More good news for Ethiopia
Ethiopia Shall Rise
The updates on this blog are mainly satirical and contemptuous. How wonderful then, that in the space of just two weeks there have been two good news stories from Ethiopia, a country which the Guide originally dismissed as one of the world’s most flawed regimes. Here is the tweet from Fitsum Arega: ‘PM Abiy concluded: Given our current politics, there is no option except pursuing a multi-party democracy supported by strong institutions that respect human rights and the rule of law.’
Since coming to power in April, following his party’s first ever genuine leadership vote, Mr Abiy has freed political prisoners, made peace with Eritrea, loosened state control over the economy and lifted a ban on opposition groups previously regarded as terrorist organisations. Now, today, Fitsum Arega has tweeted that academics expelled from Addis Ababa University in 1993 will be welcomed back.
Is Ethiopia going to become that rarest of things – a country with a strong leader, strong enough to stand for free and fair election?
Whatever next? perhaps, following the UK, they will go the whole way along the road to full democracy and hold a referendum on Ethiopia’s membership of the (AU) African Union (after all, it is only one letter different from the EU) and they will vote to leave by a very slender majority of 52% to 48%, split the country, threaten the economy, fall out with their neighbours and get tied up for years in interminable negotiations…
On second thoughts Mr Abiy, better stick to your game plan, and thank you for making your bit of the world a better place for dwellers.
If ever there will be a beacon of hope and leadership in Africa, how appropriate it would be if that light could come from Ethiopia, the only African country never colonised by Europeans.
Ethiopia shall rise
Ethiopia, Africa’s bright gem
Set high among the verdant hills
That gave birth to the unfailing
Waters of the Nile
Ethiopia shall rise
Ethiopia, land of the wise;
Ethiopia, bold cradle of Africa’s ancient rule
And fertile school
Of our African culture;
Ethiopia, the wise
And remould with us the full figure
Of Africa’s hopes
Kwame Nkrumah’s poem read to the Organisation of African Unity 1963