When we were the achievers. By Yilma Bekele

June 2nd, 2012 Print Print Email Email

I am always harking back to the pleasant years of our past. Believe me it not being nostalgic rather it is the lack of good news that makes me reach deep to salvage a little bit of dignity how ever fleeting that might be. One can also make an argument for the fact that my generation has lost the battle to continue on the tradition of leaving intact what was passed on to us. Actually what was expected was a little bit of enhancement but we seem to have managed to degrade and discount. Let us not talk about that today.

What made me despondent is reading about Huajian Shoe factory in Dukem. The story as told by China Post claims ‘Huajian, one of China’s biggest shoe manufacturers, plans to invest US$2 billion in Ethiopia to make shoes for export to Europe and North America.’ On the face of it the story looks perfectly normal and one could even find positive spin in its added value to our country and people. But that will be considered scheming the surface wouldn’t it? We have to put the story in its context to fully appreciate the ramifications as it relates to our future as a country.

Huajian is what got me started to ask why are the Chinese manufacturing shoes in Ethiopia. Have we always been a challenged people that we can’t even make our own shoes? Not so! Said my memory. There was a time we were one cleaver people that knew how to make stuff. For crying out loud, there is no need to be a student of history when it was only yesterday that we excelled in all sorts of enterprises right here in good old Ethiopia. Yes my dear Diaspora cousin we had a whole bunch of entrepreneurs that achieved as never before and galvanized a whole nation. Sad to say the military dictatorship under Mengistu was the beginning of the cause of the total eclipse of individual achievement and national pride.

Before Huajian there was Darmar shoe factory. Darmar shoes were prominently displayed on every shelf. Asko was a brand name from Asmara to Moyale. The cow was Abyssinian, the shoemaker was Abesha and the citizens of Ethiopia wore the product with pride. Azzo, Asko and Darmar were locally manufactured shoe wear. Nothing left our motherland. Capital was raised, invested and recycled right there. That is how you build an economy. That is how you grow capital.

That was shoes, now was there any other enterprise that are the hallmark Ethiopian ingenuity. How can we forget the Hotel business? I am not talking Sheraton here. I am into Ato Bekele Molla, the shining star of the hospitality business. His innovative Hotels from Addis to Arba Minch were the pride of travelers in the beautiful South. So clean, fresh and staffed by well-trained professionals defined the new concept of customer service. He was truly an innovative and inspiring giant of man. He was the definition of by Ethiopia for Ethiopians.

Ato Yenberber Mamo (Mamo Kacha) defined transportation. A self-made entrepreneur, his innovative style of free enterprise pushed all other to excel to catch up with him. His buses were clean, on time and affordable. The music blaring from the speakers on front were loud enough to wake up the dead and you know the bus was here miles before it reaches the little village. His enthusiastic business style gave birth to others such as Awraris, Mekonen Negash and a host of others that followed his footsteps.

Have you heard of Ato Molla Maru? That is another rags to riches Ethiopian saga. Ato Molla Maru was a proud owner of an Ethiopian Liquor factory. To see a made in Ethiopia Cognac, Ouzo etc. in a clean bottle adorned in Amharic labels was something to behold. He was an entrepreneur par excellence that rose from a humble beginning to running a modern factory.

Then there is my friends dad Ato Teka Egeno a business man of special caliber, self made visionary that will put any college educated MBA to shame. He was into coffee since he was a product of Keffa province and put our country on the map and was able to keep stride with big import export houses. Humble and smart is what comes to mind when I think of him.

All of the above giants I recited were imbued with that special God given smarts, common sense and talent that can not be learned but fostered by a sense of vision, love and driven to excel. Their accomplishment rubbed off on all those around them. Growing up I remember dreaming to emulate their accomplishments. Their success was like a beacon calling us to follow the path they were trail blazing. I believe my generation was filled with a sense of hope and can do attitude because they were showing us what is possible with hard work and perseverance.

They in turn gave birth to the new educated modern day giants that built up on their elders’ accomplishments. My role model were my two dear friends the Solomon’s that graduated from Alem Maya Agricultural College and made their marks in the Awash valley turning dust into cash. They were the pioneers that put theory into practice. They pushed the envelope to the limit and in so doing surprised them selves and their nation. A time will come when their story will be told and what an epic it would be.

My friends were visionaries born in a place and time that appreciated their drive to excel. They managed to secure land, were given credit to buy machinery their fuel supply was subsidized and their progress was celebrated. Success breeds success and at one point the sky was the limit to their hopes and dreams. Ato Solomon died a year ago. He died in exile away from his beloved Ethiopia. His funeral was another moment of revelation of how much our country had lost. Those assembled to pay their respect were people who should under favorable circumstances would have been the building blocks of the future Ethiopia. Today our achievers are building another land. Ethiopia’s lose has become Americas gain.

And darkness came. Our country entered a period of untold misery. The Derg’s style of change was not that of building on what works but it was based on finding the common lowest denominator. Why bring everything up when you can reduce all down. All that I mentioned above was smashed to pieces. The innovators and builders were all of a sudden declared enemy of the people and their success was seen as the cause of what is wrong with society. Spring was replaced by the darkness of winter.

Our fathers were emasculated and wilted. Our entrepreneurs and builders of the new society met a different fate. Some resigned to a life of no consequence. A few were killed. While others bid their time and got out to start anew. Ethiopia was a net loser however you look at it.

Huajian and the philosophy behind it is what brought all this lamentation. The TPLF mafia in power is the conduit of this degradation of self-reliance and celebration of individual achievement. According to tyrant Meles hard work is old fashioned while short cut and quick rich schemes are the wave of the future. There is a new culture being encouraged thru out the land and it achievement by corruption. It is not what you know but whom you know. In the land of Meles Zenawi can you think of an Ethiopian that has achieved by hard work and perseverance? I am sure you can name plenty that have emerged as multi-millionaires due to proximity to those in power or belonging to certain ethnic group. Those are the people our children look up to. A street hustler today a millionaire tomorrow is the new reality. It is void of value.

Dear reader let me ask you something. What makes the Ethiopian Nation different from the rest? They say there are over one hundred ninety six countries in the world, what is unique about us? One thing stands out and that is we have never been colonized! No one has occupied our country. We have never submitted. We might be poor, we might be backward in technological terms but we are not a push over. It is even said that when the British left after their excursion to Magdella they were asked to wash their boots least they take our soil with them! That is how much our forefathers disdained foreign intrusion. By fate or design that is what is woven in our DNA.

The Tewodroses, the Yohaneses, the Minilks, the Balchas aba Nefsos, the Abebe Argawis, the Sebaht Aregawi and Sebhat Shumes, the Taitu Bituls were examples of that proud achievement. The Bekele Mollas, the Mamo kachas, the Molla Marus, the Teka Egenos were a continuation of that self-reliant spirit. Born and raised in Ethiopia.

What we got today? Selling land, selling children and selling our soul. Thus instead of making our own shoes we invite shoe makers instead of building our own hotels we contract to multi nationals instead of brewing our own drinks we sell our homegrown to foreign entities instead of building our own houses out of sustainable bamboo and reeds we import cement and recycled metal to construct wasteful ugly boxes instead of growing our own food we lease our virgin and fertile land to grow that we can’t consume instead of educating our children to raise our knowledge we exile our youth to care for some one else’s child. Today the same foreigners that could not conquer our land by force are buying it using dollar and euros. Woyane takes that money and invests in the West and the rest of us cheer from the sidelines.

It was a revealing moment to see Sheik Al Amoudi boasting from the podium how all four star hotels in the Middle East serve fruits grown in Ethiopia and Meles Zenawi with his cadres assembled cheer with pride. That is how brain dead we have become. Today Meles Zenawi a person that has never worked for wages in his life, that has never balanced a bank account, that has never paid rent, that has never ever run a simple kiosk or taken order from a boss is put in charge of a national economy and the joke is on us. Theory is never a substitute for real life situation. Then again the same individual that got all that he knows from the books he reads is actually in the process of defining such concepts as ‘economic growth and democracy’! Of course his ferenji enablers are looking at all this with amusement. Unfortunate for us the individual actually is in the process of trying to prove this utterly simplistic thought in practice and our country is his laboratory.

What is proven by those that have surged ahead and are enjoying the fruits of success is you make your own shoes, you construct your own hotels with locally produced products you encourage individuals that show drive and you invest on your young ones so tomorrow they will build on what you have started. But all this does not come easy. You work for it. You nurture it. There is no short cut. That goes the same for attaining freedom, here again there is no short cut, there is no knight in shining armor nor can it be outsourced. They say if the shoe fits wear it. Would you rather wear Huajian or Darmar, it is your choice my friend.

  1. Timer
    | #1

    I recommend first you write in Amharic to get your thoughts across. Some of the jargon word you put in the middlle of your sentences makes no sense. Seconly make your sentences short and meaniingful. Regarding the content of your scribble you are saying that Ethiopia is better of exporting row hide instead of making shoes for export for the developed world . You are referring the good old days Darmar shoes as the epitom of quality. By the way Darmar then is made by Armenans and now by Chinese. Is your problem Chinese.replaced Armenians? We do not have indigenous skill of making shoes. As the matter of fact Mercator based shoe factories are backbone of locally made shoes for local consumption. However shoe manfactuing technology is now advanced with CAD (computer assisted design) and computer driven machines. What is the problem here if Ethiopia earn more foreign currency by adding value to the leather product the country exports ? How about the employment opportunity? How about the technology transfer? Please enlighten us the negative impact of such end over.

  2. Bruck Tadesse
    | #2

    What a wonderful article, thanks. It is an eye-opening article for many of us, especially for those who were born after the dergue.

    Just to append to your list for now, I would add Keder Ebba (Coffe), Getu Chama Bet, Jamaica, Gukssa Donsa for Small holder Shoe factories. You should also add all the government-owned Enterprises then which i think were center of excellencies like, AAU, EAL, ESL, ANBESA autobus. All of them were run by Ethiopians 100%. I have seen many of the hospitals in Addis during the HIM as child, i remember vividly how clean and immaculate they were, how everything that was installed then was working well, but i can help but cry when i see them now as run-down institution which are filthy and stinky. Forget about the service they give, it is hard to be present with in them even for few minutes. in those days the emperor and his family was treated by Ethiopian doctors, now even the keble cadre run to SA to get medical treatment, because they know the institutes they run are useless, how ironic.

  3. Dawi
    | #3

    Happy days! Yelma ? – Some can argue even more, why not improve on it? Off course, Ethiopia then, for those who had privileged upbringings childhood was the best most nostalgic time to be alive. Nice shoes and you forgot “Augusta” shirt? :-)

    Psychologists say nostalgia can be good for you. I guarantee It will work for many children who were driven out of country during the Derg (red terror) to Europe and the USA. All needed for you was to just wait a few decades before looking back and discern your present difficulties what was actually a glorious era of factories, milk & honey, tasty fruits and Ketfo/doro wat etc.with the tremendous comradeship of living in the big society.

    The fact is 100,000 people were killed at the time by the red terror of Derg. before that In 1974, the senile Haile Selassie paid little attention to a severe famine in 1971 – 1974, when more than 1 million peasants starved to death.

    Only someone very unsettled by the present could look back, in longing for the 1970′s Ethiopia.

  4. yilma b.
    | #4

    I find it interesting you responded in English when you were given a choice to reply in Amharic. Your suggestion regarding my ‘scribble’ although meant as a put down in your own feeble way, I will take into consideration and try to to make my message clearer. As for the ‘jargon’ may I suggest you go back to school so you can have a better understanding of the language and by all means make use of a dictionary. I never said we should export raw leather all I said was we used to make good shoes and if encouraged we could have developed our shoe industry and would have been able to make quality shoes for export. Your Chinese friends are investing to realize profit to take back to China. An Ethiopian entrepreneur will reinvest the profit in Ethiopia.Do you see what I mean? Advanced shoe manufacturing technology is knowledge that we can learn and adapt in Ethiopia it is not Chinese, English or French. Knowledge is universal. The government you are trying to support is inviting all this foreign conglomerates and our small business enterprises are not big or strong enough to compete and grow. They will be crushed specially when the Woyane regime is generous with tax subsidies and stuff. A real Ethiopian elected government will protect certain industries from foreigners with investment incentives, tax benefits and subsidized fuel and electric rates. You can express your thoughts and ideas without being rude and beligerent like Meles, insulting and demeaning only makes you ridiculous without adding value to the discussion then again the leader of the country sets the pace for that kind of behavior and you are just mimicking that. If you read what you wrote I am sure you will not push ‘submit’ if your aim was to engage in a meaningful conversation.
    @Timer

  5. Yimer
    | #5

    Here is your first misguided inference that I am a supporter of the current Ethiopian government. I am not and I will say a spade a spade when I see one. One of your argument is that the Chinese will not reinvest back into the country and are working only to make profit. If we agree that capitalism exists to make money I will rest my case. However how is the a government protecting the interest of the country, the workers is a fair question.
    I do not know if you understand how letter of credit works all exporters in Ethiopia be it Shoes , flower or any exporter send their goods through the official bank clearing process and the foreign currency is deposited to the account of the clearing bank which in turn will deposit to National Bank of Ethiopia. The exporting companies be it shoes, flower etc will be given in Birr for their exports. There is always an agreement with the investor and the government how much percent of their profit they can remit to a foreign bank. The government has always an option to delay such transaction due to shortage of foreign currency. This for instance is very common in foreign carriers in Ethiopia like Lufthansa, KLM … The same thing happen for Ethiopian Airlines mainly in African countries with limited foreign currency. The other problem is under pricing like what is being said is that the flower exported from Ethiopia is under priced at the auction and the amount Ethiopian National bank is getting will be less and the exporters pocket the difference in a foreign bank. This is the reason why ET wanted to forward the flower end to end which is not an airline business. Anyhow it shows the government is trying to close the loophole.

    As far as technology transfer is concerned from your western friends has not worked for a long time. Had it not been the Asian technology Africa would not be a beneficiary of the Internet and cell phone explosion due to price and affordability.

    I also try to write a comment only on what I know and avoid making a fool of myself on things I do not know. This is the nature of all Diaspora by the way this includes me as well.

  6. yilma b.
    | #6

    @Dawi Ato Dawi, all that you wrote is not true, why do you so much like putting our past history down is not clear to me and this is not your first time. Did I say there was no problem during the period I wrote? No I was discussing about individual achievement and hard work nothing else. By any standard of comparison it was the ‘golden age’ of Ethiopia schools were few but the teachers were well trained, hospitals were not plenty but the Doctors were educated and caring ask Ato Meles he went to Wingate and I believe his parents were not what you call privileged. I was nostalgic for the time when your ethnicity did not matter but your hard work was rewarded, you can not say that now can you? Regarding this throwing of numbers like million killed and stuff please let us be careful and recite verifiable facts not some cadre made numbers. You see because a lie is repeated over and over does not turn into fact thus ‘one million peasants starved to death’ sounds good as a Woyane slogan but it is not true unless used to win an argument in Starbucks. We have to be careful with our facts, we are not in Woyane land here. On the other hand I agree by your term ‘unsettled by the present’ that I am when I see Azeb and Meles that arrived with their clothes on their back today spending a million Euros shopping in Spain, I worry when I see Foreign Minster Berhane Gebrechristos splitting millions in divorce or his deputy Hailemariam spending thousands in South Africa in one store or some businessman of dubious nature buying million dollar property in the US what do you think my friend you still knock down our past or worry about the mess we are in now and find ways to overcome such self-inflicted wound? Calling our Emperor senile is rude, giving credit for his accomplishments and discussing his shortcomings with out the added adjective is so much better since his positives outshine his mistakes in the waning years of his reign and that is how history looks at the past.

  7. yilma b.
    | #7

    Ato Dawi, all that you wrote is not true, why do you so much like putting our past history down is not clear to me and this is not your first time. Did I say there was no problem during the period I wrote? No I was discussing about individual achievement and hard work nothing else. By any standard of comparison it was the ‘golden age’ of Ethiopia schools were few but the teachers were well trained, hospitals were not plenty but the Doctors were educated and caring ask Ato Meles he went to Wingate and I believe his parents were not what you call privileged. I was nostalgic for the time when your ethnicity did not matter but your hard work was rewarded, you can not say that now can you? Regarding this throwing of numbers like million killed and stuff please let us be careful and recite verifiable facts not some cadre made numbers. You see because a lie is repeated over and over does not turn into fact thus ‘one million peasants starved to death’ sounds good as a Woyane slogan but it is not true unless used to win an argument in Starbucks. We have to be careful with our facts, we are not in Woyane land here. On the other hand I agree by your term ‘unsettled by the present’ that I am when I see Azeb and Meles that arrived with their clothes on their back today spending a million Euros shopping in Spain, I worry when I see Foreign Minster Berhane Gebrechristos splitting millions in divorce or his deputy Hailemariam spending thousands in South Africa in one store or some businessman of dubious nature buying million dollar property in the US what do you think my friend you still knock down our past or worry about the mess we are in now and find ways to overcome such self-inflicted wound? Calling our Emperor senile is rude, giving credit for his accomplishments and discussing his shortcomings with out the added adjective is so much better since his positives outshine his mistakes in the waning years of his reign and that is how history looks at the past.

  8. መፆም ጥሩ
    | #8

    ወያነን መፋለም ያለብን በጦር ሳይሆን በብዕር መሆን አለበት። ይልማ በቀለና አለማየሁ ገ/ማርያም እንዲሁም መሰል ፀሃፊዎች የሚመሰገን ተግባራቸውን ከመቸውም በላይ በይበልጥ አሳድገው ለማየት ያብቃን አሜን።

  9. መፆም ጥሩ
    | #9

    የወያኔ ግልገል ሎሌዎችን እንደ Dawi እና Timer አይነቱን አሳዛኝ ደካማ ዜጎችን እውነት እውነቱን እየነገርንና እያስተማርን ለመፋለም ያለን ቁርጠኝነት ሊጠነክር የሚችለው ፤ ታሪክ እየጠቀስን፤ በተግባር እያሳመንን፤ እንደነዚህ ዓይነቱን ደንታ ቢስ ጠማማ ዜጎች ምን ያህል ሃገሪቱን እያደሟትና ያለቃቸውን ያምባገነን መለስን ፡ ጩኸትና ድንፋታ…. የሰካራም ግሳትና ተውከት መሆኑ እስኪገባቸው ያለማቋረጥ ጥረታችንን መቀጠል አለብን።
    መልካም ዜጎች ሃላፊነታቸውን ለመወጣት የሚጠበቅባቸውን ግዴታ ነፃ የሆነውን የራሳቸውን አመለካከት ትርጉም በሚሰጥ መንገድ (execute)ሲያደርጉ ፣ ከአለምንም ተፅዕኖና ከአደራ ደሞዝ ክፍያ ጋር (ጉርሻ) በምንም ያልተገናኘ በመሆኑ ፣ የፅሁፉና የመልዕክቱ የዕውንት ሚዛን ተወዳዳሪነት የለውም።………..ይህም ስለሆነ አምባገኖችንና የአምባገነን ግልገሎችን በተጠንቀቅ እንዲቆሙ ያደርጋል።

  10. Kaddis
    | #10

    Gash Yilma –
    since I am not in the mood to make a long comment here – let me just ask you – what is the current situation of the bussiness people and firms you mentioned above? Are they gone bankrupt? No – they are much better exporting, eg. Asko – military shoes to Uganda and Ruwanda, Bekele molla families – choose to invest on other projects than hotels (Tana Merkato) -BTW hotel beds are still in high demand in Eth. Teka Egeno – has one of the biggest building in Addis which you see first entering Addis from the Airport – should I continue? Molla Maru – is richer and more confident ( I think his family )to invest without the Derg capital cap and fear of nationalization.
    You guys don’t know how irrelevant you sound for people based in Eth and who travels frequently.
    My freind – Eth is about the old and the new like – ECX, SoleRebels ( have you heard about the shoe icon lady Betty?)Acess Capital, Ethiopian Airlines, Pittards, the Chinese, the small shoe makers based in merkato -more organized – and more.
    And you sound funny when you cry for jah – asking commentors to mention his good deed before his mess – while you stated all Meles’s achievment before you mentioned ‘his shortcomings’:))?

  11. Yohannes Merdassa
    | #11

    Ato Yilma Bekele has made constructive and insightful comments.The fascist and racist, Meles Zenawi is blocking the growth of national capital and industry. He has big businesses such as EFFORT which control all the key sectors of the economy. The fascist and racist Meles Zenawi is building a rover economy in which his tribal and ethnic members are the major actors. Meles Zenawi has in effect excluded all non-Tigrayans from the capital market and investment in big businesses and companies. For example he has instructed his subordinates to exclude the Amharas from gaining access to capital and investment in profitable economic areas. The latest scam of Meles is the so called Ethiopian Commodity Ehchange led by his thug Dr. Eleni Gebremedhin. This is the arm of EFFORT and is monopolizing the trade in exportable agrcicultural goods such as coffee and oild seeds.
    The Chinese and Turkish partners of Meles Zenawi are the main venued for money laundring and illicit financail outflows from the country.

  12. astra
    | #12

    Mardiros Darakjian owner of DARMAR shoe factory was an Ethiopian of Armenian origin. Returning to the present condition, all the commanding heights of the economy are owned by tigreans. This is a fact and everybody must know that. The amaras are targeted to be poor. 30,000 scholarship a year is given to tigreans alone. The only functioning university is Mekele University. All the rest are sham including AAU. In order to destroy the amara, TPLF has decided to deprive them of their only means of transport, by selling millions of donkey hides to China and export donkey meat to China. TPLF has designed that amaras should disappear from the face of the earth. This is the genocide we should address instead of talking mumbo-jumbo

  13. Dawi
    | #13

    Yelma said:

    [[...Calling our Emperor senile is rude...]]

    I thought I was being being light on HIM by using “senile” but, you don’t think so. Your Friend ጉረኞች calls Meles the “midget dictator”, that is rude. Isn’t Meles taller than the “midget” HIM? :-)

    On the serious side, Educational standard was higher during HIM era but, was only serving the few; yours & some of your Friends family.

    I believe it is better to have more “foot doctors” for the masses than high quality MD’s for the few.

    You are right the Meles Dictatorship is praised mostly for giving some health and educational access to the masses but the quality is sub standard. The comment I read the other day tells it all; “even the local Kebele head cadre travels to SA to get medical care”; that is pathetic.

  14. Dawi
    | #14

    astra said:

    [[...In order to destroy the amara, TPLF has decided to deprive them of their only means of transport, by selling millions of donkey hides to China and export donkey meat to China...]]

    Wow, people never cease to amaze me; my jaw literally dropped. I can’t believe the audacity of such a commentary. The thing is I almost believed your 30,000 scholarship for Tigres & Mekele U (not good) but functional then came …Donkey amara only means of transport? that is crazy!

    And I thought Woyane “loved” their donkey during the arm struggle. :-)

  15. love
    | #15

    Any Chinese made products comes with price. Many toxic chemicals, let us not mention, today in developing nation, the highest threat is cancer, other deadly disease and no long HIV or other transmitted diseases. It is shocking to see huge tumors growing visibly on patients in Ethiopia. So shocking, Ethiopia never experienced such kind of diseases in the past. Waters are contaminated with chemicals from flower farming. By the way to the person who was saying what is wrong with changing owners? Really? It is called by empowering Ethiopians, you are helping for them to be creators, inventors, etc. After all, isn’t what we are aspiring to be from the West’s great educational system. Why can’t we see Ethiopians to be empowered so that they can develop their own country and even be role models for other world like U.S did. What the regime is doing produce refugees, slaves of Ethiopians as demonstrated.

  16. love
    | #16

    Ato Dawit,

    The privilege you are getting every single thing is give thanks to past leaders before Mengue. You are stil stuck with the past and sounds like. Individual prosper has nothing to do with Ethiopia’s prosper. You just created kings while you are denouncing the true King Haile Selassie, with billions to spend in Europe and other countries while there are many homeless children roaming around. It is easy we could be more ignorant then during Haile Selassie, but today in the 21st century, no morality at all about that? Of course you are the beneficiary, how much are you spending for your personal interersts abroad? c’mon tell us. Or you might want to tell us like Azeb on her interview, her and her husband are struggling, hahaha. Btw Dawit, while you are denouncing our king, did you see the recent Queen’s birthday? Do yo think that is backwards? Remember when kingdom came to England, they didn’t have democracy then and asking Englanders or even those who are not directly connected as you may mention the same with Haile Selassie, the Scotts and Irish feel ecstatic about having the Queen still around because it is national pride that protects the nation. Of course, we from developing nation don’t deserve kingdoms that defends the national interest of the nation but look at the West who still maintains their kingdoms, Spain, Netherlands, UK, etc

  17. aha!
    | #17

    First and foremost Ethiopians need to mindful of the negative forces as TPLF/eprdf and its mirror image of OPDF/EFDF/fdre aligned on ethnic agenda rather than national agenda for unity, territorial integrity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom, liberty and equalit to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights, along with private ownership of land and access to capital as some of the means of production in a free market capitalism.
    The above political models embrace ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism, where ethnic federalism is a divide and rule policy, and a prelude to secession upto self determination, as well as a prelude to border conflicts, while totaliarianism with a twist State capitalism, hinders free market capitalism and democracy by both ideologies to the silent majority of Ethiopians. With no doubt, however, the current regime gives an upper hand to TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises, cadres and few struggling enterprenuers under a coercieve and non-conducive environment, unlike the fear of nationalization by the business community during the Derg regime, along with humanitarian, political, economic and environmental crises taking place for the last 21 years.

    These threats have been illustrated in the call by Abebe Gellaw for freedom more than food security; in the call by haji Mohamed seid, “hagger yegara nat, haymanot gin yegil new, itiopian ketifat lemadan bandint ininesa”, refering to Muslims and Orthodox Cristian and all Ethiopians of various ethnic groups.

    The second impending concern for Ethiopians to reflect upon is the exploitations, political and economic strangle hold of the country’s resources and its people by TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises and foreign corporations of which Astra has the insght.

    The third impending concern for Ethiopia and other African countries is being used as market outlet for goods produced by the multi-national corporations in the Western developing countries and manufacturing base for China, instead of these corporations serving as bases for technological transfer to these African countries in Agrobusinesses and manufaturing sectors to iprove upon the Agrobussiness sectors in innovations, adoptions of technologies and enterpenuership in these areas, to create a stong private sector in the Agrobussinesses and manufacturing sector for sustainable economic and human development indigineous to the African countries in order to create jobs based on free market capitalism and democracy, under a democratic government, rulig by the consent of the governed.

    Having said that your annecdotal remarks in a historical perspectives leans more towads patriotic rather than nostalgic, as good taking points for Ethiopians to reflect upon and engage in a dialogue is commendable with respect to putting emphasis on innovations, implementations of technologies to improve upon the existing traditional farm and manufacturing businesses and other services to move forward in the 21st century by Ethiopians, rather than by forign corporations for either importing and/or producing goods by the Chinese company in case of shoes, food grains and cash crops to give Ethiopians an edge in controlling their own economic affairs to create jobs rather than being a dumping ground for seeds, fertilisers and other manufactured goods, which Ethiopean enterpreneurs can do by mastering the new technologies and enterprenuership in the same way the BRIC countries have doing by themselves.

    The way it is framed is for the African counties continue to ammass their foreign exchange is through the export of raw products/commodities and import manufactured goods mostly from China, I presume.

    The trend in the political arena for the last 21 years is nothing more than a colonialist and/or in part like the Appartheid syatem of South Africa, where the Dutch Boers had the upper hand in in the economic and political affairs of South Africa, where the native South African rulers have nothing but self rule and separate developments, devoid of freedom and Afican Nationalism. A parrallel can be drawn for the TPLF and eprdf regime of ex-liberation fronts with ethnic agenda bent on oppression of nations and nationalities, rather than class struggle common to all Ethiopians of all ethnic groups, creating ideologies/policies in the constitution an ethnic federalism, secionism and totaliarinism, hindering individual freedom, liberty and equality, free market capitalism, Ethiopian Nationalism and its sovereignity.

  18. aha!
    | #18

    Add the insightfull remark of Love to that of Astra about the exploitations, political and economic strangle of the country’s resources and its people by TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises, and foreign corporation, dealing with distribution of fertilizers on rolloing topographies to no economic advantage other making the farmers debt ridden and polluting the streams and rivers of the available drinking water. Add to that the new Agobussinesses leasing lands. Do these Western democracies, where the multi-national corporations are based and the TPLF/eprdf regime how much they are adding to the humanitarian crises on the silent majority of Ethiopians.

  19. Enat Alemu
    | #19

    Dear fellow Ethiopians!
    I hope we were not born blind and deaf but we are made distorted after birth so that our eye cannot see well, our tongue cannot speak truth or we cannot distinguish truth from lie. Yilma-Your name is ok- however I could not read the rest of your personal belief you put on this post. I just came down to write a comment that Ethiopia is not occupied….

    What the hell are you yelling? Who are you teaching a lie? Ethiopians or foreigners? Just sit down and read before you write and post vivid lie,
    Asadabe!

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