Window of Opportunity By Yared Ayicheh
It is now a fact that Ethiopia’s economy is getting worst on monthly bases.
In January 2011 Ethiopia’s inflation rate reached 17.7%; in June, inflation reached 38%. Also, in January 2011, food prices in Ethiopia rose by 13.6%, and in June food prices rose by 45.3%.
These facts have been making me feel very edgy and nervous lately; Ethiopia’s foreseeable future has become highly volatile, unstable and unpredictable. Is there still time for reform or is uprising the inevitable outcome of the current turn of events?
Earlier this year, when Egyptians rose up against Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s inflation rate was around 10.3%. Compared with Egyptians, it is reasonable to assume that Ethiopians today, at 38% inflation rate, must be angrier than ever before at the 20 years old dictatorship in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia’s government supporters who feel all-is-well in Ethiopia must think twice before going into denial about the suffering Ethiopians are experiencing now. At 38% inflation, Ethiopians have every imaginable reason to rise up against the EPRDF tyranny.
But who is responsible for the recent turn of events? Is it only the rise of oil prices? Or is it not EPRDF’s failed leadership and policies that continues to perpetuate the cycle of poverty and suffering in Ethiopia? It is the later.
The EPRDF continues to dig deeper and deeper into its implosion. How is it that the ruling party has not been able to see its own coming demise and yet its actions indicate it is in denial?
EPRDF is deformed so much so that it has lost the capacity to anticipate the outcomes of the path the country is on. If the dictatorship in Ethiopia is incapable of opening up itself for a spirit of compromise and working with all opposition parties, those inside and out side the country, it’s destiny is looking more and more like the Derg’s.
Ato Meles Zenawi and the gang are running out of time to compromise and work even with the legal opposition parties in Ethiopia, let alone those who have chosen armed struggle.
With increasing numbers, some opposition supporters in diaspora are smelling blood and are losing interest with reforming the current system of government but rather want to dismantle the Republic and start over.
Once the current window of opportunity for compromise passes the turn of events in Ethiopia will be totally out of the control of the ruling party.
It is obvious that reform is less ‘costly’ than an uprising, and the time to choose reform and avoid an uprising is running out fast.
The writer may be reached at email@example.com