world on a spot and can be used for meaningful discussions and problem solving actions is being abused so flagrantly. Continue reading
Emulating the Pakistani uprising against corruption
This piece is prompted by the recent development of crisis in Pakistan where “Pakistan‘s Supreme Court has ordered the arrest of the country’s prime minister on corruption charges, heightening the already extreme political uncertainty and fears the country’s fragile democracy could be derailed.”
Pakistan is a conservative Islamic state where one would have expected least corruption but, lo and behold, endemic greed is surprisingly becoming the foremost issue threatening to plunge the fragile country already beset with severe politico-economic problems into a more catastrophic situation. Continue reading