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Ethiopia: The Politics of Ethiopian Grand Millennium Dam
By Messele Zewdie Ejeta
Several days ago, an acquaintance called to invite me to participate the next day in a panel discussion prepared by Deutsche Welle’s Amharic service program. The panel was to discuss about the Ethiopian Grand Millennium Dam (GMD). I was told that I was approached because of my training and practice in Water Resources Engineering.
I politely declined the invitation because despite my training and practice in a related field to this specific project, I did not have enough information about its details. My only information about it is from what I have been hearing through and reading in various media.
While a plan to build any sound and useful infrastructure anywhere in the world, let alone a large dam in Ethiopia that will produce a meaningful amount of power for the country and region, should be supported, its politicization from the get go is unfortunate.
No individual or party, including Meles Zenawi who has been muscling his way to lead Ethiopia since his political circles assumed power using the force of arms close to twenty years ago, is in a position to deny the prevalent political, judicial, and human rights problems in the country.
In the aftermath of Ethiopia’s 2005 legislative elections that caused the death of many civilians, his own staunch supporters admitted that the country was saved miraculously.
Under his leadership and the hypocrisy of his supporters, the country was driven to a point of destabilization with unfathomable consequences for all its citizens, the region, and the world due to the country’s geopolitical significance. Time proved them wrong; their admission that the stability of the country and region was guarded miraculously is history already. What hasn’t been publicly accounted for so far is the role of members of the Ethiopian Diaspora in this history of swaying the country and region towards stability and other developments since then, including the business to build this dam and the highly publicized Growth and Transformation Plan.
That swaying may well have contributed to paving the way for the current discussion about the GMD. As diverse as the current Ethiopian Diaspora is politically, generationally, geographically, as well as in training and experience, it is in a position to generate rich ideas, all of which can be looked at as contributory to the desire to take the country and its people out of its current economic situation.
Presumably under the oversight of Hailemariam Desalegn, the country’s current official Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, delegations of Ethiopia’s government recently visited the Ethiopian Diaspora to garner support for its development plans and the construction of the GMD.
Whatever political expressions the Ethiopian Diaspora may have imparted on these delegations during their visits, the government’s hypocritical supporters are again conveniently blaming members of the Ethiopian Diaspora as extremists that have ill-will against the construction of this dam. The fact that effort was made to visit the Ethiopian Diaspora by officials of the current Ethiopian government amounts to recognizing the significance of the potential of its contributions, which could be immense given a solution to the political impasse and a genuine channeling of the material and intellectual resources of this indispensible segment of Ethiopians. What is perplexing is reading on the same page that admitted a few years ago that the country was miraculously saved turn around now to conveniently call extremists those who contributed to making their “miracle” a reality.
In fact, it is simply preposterous for any self to claim to be more concerned or insightful than another self about the country and people all Ethiopians come from.
As a former student of Hailemariam Desalegn, I don’t consider myself to be less concerned about our country and people than him even if he is currently the country’s official Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
At a personal level, I made meaningful connections with my former teacher on at least two occasions. One was the day he gave back the results of the first test that I took in his class in the 1989/90 academic year at the Arbaminch Water Technology Institute (AWTI), now Arbaminch University, Ethiopia. Before giving back the tests, he went out of his way, we learned later, to order the students’ test scores; I was the last in the class to get my test results back.
The second occasion was when I went back with friends to the institute to get my official Bachelor of Science degree sometime after my graduation from the institute in 1992. He was then the registrar of the institute. He again went out of his way to work overtime to complete the processing of our degrees. After receiving my official degree, I approached him to thank him for working overtime to complete the paper work. His response was that it is the responsibility of his office to have the paper work done on time. My appreciation of his meaningful understanding of the responsibility of appointees in Ethiopia’s bureaucracy, including at higher learning institutions, was instant.
The respect he has earned from me as my teacher and due to these connections will be undiminished because of differences of political opinions we have regarding the current political establishment in Ethiopia or our places of residence under the circumstances.
I came to the U.S. in 1996 to study for my Master of Science degree after competing for and getting a Fulbright scholarship, graduated in 1998, continued to study while working as a Teaching Assistant and earned a Ph.D. degree in 2000. I became a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in 2002. As far as I know, from those who graduated from AWTI, I was the first to come to the U.S. for a graduate study and earn a Ph.D. degree. My class of 1992 was the second batch to graduate with B.Sc. degrees from the then new institute, which was built and started functioning under the previous Ethiopian government of Menghistu Hailemariam.
I have been working since as a water resources engineer and researcher, including on the impact of climate change on water projects as well as about the uncertainty in the science of climate change where I am making headway in tackling the latter even if this effort doesn’t seem to rest well with its committed proponents.
This is not to recount or publicize my humble achievements but to present my case as an example to show the hypocritical and lump sum criticism against the Ethiopian Diaspora that doesn’t and shouldn’t be expected to blindly support the activities of the inner political establishment that has been leading Ethiopia for the last nearly twenty years and attempts to continue to do so through wanton deceptions.
Since becoming a member of the Ethiopian Diaspora, one of my virtual exposures to my former teacher was through a video posted on the internet after the 2010 legislative elections, which showed when he gave inaccurate credentials to Meles Zenawi and nominated him for premiership. After these elections, the ruling party in Ethiopia that my former teacher became a member and now leader of claimed to have won 99.6% of the seats; we have been told that the strongest alternative political party in the country won only one seat in a close to 550 member parliament of the country. One of the credentials that Hailemariam Desalegn attributed to Meles Zenawi in nominating him for the position is that the latter came up with the Ethiopian Renaissance Agenda from his fertile imagination.
As someone with a meaningful and personal familiarity with the issue that gave birth to the Ethiopian Renaissance Agenda, which was sparked outside the circle of the current ruling party in Ethiopia before Meles Zenawi’s Ethiopian Millennium speech in 2007 where he spoke about it, this attribution of my former teacher to the leader of his party didn’t and will not sell well.
It suffices to say here that the understanding of such a meaningful and historical agenda as the Ethiopian Renaissance is likely to come from the fertile imaginations in the libraries of higher learning institutions, such as Arbamich University where Hailemariam Desalegn was a faculty member and official, and continuous learning among the civil society, instead of from the active adult life spent as a rebel fighter and leader. In passant though, I would like to call on both Meles Zenawi and Hailemariam Desalegn, who have publicly subscribed to the Ethiopian Renaissance Agenda, to write one to two page independent narratives of what Ethiopian Renaissance means to them at personal and national levels and publish them for the public before the next Ethiopian New Year in early September 2011, which will be the fourth anniversary of Meles Zenawi’s Ethiopian Millennium speech.
So far, it has become evident in the latest discussions about building the GMD that the deliberative processes show deficiencies and that they are mired with the intent for domestic political consumption. It would be unfortunate to have likely long lasting controversies surrounding this dam project.
For example, take the term Millennium in the GMD. What is the significance of this term to the Ethiopian citizenry and the other states downstream along the Abay River? Why borrow such a term at a time when the government itself is supposed to have officially subscribed to the Ethiopian Renaissance Agenda?
Egypt that built the Aswan dam along the Nile River named it after an ancient Egyptian city of Aswan. The Sudan that built another dam on the Nile River named it the Roseires Dam, after the name of the town of Er Roseires. California, which has world class water infrastructure projects, has its two largest dams named after the localities where these dams were built. The Three Gorges Dam that China built signifies the natural formation of the place where the dam was built.
As information posted on the internet shows, the Ethiopian GMD will be constructed in the western part of Ethiopia at a place locally called Bombadi.
Would it be inappropriate then to call it the Bombadi Dam, or use any local name that would be befitting, at a time when Ethiopia is talking about its renaissance? What would be wrong about putting Bombadi on the world map since it is already on the ground physically? (After I started writing this article, the name of the Grand Millennium Dam was changed to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry even wrote on April 22, 2011, an article in this regard under the title “The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam: what’s in a name?” Although I read in a forum in the past that I am under the spell of horses and buggies of the government’s turncoat, I have no objection in this name change and would give the benefit of the doubt that this criticism and name changes are a coincidence unless I am proven wrong).
As one of the Diaspora Ethiopians, I can expect criticisms against raising these questions from the hypocritical supporters of the current partisan inner political establishment in Ethiopia. I raised these questions with no less interest than any other individual or official Ethiopian in seeing the construction of this dam progress smoothly, its completion realized, and its utilization become fruitful.
This is not to say my indignation about the political deeds of Meles Zenawi and his inner circles over the last two decades and counting have been diminished. I can even fairly imagine that my former teacher may not be fully aware of these deeds even after he is charged with the double duty of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, which in and of itself appears a setup than a genuine and deeply meaningful working relationship with his commanding leader. Time is bound to tell this again.
The writer can be reached at MZEjeta@aol.com.
Dear Messele Zewdie Ejeta(PhD)
As you said in your last phrase Time is to tell.
Why you refused politely when you are approached as an engineer? For you the wiser thing to do is to participate and do some remarkable contribution to the plan.Even it was good chance for you to propose a new name for the dam even though naming is not a big deal.why you people are so ignorant? You are just approached for using your profession.There is no solution by being an outsider and saying bla bla.
Shame on you really!!We have so many talkative people from diaspora opposition as well as weyane cadres.But doing a little is better than nothing.
I only appreciate your academic achievement in this article nothing else.If you don’t use any opportunities to contribute something to your mother land.You are good for nothing.
There are so many engineers who leave their differences aside and wants to be part of any development plan in Ethiopia.
Try to adjust the wrongs of your mentality
I hope you will learn some day from your mistakes.
It is high time we ethiopians raised self assessing questions like “What did I do to my country?” I would like you to ask this yourself.Ranting about what others did is of old fasion.Water engineers are very scarce here in ethiopia,how can you contribute?Thanks.
Ethiopia lezelealem tinur!
“Impact on Ethiopian citizenry and the other states downstream along the Abay River?”
Answer: It going to be built around Ethio-Sudan border gunnies.
About the name thing it is also called talaku metaamet gedeb…. So it has Amharic name. Also the name can always be changed (this is not a good enough reason to oppose the dam, Dr.)
Democracy is not bread by itself and what Ethiopians need is bread not some freakin democracy.
Actually democracy in a nation with 85 languages and almost ½ Christian and ½ Islam is not idol.
So much for your expertise in the field, all you could complain about is the name of the dam, unbelievable.So who is politicising the dam now? you or woyanee?..I tell you brother, wither the dam is called Woyanee or Ginbot 7, all I want for ethiopia is the damn dam, full stop. I just don’t see why any one with a right mind would complain about a much needed development in ethiopia..grow up man, grow up..
It is really a very good article and posative. Good comment. Let us work together and recognize what both side did for our country. Admire what they did and criticize their wrong doing. Let us complete what we start. Let democracy florish in our country.
1) The Dam. It is time to have it. It is our White Gold.
2) Rail way. Without rail way and cheaper transportation, it is hard to have what we need in the market place.
3) We planned Frist Cancer center in Sheno in northern Ethiopia. It is the First of its kind in Ethiopia and even in Africa. The Ethiopian president had laid corner storne over two years ago. What happend? Is our Ethiopian ministry of health giving helping hand to this project or leave to one lady only Wesene Tirunh? Please help on that and who is responsible?
4) The pressing issue is our Sea Port. Let us work towads it. It should be one of our project.
Long live Ethiopia!
Why do people tend to politicize every developmental project in a poor country like Ethiopia?
This article is rather an excuse letter the writer is using not to move his burger filled ass and go back home to contribute.
The writer seems to suffer partly from his own guilty conciense and partly from people’s preasure whom he might have been obliged to answer.
He came to the US in 1996, which made me to think, he might not had the chance to come here, if it was not for this regime which he is condemening and trying to paint with a negative image.
I don’t understand why the writer is concerned about name that much.Such a waste of time for me reading it
What a waste of my precious 15 minutes reading such an idiotic article coming from a self claimed hydraulics/irrigation professional! Mr Messele, at first I was excited to read a real commentary about the dam from an independent water engineering professional. Alas, ur article is about everything but the dam. Its the same old Sidib and manquashesh of the extremist diaspora. We are tired of that all Almariam style bullcrap, my friend. We Ethiopians are seeking some real action, real substance, real money. Not sidib and manquashesh. Meles Zenawi and Hailemariam Desalegn are showing as some money, with all their flaws. And what does the extremist diaspora have: empty sidib and manquashesh! Typical ye sefer arogit style.
As an individual who is trained and worked in Water Resources and Engneering, his contribution would have been valuable had he attended the panel discussion that was arranged by the amharic service of the German radio station. Giving lame excuses, he shied away instead possibly for fear of being taken as one to have appreciated the construction of the dam or as having endorsed the initatives taken by the Ethiopian government.
Hundreds of dams that have been built all over the world were constructed not for cosmetic reasons but because of their immense contribution in providing a highly needed energy any given country needs for its population. By doing so there can not be any intention of a sinister nature, as this writer envisages, being the purpose for the construction of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Hospitals, schools, roads and other institutions were named after Emperor Haile Selassie and monuments were built in the image of the dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam but it is very difficult to comprehend why naming the dam to be built on Abay river, The Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, should raise an alarm. Now that the planned construction of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has received the support of millions of Ethiopians, the few anti-Ethiopia diaspora community members are sensing the nearing of the inevitable death and funeral of their out of touch hate politics thus in desperate attempts opt in hair splitting and politicizing the construction of this dam.
Messele is not comfortable that a few individuals in the diaspora are picked out as extremists. What appropriate word or term can describe individuals like Alemayehu G/Mariam who has tirelessly been campaigning against any foreign financial or political support to Ethiopia, Berhanu Nega who has alligned himself with Eritrea’s government and has declared war on his own native country, a few hooligans led by the self acclaimed political analyst/economist Tamagn Beyene who we know was a former DERG activist attempted to disrupt a conference intended for the benefit of our country Ethiopia by starting the fire alarm and making bomb threats, demonstrators who burnt the Chineese flag because China has contributed to the economic development in Ethiopia, one deranged Ethiopian who burnt the Ethiopian flag outside the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington DC and other nemerous shameful acts other than calling them extremists?
What significant relevance does Messele’s bragging about his academic or “humble achievements"(to quote his own words)journey from B.Sc to P.Hd have with the construction of the Ethiopian Renaissance dam? Good for him for his academic achievements but why would we need to know about it?
The word renaissance means revival,rebirth, renewal etc which is an appropriate word to beautifully describe the construction of the biggest dam in Africa(and one of the ten biggest in the world!) on Abay river which every Ethiopian should be proud of instead of hair splitting and politicizing the purpose to meet the ends of anti-Ethiopia politics. The Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, when completed, will stand as a symbol of pride to Ethiopians from all walks of life who are digging their meagre financial pockets to make this construction a reality minus the few anti-Ethiopia diaspora elites and their disciples who give other interpretations to it.
Ethiopia shall prosper!!
What are you waiting? A vip cad from melese or ? Go home and build the dam. Do not talk too much like those a so called crack- heads oppositon from D C.
How many times do you have to repeat yourself to make a point. ‘Hypocritical’ may I add once more…
I am sorry to say but you are wasting your time. I hope you are not being used to sell this hoax. I take you on your words. But I have to tell you upfront that this is not about water, about a dam, about Ethiopian Renaissance (which is in itself a politically loaded and inappropriate term for a country like Ethiopia), or about development. The people in power (as far as I am concerned, there is only one man in power) do not care about these things unless they serve their political interests directly. Meles is extremely worried by the political dissent that is brewing up in the Tigrayan community (both at home and abroad). And as usual he has to play his political cards to win them back one way or another. He is left with few cards though. The “election” card was torn apart in 2005. But remember it saved him for the time being. The “badme” card is still there and it may be the last “joker” he has. It could be the most costly one to him as well. But he wouldn’t hesitate to use it if push comes to shove. The so-called millennium dam card is … I think you got my point. So, don’t fall in his trap or let others be caught by it.
Admin: I didn’t like your (captcha) verification code. It is not user-friendly and it is difficult to know which one is which. Make is easy to understand or drop it completely.
The construction of the Dam should and will continue. Any Ethiopian who tries to politicize the progress of this is wired and hopeless!
Messele Zewdie Ejeta
You told us that you have a Ph.D. in water engineering. This means that you are in a much better position to give us some analysis on the feasibility of the project and its impact on the geopolitics of the region. I started reading your article expecting a scholarly analysis. To my utter dismay, your article is full of self-serving rants. You claimed that you are a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) and yet your main concern is the “name” of the project, not its environmental or geopolitical impact. You claimed that Ethiopian Renaissance can only come from the imaginations of academicians like you, not from a rebel leader. But I see no clear imagination in your article. We all know Woyane is highly politicizing the project. A lot has been said about this. What we expect from “experts” like you is analysis of the project in a broader perspective, not to take issue with its name.
….I.I..I…I..what have you done for your poor Ethiopia? do not forget your education expences were collected from and paid by poor Ethiopians.. ..what a waste…….
I am glad you declined the invitation,You had nothing to offer to begin with.I read all the article and the only thing I could find was a name change.Who really cares about the name?It is irrelevant to me and the hungry millions.Besides you claime to be engineer not nomenclature.
Mr/Dr Messele Zewdie, I am sorry to spend my time on reading your rubbish article, which has no substance. Political ambition, seeking position is one thing, when you don’t get that position to go against the government is normal, as egocentric humankind. But to opposite the construction of the dam, to be more concerned on the name rather than the impact and the bright future on the economical development of the poor Ethiopian people; to try to make a point on naming the Dam is just rubbish and senseless.
I am so happy to read many of the nice and genuine real Ethiopians comment on your article. Thus, I highly appreciate all those who commented against your article, wrote positive words on the construction of the Dam. Shame to you, after few years you will be put to shame when this dams is accomplished as those dams, which are already constructed and are in use. We Ethiopians we will give our money, time, energy and knowledge to accomplish this great work, which will bring Ethiopia some steps forward in the socio- economical development.
Come on folks!
whether it is the initiator of the attention diversion DUMB DAM frightened dictator for life Senawi or his promotional and public relation propaganda cadre agitator the whole fake issue is a hoax.
Look at this dictator and his goon cadres owning in monopoly as well as hiding the entire fertile Ethiopian vast agricultural farm lands for the last 20 long years while the entire nation and the entire farmers are starving to death from lack of farm land while currently coming out cunningly and selling these vast farmlands dirt cheap to distant investors in which vast amounts of secret Wayane shares play key roles.
Whether land grabbing or Dumb Dam planting the issue is about robbing Ethiopia and Ethiopians and practice the business of MONEY LAUNDERING in which Wayane owns TOP expertise.
All of these Ejetas and the likes are only conducting secrete advertising and promotional publicity dancers at the drumming of the cunning fox dressed in sheep skins and fooling all of us just like the last 20 years.
I am glad you came here and saved. Almost all engineers like you are in jail or killed.
For those who ask what you did for your country, somebody can only do for his country when he use his knowledge freeely. But all his classmate with the same last name are in jail. Two of them recently disappear even from qality jail. The chief project waten engineer for Diree Dawaa-Harar was taken from work cite and langushing in torture champer -Mikelawii.
Yes, Name matters because it refects the history and identity of the local population. Tell me why is it necassary to change the name of the land? it is another way of acculturation and assimilation.
I think the article above justifies rihgtly the unjust characters of the Meles hencmen. The writer had a point in mentioning the fact that GMD is a misnomer. There was no realtion as to its name indicates to the turn of the century. Had this been in the pipeline of Ethiopia’s project list a ceremonial erection should have been placed at the site.
How many of you have any idea about engineering? This cant talk about something he never part of. He can talk about water resource engineering but not a specific dam. He did the right thing to decline the panel. Come on nuckle heads think twice b4 u open ur mouth wide open. As a matter of fact, i can clearly see ur empty mouth through ur wide open mouth.
And here i thought i was going to read a deep analysis of the dam from a water engineer..an analysis full of insights. Dr. we have enough PhDs who rant day in and day out on the current situation. We don’t really need another engineer (not a political scientist) to tell us how rebel leaders can’t make the right decisions. The Ethiopian people know what’s and what’s not good for them. The reality is that they’re the ones leading the country while you and I chose to abandon our country for a better life. It’s sad to see experts such as yourself bugged down with nasty politics when you have so much to offer to your country and the people who financed your undergraduate education.
I admire your academic success and at the same time surprised by the level of toxic politics you were exposed to and your extreme willingness to savor it. You said you were invited by German Radio to participate in a panel discussion on Grand Millennium Dam. I believe you thought you were more qualified academically to share your opinion than most of us and let us leave that way. Anyway you declined to participate because you did not have enough data other than what was available to you from media outlets. Very good! I wonder if Prof. Al and his contemporaries faced the same problem (information shortage)like you did when they began to test the patience of the Ethiopian people and their government. You should have consulted them before deciding to decline in the first place instead of suffering from guilty feelings for not participating. As a result of your missteps, now you are finding it difficult to reaffirm your loyalty, therefore forced to make undesirable confessions without looking to confess. I clearly understand what you are trying to say in your writing. Plain simple, you regret the missed opportunity for recognition and fame. If you maintained to your silence you would have been in a better position to go either way.
As far as the training and money needed to accomplish the work, the local population and Ethiopians in exile (minus you and your likes) have made a lot of progress so far. Honestly, your opinion would not have changed anyone’s mind even if you agreed to participate in that discussion.
Local professionals who are working on the project are not less qualified than any foreign-based expert in the field, therefore German Radio had to invite them rather than inviting people like you. By the way I have a longtime experience in seismic data analysis and interpretations who actually never saw the details of the project. Despite everything I hear or read, I wholeheartedly support the entire effort without preconditions. I don’t believe in the argument of diaspora (not in capital D which means supporters)which says political dialogue before any talk of development. The era of empty talk is over, it is time to work.
Ethiopia shall prosper!
I think it is one thing to give idea for a name change and another to share information from your expertice. One don’t need to have a PHD to suggest name change. I think what ever you are doing is not for a particular political group instead it is for your country. It is wise to separate the two
I try to understand your point but what is your problem with the dam? is it the name? or is it inappropriate for Ethiopia to build such a dam? or do you have a problem with DPM/FM Hailemariam Desaleng to be in his position? One thing i understand clearly is your credential and your frustration to be called diaspora like tamang and abebe belew. in fact your credential tales us you are a very important person in fighting poverty if you allocate your expertise in the right place and free your self from this (telcasha)diaspora politics.
Dear Ato Messele
What is the benefit of accumulating knowledges and professional titles? if not helping the very same people who pay taxes and put you in college assuming that one day you will be an asset for the country who badly needed professionals and intellectuals in all kinds of field.
It is sad but a real dilemma to witness time and time again when some individuals and groups sheared in to pieces all achivements.It is one thing to criticize any project to make it more better and useful,but it is another thing to dismiss the usefulness and the positive impact it will create in the lives of millions and millions of citizens.
Dr.Messele, It good to blame yourself for not to come forward to answer the plea of your beloved country specialy at the time like this when we need first hand assessment from professional like you but on the contrary you put yourself mired in politics and you betray your fellow citizens and disloyal to your country.
A lot of people gives all kinds of excuse not to participate in nation building in any kind of way to lift the country out of poverty,specially those who living outside the country whether educated or ordinary individuals.
One thing is certain the Ethiopian people stand strong for the fulfilling of the complition of this Grand project inspite of all odds,it is very ispiring the support getting from Farmers to street vedors,from Soldiers to civil sevants, from Christians and Muslems,even from people in prison sell,from all walk of lives unequivocally throw their support and willing to buy any Bond and they are rashing.
It is shame for those diasopra not only refuse to help but they try to block any fund raising drive by destorting all facts and disturbing peaceful meetings,try to cause harm to official delegates,sabotage the spirit of opposing view by engaging in criminal mischief,burning the Ethiopian flag.Time and time again diaspora demonistrated as extreme radicals, and antgonistic individuals who sided with those who want our country remaine in darkness and poverty.I am sure history will not forgive them.
Ethiopia shall prosper,the people of Ethiopia well understood what is at stake they are marching for the implementation of not only the Abay Dam but other major projects as well with or without the diaspora.
I like to thank all who stand up to the face of the hateful individuals and the Derg remenants.
Thank you Dear Kena Keb for clear and important comment.
God bless all those who help their poor country.
Messele Zewdie Ejeta
You were invited to contribute your share on the merits of the Millennium Dam as an Engineer by profession. And yet you declined the invitation and went on a political rumbling. Shame on you. Ethiopia doesn’t need paranoid freaks like you.
Here comes another batch of the Alemayehu G/mariam group who writes all nonsense and claiming the only one having PHD in hydrology I am afraid with your credential you can’t contain a bottle of water .Who cares about your Phd unless it is helping your country.Do you think we are going to wait until we get your (mr hydorlogy Phd)foolish instruction to build the dam? Too late buddy…
ry disappointed by not reading what I was looking for. My dear Mr M. forget Meles or the regime in government you should have thought about the Ethiopian people because long after Meles has gone the Dam will still be there. As for me I am not worried by the name or who builds it as long as they build it. The benefit will be for the Ethiopia I hope I will see another blog this time in the field of your expertise regarding simply “THE DAM". That is if you have knowledge!!!
Mera’raw ke London
Mr Mesele or who ever is your name,
Do you know rusted metal?which undergo chemical change,Your mind is just like that.It cannot produce any constructive idea rather than occupying space till it decompose and turned in to ashes.
My heart tells me to go forward with my follow Ethiopians even though we have a lot challenges to face.
We will succeed at the end.
May God have mercy on us!
Dr. Mesele. You got some of your arguments wrong. As your former teacher at the former Arbaminch water technology institute, now renamed Arbaminch university, i have taught you courses and i know you as one of the very few brilliant students who graduated with great distinction in hydraulic engineering. I always admired your academic achievement and status as a well behaved student representing students in student associations. However, because hailemariam as a civil servant processed your degree certificate in time does not automatically qualify him to a hall of fame. The senate meets on Friday and approves the status of prospective graduates. Graduation is on Saturday, the next day! Such crowded time table calls for hectic processing of certificates, and that was normal as i remember the time. it is just bad academic scheduling. Hailemariam, as i know him was both a good and bad bureaucrat. He was a good bureaucrat in that he has good management skills and is a dedicated civil servant. He was a bad bureaucrat because he plays favoritism advancing the Hawaria religion cause and the greater Wolayita ideology to a high level, has too high self esteem, has misplaced anti amhara and anti tigre sentiments and is too emotional for cool leadership. Hailemariam was the first academician who, once he became a Dean, started the process of ethnic cleansing in universities which was later followed in other regional universities in Ethiopia and is being actively pursued to this day. In fact his attack on lecturers from “north” (Amhara and Tigre) ethnic groups in his typical ethnic cleansing ideology was the reason for me to leave that institute and settle abroad while he was Dean. There is a lot of fuss surrounding his academic achievement. Hailemariam graduated with 3.24 from AAU in civil engineering in 1980 E.C. That is not distinction. It is a 6B, 2A grading. This means he was 75% B student and 25% A student. By AAU standard that is mediocre. In civil engineering there were scores of brilliant students who graduated with very great distinction (3.75 and above) under very hard challenging academic atmosphere. May be because he happens to sail from wolayita where previously not many students did get a chance to succeed may have created some kind of little pride in him. But in the same year hailemariam graduated another student from arbaminch and one whose father is from konso tribe (which hailemariam as i know him despise a lot in a typical south on south racism) named Awoke negash(nick named abega because of his dark skin likened to the former Nigerian footballer Dr.Abega) graduated with very great distinction in electrical engineering with CGPA of 3.8. Such people like abega never made fuss about themselves or their achievement. Politically hailemariam is very opportunistic and has caused a lot of havoc in the south before he managed to sneak in to meles’s house. At one point the party almost considered getting rid of him. he is lucky to have saved his ass. Leaving personalities aside, your kind of superstition that individuals from university will bring miracle to ethiopia because they happen to lecture at university is very shallow. I would rather subscribe to the power of the collective Ethiopian conscious rather than individuals as key to Ethiopia’s success. For example Ethiopia defeated its foreign aggressors because of the collective will of the Ethiopian people. I am not here to refute or not that Meles or Hailemariam are capable leaders. Because Meles came as rebel does not disqualify him to be a person capable to lead his country. The problem is in lack of democracy. In the absence of democracy, without public consensus individuals sky rocket to power like meles or hailemariam. Therefore, because some one whom you know as your teacher came through an opportunistic political ladder through a party which the majority of Ethiopians boycott, it should not elevate him to a high achievement order. That is false reasoning.
here we go again! another self indulging diaspora rant who day dreams from the comfort of his glamourous home in the west. your self serving bravado aside, declining to be a part of the construction of the dam rests solely within you, the lame excuse that you gave us for not to be a part of is however laughable to say the least. The most surprising part of your writing is when you claim the likes of you should have been the agents of the renaissance of Ethiopia, not gorilla fighters, is hypocrisy at its worst. You know that the current leaders of the country had the same chance to go to the west and peruse their doctoral degrees the way you and your coward friends did: but they chose to stay the course regardless how difficult and bloody it was. They spent 17 years of their lives fighting a very gruesome fight to better their country while you abandoned your country and decided to acquire your doctorate degree to serve your personal ego. I wish you did not share the infected idea of “we the chosen people” that is continuously echoed by the lunatics of the diaspora who think their degree can only pull Ethiopia out of poverty. I promise you, you will witness the renaissance of Ethiopia regardless of the contribution of the likes of you. Ethiopia will get to the to the promised destiny that is set by the hard working people inside and outside of the country.
where do we get the name(Ethiopia)? is it Amharic? Tigrigna? Oromigna?. isn’t Greec word ? meaning burnt face or (brown) face. was it a problem for anciant Ethiopians ? no. what is the different b/n America & US. OR UK & England. Name doesn’t make any difference. it is about development.
it is about survival. anyway the only thing we are understanding these days is that,the only problem for this poor country is the voice of, the so called educated diaspora. Either they are jealous,embarrassed or confussed. I’m glad the country is better off with out them.
One more question mister?
If one of ethiopian peasant ask you about he is tired of kuraz or shama in his gojo in 21st century and ask for your help, regarding your knowlege what would be your answer??
PROF . MESSELE ZEWDE EJETA . what an impressive credential you have , BUT If you don’t use your knowledge now when? and if not for your mother land ETHIOPIA whom ? When you said you declined the invitation for the panel discussion , you lost your credibility as an engineer not worthy of your profession and sadly all that advertisement in your schooling was the sad part , Wish you didn’t mention any thing . I am very disappointed . By the way I didn’t know If the article was about you , Minister Hailemariam , PM Meles Zenawi or ABAY . Next time stick to the subject . WE Ethiopians in the diaspora are so blessed now we have you (MZE) and AL .
I SEE YOU AS A POTENTIAL COMPETITOR AND A DIRECT THREAT TO PROF. ALEMAYEHU GEBREMARIAM . I DON’T THINK HE IS GOING TO LIKE YOU BUT GOOD LUCK ANYWAY.
Despora never help Ethiopia before in it’s time of need in 1984 when the world was shock by the image it sees on the TV and donate what ever it has to offer the Ethiopia Despora including professor AL Mariam and Dr berhanu were partying at DC night clubs Did u send 1kg wheat or any thing apart the trainers you send for your brother ?when weyana face Derg in the battlefield were were u Mr Elias Kifle ? And today it’s weyana who is building what ever is build in Ethiopia ofcourse there is no enough democracy but every develop country have gone through this kind of process including in birth place of human right USA by sepressing 40%of it’s citizen as slave and low class humans till 1975 so don’t wish some thing b4 u achieve what is important .here in Ethiopia people are really have the way things are progressing espacially abay dam so do get cross with people by cring for Egypt or we don’t eat democracy we need food and development
Mr. Phd ,is this a memoir or what? for a phd your writing skills are weak.You are all over the place.
ou missed a great opportunity to be part of history and you shot yourself in the foot by writing this b.s.
Ago Ejeta you can do better than this Melancholic and Narcistic comments. Isn’t it better to support developments in Ethiopia, whether it is done by meles or anyone.. After all the Dam will outlast Meles’s, you can still campaign against him, and yet harvest the economic gains while and after the dam is built. BTW Meles miraculously saved Ethiopia, not the diaspora.
Because you are not keen to hear the truth you are try to make a point with false assumption.There was historic ceremony for a commencement of the project in the presence of dignitaries from inside and outside the country.I am very impressed by the speech of the General Manager of Salini construction company who is responsible for the construction of this Grand project,this gentelman who over see the project remind the dignitaries how first manage to come to this location more than forty years ago as a surveyor and envisioned this project.It is a dream come true for this professional Engineer and millions other.
Mesfin My advise to you is get all facts before you cast doubt on the truth.
I don’t understand what Dr Messele is trying to say in his article. Is he trying to tell us his academic success?
I found no substance at all. what is the problem with this people? For me, the farmers in ethiopia are getting better than the so called “academicians”
I have similar academic success as you do but I don’t write article on the hottest issue just to tell people what I achieved so far. Shame on u brother!
I got question for all of you who are against Dr. Messele. How many of you are a high school graduate or a drop out? There are millions of ppls like Dr Messele who have a good education but cant work for thier beloved country. First of all, Woyane have an education phobia. I dont blame Dr. Messele for not contributing to Ethiopia or Abay. How can one deal with a bunch of thugs and damn ass polticians. There is no way u can achieve, if u r not a part of thier stupid poltics. We need to admit the fact that, all those Drs and professors worked hard and got the recognition. How many of us do we have a high school diploma? how many of us work in gas station or parking lot and brag about poltics or Engineering? Come on guys just because some one opposed woyane it doesnt make him stupid.
I am surprised this water ‘expert’ has had the wisdom and the courage to affix his good name to an article which frankly exposes him for the shallow critic that he is.
I can’t begin to imagine what could have gone in his PHD dissertation given his palpable lack of depth in making any substantive comment on a matter apparently of his academic specialism.
min tekabazraleh!! no body call Dr.messele stupid.we ask clarification.that’s it.he is highly educated man and we say ethiopia needs him.we want him to get out of this telkasha diaspora politics and contribute to the development of our country.period. TIGRAYO please go and finish your high school!! let it start from you bozo!!!
If you carefully read the comments regarding Dr. Messele’s article, you will notice that they are given by two types of commenters. Some disagree with the writer simply because they are hardcore supporters of TPLF/EPRDF. Others (myself included) expressed their disappointment with writer for the apparent lack of professional analysis of the issue in his article. He talked much about his educational achievement but failed to give us a scholarly analysis on the feasibility of the project and its impact on the geopolitics of the region. I agree with you that many highly trained professionals live outside Ethiopia due to the unfavorable condition created by woyane. But this is not the issue here. It doesn’t make any sense for an individual to talk high of his/her academic achievements and write a timewaster article full of baloney. You seem to be repulsive of high school dropouts but I think even a high school dropout will not argue that the Abay dam project is doomed because it has inappropriate name.
Mark Twain, an Author and a lecturer, who is considerd by many as “the father of American litrature,” didn’t even make it through elementary scholl, he educated himself in public libraries. Our own great journalist and author Pawlos Gnogno also did graduate from fourth grade as he himself put it. Don’t get me wrong, going to school is very important and education is essential, but when it comes to the toxic diaspora so called educated people, it is just a waste.
Thedy Roosvelt once said “NO ONE CARES HOW MUCH YOU KNOW, UNTILL THEY KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CARE”
Counting grades and credentials is not a bread which feeds our people nor a sollution for Ethiopia’s problem. What ever politics you’re following you need to show it by doing some thing for the things you believe in, Whether you go to the mountains wedging war or going in the country and working for your people. Crying for the last 20 years siting in your comfort zone enjoying your life while wishing dooms day for Ethiopians back home, is too much and embarssing to the rest of the descent educated Ethiopians, who are back home working so hard night and day where ever they are needed, without any complain, whether they agree with the politics or not.
Regrets, they will have none. Because atleast with their knowledge they have saved lives as doctors, they have built bridges, roads, schools, hospitals, dams, etc,,as enginers. And so on.
So tell me what ever the diaspora toxic so called educated, PHD, wanna be opposite politicians have ever done for their country in the last twenty years. Imagine, it is one whole generation life.
I think what this article reminds us that wisdom is not totally measured by the academic achievement one could have obtained. Life and work experience are very crucial in the choices and decisions we make in life. I think the writer lacks a clear vision and the latter.
This was a once in a life time opportunity for him to tell his grand kids (sibilings) that he was in some how connected to the construction of the Abay Dam. He could have told the panel what he told us in his article, “I did not have enough information about its details. My only information about it is from what I have been hearing through and reading in various media.” And , then continue contributing on his honest professional opinion. Sometimes, “I don’t know” is a very good answer, you know.
Rather, he chose to tell us his connection with his former teacher who has now become a minister and he was afraid of the critic that being in the panel discussion might have associated him with the current government. If you had a clear vision, the discussions and questions of the panel, among other things, could have helped you to research and know more about the subject matter you have never even learned from the text books or your past professors. Or, this experience could have opened another door that would take you where you never imagined you would go in your profession.
I think I have observed some issue from a few professors’ articles on this site, first, they could not isolate politics and professional contributions on issues. And, they also lack real life experiences when they provide some analysis on issues… it is either just based only textbooks or their exposures.
If you believe building any developmental infrastructure aimed at improving the life our people and hence the economic situation of our country is good, just do your share and become a good contributor in any way you can no matter who is doing it (or who gets the credit) and don’t worry about its politicization. I don’t think any experienced and neutral subject matter specialist launches his article with the following topic sentence, “While a plan to build any sound and useful infrastructure anywhere in the world, let alone a large dam in Ethiopia that will produce a meaningful amount of power for the country and region, should be supported, its politicization from the get go is unfortunate.”
I don’t think it is too late for everything. And, I hope this article’s discussion has also provided some good experiences. Good luck in the future. I think we need to ask ourselves about the good deeds that we can accomplish for others before we leave this planet with out worrying just for self-achievement.
‘Where is the beef’ ale ferenji.
Black lion Hospital was built by ethiopian people money contribution but named after the King durgue changed it to the wright name. This is also will be built by Ethiopian people contributed money the name is right.
I went to the GTP meeting in Seattle the people by the entrance shouting all kinds of bad names are the Extrimists you know we know it and ET government knows about whom the are talking and also you know they do not mean all deaspora.
I prefer Melese, Hailemariam and all their partners than peole like you who can contribute but do not try at all coast to help ET people to emerge from poverity you do not need to be part of the Goverment to do good in Ethiopia proven by some couregios Ethiopians making difference in the life of the commen Ethiopian peole.
You are milder in your critizem but come out and help your country fellow. You ow Ethiopian people for your achivement.
Wonderful comment, very constructive.
What I wanted to add to Messele is you missed the first chance but this doesn’t mean it is an end of the world. Try to summarize all the constructive comments in this discussion forum that will definitely provide you a new insight towards the perspective of the project (other than the usual Almariam point of view, which is hate politics). This might also provide you wide open door full of opportunity towards the Design of Hydraulics structures that I believe was not covered in any of your PhD studies other than what you had at AWTI in your undergrad. This is how you can be a Professional Engineer ( again taking the PE exam and passing, doesn’t guarantee anyone that one can be a real designer, for your info anyone who studied in any of the Ethiopian engineering schools will pass the E.I.T and PE exams of the US). Once made your mind and you have a positive attitude towards the Project you might have the opportunity to look at the hydrometeorological studies and hydraulic design of the GMD. Take a second chance to rewrite your article that discusses about the project (positive or negative doesn’t matter but it should be technical and about the project). Your personal achievements are good but that is not an end by itself. I cordially advise you to use a second chance if you really have the potential and capability. Hate politics doesn’t take you far, socialize yourself, get to know the different perspective of peoples other than the two ends of the politics (support or oppose) as a professional you can find a playground in between the two ends to help and serve your people. Good luck in your second chance. Take it seriously man, this is a strong advice from your long time friend at AWTI.
I read a few messages and I thought I had enough to post my brief comment. First, professionals have incredible ethics and they must have them in order to make their services clean and fruitful to the common good. Buidling a dam entail numerous questions that make it right or wrong, you may not imagine of all those factors unless you are informed or has appreciation of each issue. It not a good thing to oppose the idea of a project without reason of related professional skills or it is not right to support it for the same reasons. So, it is better to investigate these issues before jumping to belittle or misinterprete the position of a professional. There is responsibility to go along with that action.
I am geographer who has been very concerned by the project. I am taking time to investigate the project before I say anything about it. There are myriads of factors that I have to investigate and understand before I make an educated analyses of the project. I have obligations that I highly regard in doing so. I have to look into issues that would compromise the interests of Ethiopia even if my findings support or not support the project. This is an important point every Ethiopian must pay attention. What that means is for instance, the project may be wrong for one reason or two, but that reason however good to make decision by Ethiopians may in some unintended way may feed the enemies of Ethiopia something to pay attention to or take a good position that may be contrary to the interest of Ethiopia. So, all these factors and issues come into interplay in complex local, regional, national and international issues. The Abay Dam inside Ethiopia raises lots of issues. We have to know or at least understand the scope of each issue in order to support or not support the project. This is not a simple idea to show loyalty or love for the leadership or the country. Ethiopians have to be careful in what they support finding what is and is not in the best interest of the country. History has taught us that the leader does not rely on Ethiopian scholars or respect the ideas of the ordinary person. He has his own people mainly expatriates to help him decide what is good or bad. Has he consulted the Ethiopian people when he gave away the sovereign territory of Ethiopia - Eritrea? Has he consulted the Ethiopian people when he gave away both of its gateways and put Ethiopia for ever in danger by closing the doors upon which its economic progresses could only be advanced? Has he consulted the Ethiopian people when he gave away the lands of Ethiopian sovereign territories to Sudan? Has he consulted the Ethiopian people when he sold the lands to global corporations thus, reducing the land upon which our children and grandchildren will depend upon for growth and economic advancements? Has he asked the Ethiopian people scholars and ordinary people alike to study the present and future impacts of the developments to local, regional and national development efforts and social and environments consequences that will affect each Ethiopian and the country? Has he consulted the Ethiopians when he mutilated the body of Ethiopia into ‘Gossa’ zone called ‘Kilil’ that is a timebomb to engulf Ethiopia when the central power becomes somehow weak and unable to hold the nation cemented together? Why not Meles relied on system that would hold Ethiopians together instead of Agazi that would disappear one day in the future? We have to ask questions and confront and challenge the leader of Kilil to stop him when necessary rather than be his flocks. It is wise to learn from history. If people had learned to say ‘No’ to Mengistu HMariam, may be the course of history in as far as Ethiopians are concerned would have been different and never as bad as what followed in my opinion because the loss of the things I partially explained above are the ceilings of destructions. I am also preparing an analysis on the dam and hopefully that will contribute to what we know and should know to make an ordinary person aware of issues for support of oppose the dam as proposed.
Peace to you all.
even though i agree with most of the thing you write about diaspora politicians, i tend to disagree with you when you undermined all educated diaspora in general. they might be mistakenly disagree with our visionary leader, but their credential is intact with vast knowledge.So let’s encourage instead of discouraging them to return and contribute to the development of our country.let’s encourage our people in diaspora to go to school instead of telling them about those high school drop outs and happen to be successful in life.Education and educated people are the buck bone of development. thanks.
Dear article writer,
Giving name from any event is not a deal, can be anything… is like your name Messele. your arguement and agreement seems fine for me but what is common with PHD haile mariam is you don’t give your recommedations which can be used for coutry.
your conclusion seems like ‘’mecherechaw yesayen, tarik rasun yidegmal….'’ do you think this helps?
I think you are one of the best paid cadre by WOYANE.
You are always there to defend Melese,Hailemariam,Simon ….and other politburo members.
In short you are not defending the interest of the Ethiopian people.
If you able to write next time, please write about UNITY, DEMOCRACY, FREEDOM, JUSTICE, TRANSPARENCY, MULTIPARTIES SYSTEM … ect.
Let us hope that, you will do that in the near future.
The Great “Abay Dam” is not a concept getting ready for a design,it already passed that milestone the truth is
the construction of this Grand project is underway as this very moment.
It is very frustrating to know so many people disconnect from the reality of what is going on the ground back home.
Meles will go away. The dam will stay!Ok!
The vast majority of members seemed to be against this article. I can understand why(name), but insulting him is not fair because of his knowledge in the area of Hydrology and related subjects.
According to his own resume, his former teacher, now is Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister is the most qualified person to head Ethiopian Grand Millennium Dam.
Ethiopia Tenur Lezelalem,
“Going to school is important, and education is essential”
Have you happen to see the above sentence in my comment? Nobody said education is not important.
The diaspora toxic politicians “you know who they are” the so called “educated PHDs", don’t by any means represent the majority of well behaved and the real educated diaspora intelectuals.
When I read the title of this article and your list of your scholarly achievements, I clearly expected a scholarly analysis of the politics of Ethiopian dam building. Instead, I read an opinion piece on the naming of a single dam. I expected more from you, sir, and was sadly disappointed.
Dear Dr Messele;
I really enjoyed reading your article. I tend to supports majority of EPRDF’s policies, although the shallowness and shortsightedness of their policies and planning concern’s me a lot. Yet, the categorization of party sympathizers and politician for any comments or opinions we may raise as oposing the construction of the dam is even maddening. It was always “HOW DARE CAN YOU …?” This is not hypothetical. I was participant of such meetings and/or conferences in the past. I am a free persone who speaks my mined and if that was not what the audience should hear, I know I will pay a price. That is what I did whan I had the oportunity and, I have scars to proof it. However, I never gave up and/or whine. I do not mean that you are whining but there a lot members of the Diaspora who rather whine than genuinely comment and/or fight. They tend to link it to a race or political affilation.
Some thing that shadowed your article is that the flavor of the article is too political, although you personally do not sound like too political. BTW, I support EPRDF’s (dispite my rough past relationship) and the construction of the Dam. But that doesn’t mean that I have to rubberstamp every idea and plan. I believe they are politicizing it for domestic cosumption purposes. But the issue is any thing about Nile is already politicised. Hence, I do not know if that is going to be good or bad. I belive, sending a clear message to those who do not like the success of the construction (which I do not believe there will be any Ethiopian in this category) is not bad. However, hyping it to the level our officials are doing it may backfire. I also worry about the timing and planning. EPRDF, although I believe the most successful governing body in Ethiopia to ever achieve the construction of infrastructures in modern Ethiopian history, have very poor record of sussussful planning and completion. They tend to start raising the shovel before finishing their plans. Here is, therefore, where I blame myself and others like you for not sticking together and contribute our part to at least look at the planning process and contribute our share in improving the planning or challenging the feasibility of the project. To my other colleagues (supporters of the construction), stop categorizing us as “them verses us”. We all are Ethiopians who wish to see the completion of this project and others to come. But it is our right, Dr Messele’s in this particular case, to challenge the idea for what ever reason we feel we should challenge it.
You are Egyptian ….
Aren’t you happy that Meles has the courage to take your advice and change the dam’s official name from “Millennium” to “Renaissance”? Is this a mere coincidence? I don’t think so. I think I guessed it right the first time when I said you may be serving the tribal junta. I don’t need further evidence. Next time feel free to tell us who you are. Remember you live in the free world. You are entitled to your views no matter how fishy and how elementary (hydro, dummy, or dam-aging) they are.
hi what is this too much gossip about Hailemariam the great? It seems that you are envy of the post he assumed. Also, do not talk in the name of Tigres and Amharas. Talk about yourself. Gegema
Your typical adhominium nature does not warrant a reply. It shows who you are and may be who you represent. You are full of reviled behaviour and lack civility. On whose behalf are facts stated? facts are facts.i state it under my name as i have the exclusive right to do so. So get over it dude. Be informed that you also represent yourself and not amhara and tigre people, certainly not when you are polluted with a politics that wants to hear only selective truths. You do not have monopoly over people or what people can say about other people unless even if you think you are part of the business of monopoly politics that is molded to think with gun and speak with gun. . It is not my nature to wish any political post as i am not gifted for it nor do i possess the training for it. I do not want to mess around as some of yours so called politicians in ethiopia do by virtue of belonging to a certain ethnic group. You know what it takes to become an EPRDF politician. I am ashamed that such things happen in the name of ethiopia where politics is nothing but a half-wit display of ethnic hate and xenophobia by people who imposter to as ethiopia’s saviours without the knowledge the training, and as i said before the public will. where is the decency and civility? What is your motive here?
Shame on those extremist Diasporas. How could they oppose their own motherlands development.
Let’s build the damn dam no matter whatever price we have to pay.
If Emperor Tewodros, Minilik, … were alive to day they would be ashamed on those extremists.
PS: Please never forget where we come from and how the situation there is. We don’t have enough to eat(the basic necessity!!!). But some extremist Diasporas seems to forget when they took off from Bole and start eating Pizza or going to McDonald’s and fulling their… with burgers.
Please wake up.
It time to change.
Just one step forwards.
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