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Ethiopia: When we were the achievers

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06/04/12

  10:41:09 pm, by admin, 1946 words  
Categories: Yilma Bekele

Ethiopia: When we were the achievers

Ethiopia: When we were the achievers

By Yilma Bekele

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.

32 comments

Comment from: ment4you [Visitor]
ment4you

Unfortunately under Meles the model has been changed to a point a wishful trickle down of wealth from foreign entities is to enrich us all.

It may enrich the few and the connected in Addis beyond their wildest dream while the poor become poorer and more dependent and unimaginable environmental disaster goes unchecked.

“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.”

06/05/12 @ 00:10
Comment from: Melo [Visitor]
Melo

I would rather wear Darmar shoes, Ato, Yelma

I have heard some Horrible, shocking, unpleasant stories about Chinese made shoes in Ethiopia. I have seen people’s feet bent out of shape; have stinky feet, diseases (skin problem) and all aseqaqe stuff.

The Chinese use toxic chemicals to make their shoe, and they use super cheap material since they are selling it to Ethiopia. Their shoes don’t last long and the sole break up quick.
The motto is cost saving in producing these shoes by using cheap and toxic chemicals. Other western countries have also complained about this epidemic.

The difference is, these countries complain to their consumer groups or government agencies and put china on the spot light to change its course or else…… But in Ethiopia, you are on your own. You lose your toes because of toxic chemicals from china, tough luck .So, you know if these countries, Us, UK etc complain about their Chinese toxic chemical products, what kind of toxic chemicals Ethiopians are getting?? Mind you, the quality of Chinese made products in these western countries is high comparing to Ethiopian standard but they still complain about toxic chemical in their shoes, toys, bags, furniture, milk etc…

I say, Darmar shoe is more reliable, long lasting, the leather is strong, comfortable, fits well, does not cause skin problem, made of good material and most of all it makes you feel happy.


06/05/12 @ 01:38
Comment from: Gebru [Visitor]
Gebru

Dear Yilma,

Tip: Update youself! Now in every corner of Ethiopia, not two or five, but thousads of new young local grown Ethiopian enterpreneurs are emerging and emerged.There has never been better time for enterpreneurship in Ethiopia than now.

True, it is sad if wasted your time in the diaspora due to the curcumstances in the past.

06/05/12 @ 01:38
Comment from: C'est moi senait [Visitor]
C'est moi senait

Give me a breack .

Those hod am you mention as a model were a Leba who build everything by looting the poor Ethiopians wealth. Who the Fu£&64k was aba moll …..the peasant rober feudalist pig. No one has brought a clean wealth in Ethiopia history. All of them are Leba. That is why we the true pure Ethiopia bury these Hoddams keerssam closer to hill .

06/05/12 @ 02:33
Comment from: emiru Isak [Visitor]
emiru Isak

It is only loosers wha are nostaligic about yesteryears. The past is past. We are where we are now, with out going to why details. Instead of talking rubbish come up with constructive idias rather. Ethiopia will not grow through talking or by remot controle working. Of course you are not lucky to do any thing better other than bashing Meles Zenawi day in and day out.
Meles Zenawi is doing what he can. Why not you go to ethiopia and do your part? It is onlu through joined hands Ethiopia will grow and the life of Ethiopians change not through day dreaming.

06/05/12 @ 02:44
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]
TEDDY

Certainly TPLF Thugs thought it’s only
thanks of the Crime Minister that
Industrial Production have rised in
the country .The wealth of these visionary persons after being confiscated by the then Derg Junta Regime is actually in the Hands of Tigre Mafiosis and Looter Agazis who
illigally own them .Most of them have been desmanteled for the sake of
Chinese ,Turkish Hindus and Saudis
exploiters !!!Choes Leather and skin business in the hands of Chinese ,Flowers business in the
hands of Hindus ,Textiles in the hands of Turkish ,Tourism and Factories plus Gold Mines in the hands of the Agazi’s Saudi Tycoon and
NADA to the Ethiopian Businessmen !!!
Money for the looter Azeb and her gangs while Misery and Polution for
the Ethiopian Peoples !!!HERE ARE THEN THE SO CALLED ECONOMICAL PROGRESS SCORED BY THE CRIME MINISTER!!!!

06/05/12 @ 03:18
Comment from: Abera [Visitor]
Abera

@Yilma,

your piece is a real revelation.What you care is a few somehow rich people, which contributed barely to create employment opportunities to their country men and women.What you care is about few, while Millions are starving and no access to Education and health.
You condome therefore investiments which would improve the lives of millions through Employment.I’m really ashamed of old Generation.How gready and still in fudalistic thinking they are.

06/05/12 @ 03:49
Comment from: gerado [Visitor]
gerado

Is this moron for real? Doesn’t he know that the Japanese produce cars in America? According to him Foreign Direct Investment is a no no. He Wants Ethiopia to remain feudal so he can enjoy what his forbearers once enjoyed at the expense of the people. It is about time he realises that time is gone never to return, loser!

06/05/12 @ 05:13
Comment from: we r z new billionaires not z old millionaires [Visitor]
we r z new billionaires not z old millionaires

My Dear yilma bekele, you are wrong : The Mola Marus, the Teka Eganos, the Mamo kachas, the Kedir Ebas are gone. Now we say long live the new “creative” & self-made billionaires Like the Hagoses, Atsebehas, the Goytoms, Aregawis, the kahasay, the sibhats & more notably representing the customarily underachieving Ethiopians lady the honourable 1st lady Azeb mesfins. How about that? You didn’t think of that, did you?

06/05/12 @ 08:07
Comment from: ment4you [Visitor]
ment4you

we r z new billionaires not z old millionaires

Do you live under some knid of a rock?

Azeb Mesfin is nasty and a cheat and the rest of them no better. The money they made is the same as others, finding away to extract the billions of US and other foreign currency from the diaspora and aid money from the banking system to enrich themselves, in other words no true wealth creation but stealing. With idiots like you who needs smart people??

06/05/12 @ 09:19
Comment from: Belay [Visitor]
Belay

other than the time of Axum, Lalibela there is no evidence for ethiopia being an achiever in terms of development and hard work. in fact all evidence indicates ethiopia as being a nation where hard work is frowned upon while the culture of laziness is promoted. otherwise why would a nation like ethiopia that is rich in natural resources will be the poorest and the most backward in the world for generations, if it has its share of hardworkers and enterprenuers as this dummy is telling us???? so stop lying to yourself. beshitawn yedebeke medanit ayagagnim yibalal…bring in the chinese maybe they will induce work ethic in our people as they are already doing.

06/05/12 @ 09:55
Comment from: Yoni [Visitor]
Yoni

This guy is crying for being the last generation of Amara Elite who dropped the batton.

He misses the time when Ethiopia was considered to have no sense of economy.

He misses the day the country’s export and import was controlled by 3 individuals.

Back in days if you wear those nasty Tikur Abay or Darmar you are considered Poor Gala while the bole wanna B homeboys import European sneakers .

Chech out what he means

“I am always harking back to the pleasant years of our past. “

-daydreaming the feudal era where his daddy’s oppressed all nations of Ethiopia except their own ethnic group.

“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. “

-Pathetic effort to deny the current development exceeds all the past developmental glories put together.

“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.”

-Lost the battle of maitaining The Amara Supremacy”

This guy misses the time where WE ASK ENGLAND TO LIBERATE US FROM ITALY For THE SALE OF ERITREA.
Yap that is definitely local made. Now the kids of the past oppressors are in the West begging politicians to restore the old Amara rule back to Arat Killo.

This guy misses the time when 5 million Ethiopians vanish BY LOCALLY MANUFACTURED FAMINE.

This guy misses the time where young Ethiopians were forced into national service to fight their own brothers and sisters in the name of Amara Ethiopia.


06/05/12 @ 10:10
Comment from: Amhara Princess [Visitor]
Amhara Princess

Good article.

Well, past/history has its pros & cons (The good, the bad & the ugly) that NOBODY can go back & undo or change. What Ethiopians could have done, still should be doing is keep the best aspects of our past & build on it and DROP the ugly and move on. What stood out most from the past generations/forefathers even our fathers was their PERSEVERANCE, eagerness for self development, self reliance, knowledge, their independent free thinking and can do attitude! Their national interest/Pride that NOBODY in 21st century Ethiopia can never match.

Ethiopia’s forefathers, despite all their shortcomings, had the balls to confront any destroy outsider invaders, the balls to travel from one corner of the country to another bare footed, travelling in the most primitive ways, losing lives like flies so that they could develop a towns, farm lands etc. The forefathers of ETHIOPIA were visionary, enablers, warriors, free people, not only they’d copped with the country’s near demise/total wipe out by Ottoman/Arabia during Adal/Gragn Ahmed’s wars, they got right back up, mobilized the nation from corner to corner and rebuild the nation after their victory. Then they got another massive blow when fascist Italy invaded not once but twice and lost millions of productive citizens, unquantifiable amount in MONETARY/ECONOMIC terms. This is on top of all sorts of civil conflict, natural disaster. With all that, they managed to keep coming back UP and walked with their heads up and try to do their best by the nation and became prime example of free & independent spirited people for the black race globally. All the pride, confidence, free-spirited attitude we Ethiopians have today is all inherited from them. They ruled a “bread basket” nation except in few cases of natural disasters, they donated aid, troops when other nations were in crises. They became beacon of light for the oppressed black race globally, and kindly gave rights to other African, Caribbean, South America nations to be represented by our flag as sign of free existence in one way or another after colonial era.

As I said few times here, Mengistu H Mariam, despite trying to create fairer society based on alien concept of Marxism, communism, he really & TRULY messed up the nation beyond recognition. Zenawi & Co on the other hand are very dangerous kind, are doing a lot worse than their predecessor in terms of weakening NATIONAL INTEREST, divide & Rule, dissemination of ill revised history and encouraging laziness, drug addiction, hustler’s life style, underachievement, undermining national pride. Despite all the propaganda by Zenawi & Co, self reliance has becoming thing of the past & Ethiopia is associated with every Human Tragedy on planet earth as we speak.

While on government level, Zenawi & Co are addicted to Aid dollars/grains/Med supplies, so called development aid dollar etc, on individual level, most people in the country are hooked on others helping them (Handouts), although I do NOT blame them considering the circumstances, most expect other family members, relatives, friends to send money back home or increasing numbers of MEN in Ethiopia sit around, chew Narcotic Khat and discuss which of their female family members to send to Arabia so that they will be relying on WOMEN for a living. YUK! Most 21st century Ethiopians in Ethiopia became superficial, they are mostly proud of other nations’s history & achievements, look upto caucasians as rolemodels while constantly undermining their own, they worry so much about things that are non of their businesses like Premier league! Every passing year you get more & more people displaying selfish tendencies to great extent, celebrate underachievement, always looking for shortcuts to success.

Yes there are countless success stories in current Ethiopia, many run their businesses in GOOD faith, most of NON Tigrays made it to top through creativity, hard work, innovation, education etc. However, the likes of the handful of Adwa Hagoses, Kiroses, Goytoms, Aregawi’s etc that the above poster proudly named are involved in criminal, gang land style of despicable activities, much similar to the Italian, NY, Russian Mafias. They would NOT know handwork, creativity or entrepreneurial spirit even if it punches them right on their nose. I even doubt if they can count the illegal money they are making correctly :):)

… Unlike the above innovative, sharp entrepreneurs aka pure Ethiopians the writer mentioned above from Amhara, Gurage, Oromo, Tigray and all other major tribes, the Hagoses, Yihdegos, Goytoms, Kiroses, Andom’s, Russoms etc that the above poster happily brags about are those Shameless leeches from ONE tribe:

* Who EXPORT contemporary slaves (OUR WOMEN) to Arabia

* Who Smuggle out the nations resources, taking food away from the starving citizens and actively involved in illicit activities losing the nation billions

* Who export Ethiopia’s future generation (OUR CHILDREN) to the western world earning up to $15,000 per child

* Who swapped the nation’s gold reserves with tin-cans with their Areteran counterparts & stole millions of the country’s $ from Citibank with their Nigerian Counterparts

* Who sell lands, displace Ethiopians and import contemporary slave masters from India, Arabia, China

* Who flog every single public enterprise in the country founded, developed, built, nurtured by our forefathers to foreigners at cut down prices & stash $ away in offshore accounts

Nothing to be proud or bragging about these Hustler Hagoses, Asgedoms, Russoms or whatever they are called. Even if you are a Tigray native, you should be ashamed of these Hagoses who are endangering the entire Tigray people’s future. If I were the above poster, I would be ashamed of these filthy Hagoses who abandoned their native Tigray & Aretera and currently gallivanting allover Amhara, Oromo & other regions while most people in Tigray region don’t have enough grains to cook Hambasha and dropping off like flies with all sorts of diseases. You better learn from the past feudal system, Derg System because when the times comes for you to dive 6″ under, you will not take a penny with you. You will be the poorest and most retarded versions of Gadaffi, Saddam & Co

That said, I am ever so proud of the increasing numbers of extremely successful, honest, hard working creative Ethiopians of any kind including the HONEST Hagoses, Andoms, Agams :) who were always there working hard, running many businesses in the country.

06/05/12 @ 11:12
Comment from: Amhara Princess [Visitor]
Amhara Princess

@ Belay

Are you for real? You could NOT be more wrong my dear. If I were you, I would dedicate my spare time to read, look into many detrimental factors and figure out what ETHIOPIA as a nation went through & LOST in terms of Human lives, resources, structures, economic blackout etc for centuries to remain in such state. Even despite all that, HIM KING Haile Selassie pretty much left good constitution, structure, army, navy force, Airline, systems, structures, all sorts of major manufacturing plants including everything the nation still has but sadly flogged off to foreigners. Ethiopians HAD MASSIVE opportunity to build their country. Ethiopia was on the same level as most of the developing nations in the world at the time, even had better leverages pretty much. With the exception of colonial powers, the world was on the same level but Ethiopians destroyed EVERYTHING/THE CORE FOUNDATION from their best heads, every system. Rather, they implemented alien concepts aka communism at the wrong time!!!

Please be rational, logical. Although I know where exactly you are coming from when you say “Hard work was frowned upon"? You could NOT be more wrong. Stop judging history with 21st century mentality. All eras have their pros & Cons, the Axumite empire of all eras was full of darkness but you should be looking at things from a wider angle rather than generalization and myth.

06/05/12 @ 11:43
Comment from: Ajire [Visitor]
Ajire

Yilma….I often find your writings interesting albeit with tantrum at times. But this one veers off on a tangent big time. Although the pioneers you named were deserving of honorable mention they were neither significant nor their fields of engagement impacting in the modern economic sense. Similarly, haranguing the Chinese shoemaker with out telling us to the beginnings of darmar and asko and to further dismiss foreign investment in toto is at best naïveté. The ancien regime was an antitheses to those you mentioned and was no model either. So stay focused. Meles seems to have mastered his economic text book and don’t challenge him there with out preparation. But his ad hoc economic formula is like rearranging the chairs on a sinking titanic. To no avail. The country is teetering to a precipice of fratricidal wars under his ethnocentric rule to which his working (yes, working) economic growth formula may even end up serving as a fuel. So, Stay focused and keep on challenging him there.

06/05/12 @ 12:23
Comment from: GlobalBelaiMariamJesus [Visitor]  
GlobalBelaiMariamJesus

Responding to the transformation at hand and the despondency of the Diaspora to embrace it!

First the the Food Security Meeting and now this despondency!

How long does it take to bring down the Dictator in all of us and transform the future of our people towards sustainable prosperity!

Who Needs Genocidal Arab Revolutions when you can invest in Food Security towards sustainable prosperity!

Revolutions generate Fear and Chaos while investing in education and sustainable development generate prosperity for all. The experience of Ethiopia over the past 40 years is a clear evidence that strategic transformation agendas create growth and development, the paths for food security and prosperity.

I read with interest the attached article about dictatorship and its implications in Africa and specifically Ethiopian context with alarm and here is my perspective.

First we need to ask Who needs a revolution when you can invest in prosperity and sustainable security? Can any one choose Arab GENOCIDE to Ethiopia’s growth and transformation? This is out right insanity. That is exactly what this author is projecting and we need to respond with qualitative and quantitative research and evidence based dialogue!

Revolution are about violence, destruction, death and abject poverty. Creative and innovative evolutions are about managing change with reason and dialogue.

Who is a dictator? What is food security? What is good governance? What is prosperity? Prosperity thrives in communities who have rule of law/constitutional order, private ownership right protection, and competitive free and fair market. Good governance promotes prosperity while revolutions and dictatorship promote poverty, insecurity and famine!

I would like to focus the response of our time towards building the infrastructure for sustainable development and knowledge based investment for prosperity.

First the movie - The Dictator

The recent movie staring the famous Shasa Cohen Barron- The Dictator who seem to originate from the Norther Province of Ethiopia-Eritrea and manages to rule over Arabs in North Africa and Middle East is a very good example of our modern state of dictatorship that is hiding in all of us!

It is food security stupid, not revolution!

The leadership of any constituency is judged by how it fairs on the critical issues of the time. Here, in Africa and Ethiopia in particular, the critical issue is Food Security and private ownership, sustainable development towards investing in wealth creation.

We need educated farmers and journalists first! Imagine if we had focussed on educating the famers on improved food production for the past 40 years instead of all the chaos that was created in far fetched revolutions that left us in poverty and ignorance for 40 years. Just imagine abut the lost opportunity for sustainable development and prosperity. Just imagine what we are doing in the past ten years if we had done similar or comparable things over the past 40 years. We cannot return to those dark and ignorant days!

The education of farmers and journalists should be on the construct of food security and sustainable development towards prosperity!

The old paradigm of struggle against each other need to converted to wards competitiveness for wealth creation and food security for all.

All these require educated and knowledge based constituency. Quoting counter-intelligence scholars as Gene Sharp who wants revolution, instead of evolution, poverty reduction instead of wealth creation has no place in today’s world. The likes of Gene Sharp created the Arab Spring or to be exact the Arab self sustained genocide that we witnessed in Syria, Lybia, Yemen and Egypt.

Ethiopia can do better! We need good governance for sustainable development and wealth creation, not another Arab Genocide or Arab Spring. We already had 40 years of genocide by the Arab led terrorists and military communists. We do not want to revert to those foolish days. Imagine seeking the chaos of Libya, Egypt and Syria for Ethiopia today. This is irresponsible journalism and loony propaganda. Gene Sharp is a proponent of a counter-intelligence propaganda not a proponent of a sustainable grass root accountable good governance that seeks to address the interests and aspiration of the local community!

I wish to see some examples of noble African or Ethiopian literature being quoted her and one can see easily who the author quotes and what he expects Africans and Ethiopians to do with it. This encourages intellectual colonization, without any input from African constituencies.

Please read Ate Minilik and Ethiopian Unity by Tekle Tsadiq Mekuria both the introduction and the chapter about Counter-Intelligence Activities before and during the Battle of Adwa among Ethiopian and Italian Counter Intelligence officers.

All the same read the author of Dictatorship and his own recent outburst of Dictatorship at the Reagan Building -Food Security Conference of G8 countries chaired by President Obama which is a serious departure from the issue of the role of astute journalists raising critical issues of food security in at atmosphere of Global Austerity, challenges of sustainable security that is key for investment opportunities.

Imagine constituents investing in chaos and insecurity! Who needs a revolution when you can investment in sustainable food security and prosperity?

My own observation and study shows that all forms of Revolutions perpetuate fear and genocide, while participatory evolutions empower the majority towards food security and prosperity for all! Our children and the youth of our time will not resort towards bankrupt ideologies being promoted by senile counter-intelligence officers from the banks of Potomac River nor illusive Cyber Domains. We need to sit face to face and discuss our ideas and opportunities and not allow to continuously dishonor each other that is not comedy not tragedy for entertainment.

We need to participate on this debate as the future depends on our ability to choose best options, win-win options and compromise options and not always get stuck with rejection options. We need to be engaged in dialogue supported with facts and evidence that can be corroborated by dispassionate third parties. We cannot afford to go back to the poverty of ideas that created my way or the high way of the past!

We need intelligence and dispassionate dialogue with opportunities to learn from each other.

If in doubt, we need to seek reason over passion!

What ever we do we need to respect the primary stake holders what ever their choice and we cannot continue to dishonor and sabotage their interest in sustainable development and transformational prosperity!

There should be things we can not and never trespass! That is the dignity and prospect of our people towards a sustainable future.

For the sake of our children and future of our people, We need to dialogue further but not dishonor each other!

I look forward to your alternative creative and innovative perspective that energizes us all!

Belai Habte-Jesus, MD, MPH
www.GlobalBelaiJesus.com

06/05/12 @ 12:41
Comment from: Ahadu [Visitor]
Ahadu

At Yilma Bekele,

Is it breaking news or broken news to the Diaspora? Are you sleep-walking? The younger generation is counting dollars in millions all around Africa while you and your likes are still lamenting with the good old pulka-pulka and dunka-dunka types of news. Wake-up Yilma! All is not that easy to sit and talk. Walk the walk my friend. Gone are the days when one could sit and lament. Your types have no place in this competitive wild world of today.

06/05/12 @ 13:14
Comment from: kul [Visitor]
kul

@Yilma

At the very beginning of your article you tried to assure us that you are not being nostalgic. But everything you say on this article shows you are in fact nostalgic. I don’t know you personally but I think you must be someone who last saw Ethiopia during the Haile Selassie era. I bet you didn’t visit Ethiopia during the past 20 or more years. In an effort to show that back in the days everything was produced “by Ethiopians for Ethiopians” you argued that the capital for enterprises like Darmar “was raised, invested and recycled right there.” But you are dead wrong on facts. Do you know that Darmar was actually owned and run by an American investor known as Mr.Mardious Drakjan? I was not born during the Haile Silassie era but I happen to know this fact. I see that you also make a lot of fuss about Huajian but I am not sure if you are familiar with the new and locally owned shoe factories like Kangaroo shoe, Dashen shoe, peacock shoe and many more. Now I know why you and the likes of you will not be able to clearly understand the current situation in Ethiopia. No wonder why Meles and his cronies call you delusional.

06/05/12 @ 13:16
Comment from: Yoni [Visitor]
Yoni

Where is Mr Yilma’s stinky shoe made@? Ofcourse China. Trust Me on this.

Ayeeeeee Menchercher beBado Meda

Mr. Oppose everything Propose nothing wants local made shoe. Lol

Mentioning the past empty glory to today’s movements to come out of poverty is A Joke.

If any Ethiopian want to know abt Yilma’s idols’ work ethics, look no further than DC.

This maggots are sitting on their fat welfare behind daydreaming about Arat Kilo and Kitfo.

They beg the west day and night to bring bak the old dictator and feudal.

They beg Esayas to arm the gullible Gonder youth to sacrifice in vain.

They loot the gullible diaspora in the name of Amara Ethiopia while the Ethiopian community in US is the least economic achiever diaspora community.

They raise funding the name the Ethiopians and divert the money to Shabiya.

In the past all we know about Ethiopia is

Famine
Misery
War
Hopelessness

Kebelle Ration Food
(one bread per family member)

Who wants to remember
the mortality rates, the life expectancy, the school enrollment, women participations, The health care and so on….

Save Ur stinky breath

06/05/12 @ 14:10
Comment from: addiszemen [Member]  
addiszemen

this title should have read “WHEN WE WERE THE UNDER ACHIEVERS”

I don’t really like to read this guy’s articles. mostly very imature and ofcourse out of touch like the rest of diaspora loosers, only intended to discredit our gov, even it doesn’t make sense.
this time “with his catchy phrase but no substance” he even tries to bring the likes of Bekele Mola, Molla Maru, Mamo kacha, etc…all the individual business men as an example of the feudal “developmental achievers” era. LOL!!!
what could be the point?
almaria in the other side brought the century old African slave trade era for the sake of insulting African leaders.
wow!! we know they’ve lost it, but never imagined it to be to the point of making an ass of themselves.
so far we are for sure enjoying the show.
the other day abebe gelebaw turned himself to God, in Seatle Ortodix church, when he realized that stupidity of his at the G8 symposium costing him his credentials.
how about tamagne fogarriw in South Africa putting up the show?

06/05/12 @ 15:16
Comment from: Belay [Visitor]
Belay

well AP you have to take my harsh but factual comment into context. this guy is coming out of the blues and telling us that “we were once achievers” …lol..as if we were born yesterday, while the facts point the other way. i dont disagree with you about the pride that lives with in every ethiopian and it is the legacy of our forefathers for being the only people who fought against the well advanced european invaders, but that is not what this moron is talking about. i just want to add to what kul said above, ato yilma fyi today there are hundreds of mamo cachas, mola marus and darmars in ethiopia unfortunately TODAY we need tens of thousands unlike your medieval time where one or two was more than enough.

06/05/12 @ 15:32
Comment from: bonga [Visitor]
bonga

The land we’re giving for free doesn’t sound right. But foreign investment can bring more capital, create employment, help technology and skills transfer.

We need to fix what is broken. If the products are of poor quality then we need to improve our quality assurance (we do have a quality and standard authority but I don’t know what its mandates are). If Ethiopians are being paid poorly laws need to be improved, trade unions strengthened. If export is hurting us we can discourage it through various means (for example they recently passed a low that disallows exporting raw leather - only finished leather can be exported now). If we have foreigners coming to Ethiopia to do what Ethiopians there can already do, then we need visa restrictions on those sort of people. If one has to know someone to be successful then the anti-corruption department should look into that.

The government is corrupt and it doesn’t implement what is written on paper but avoiding foreign investment isn’t going to fix that.

06/05/12 @ 16:57
Comment from: mesfin_b [Member]  
mesfin_b

It is a fact that we are “regressing” under the Shifta -Meles the Looter adminstration. In fact, had it not been for the Disporas help Ethiopians would have shown the worst human catetrophy.

06/05/12 @ 17:04
Comment from: YeOromoLij [Visitor]
YeOromoLij

Wait a minute!! it is true we had good people in the past. We also had bad people. We have good people now but we also have bad people. We can not move forward without looking and learning from our past. Like Amhara princess wrote, learn from the past. Unfortunately, we have a government which does not want to learn from the past be it good or bad. It just wants to shove it’s Marxist ideas down our throats. It’s always the TPLF/EPRDF way or the highway. And this government is only interested to help it’s own minority people and not help the whole nation.
Instead of fattening the pockets of a Tigre in my own country while I starve, I rather clean the gutters of America. If in the eyes of the law, I am not considered as an equal in Ethiopia to a Tigre, I rather wilt away in a foreign land like America that sees me as an equal as long as I have the citizenship. I rather save money, build my house, start business, employ others and die in a foreign land such as America as long as my freedom right and equality are guaranteed by the law of the land. I would give my blood and die for this great nation called America, home of the free and land of the brave than live in a country where a Tigre is seen above any other nation or nationality in every aspect of life.

06/05/12 @ 17:13
Comment from: tazabi1 [Visitor]
tazabi1

i dont know why people in the opposition like this dude keep making an ass out of themselves, making meles look smarter than he is. whining over the much needed foreign investment in general as he did, is like blaming mengistu h/mariam over the “temro-mastemar” campaign… simply dumb!!

06/05/12 @ 17:15
Comment from: Ademe [Visitor]
Ademe

The preachers of unity and “ethiopianism” are those who are tribalists.They look not the merits of a person but his tribe at first.These people are the cause of centuries of backwardness and still the once who pull the Ethiopia back from progressing.

06/05/12 @ 18:00
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]
TEDDY

The ass hole Yeweynihu supposing defending his leba master has written such a crap “Famine
Misery
War
Hopelessness

Kebelle Ration Food
(one bread per family me)ahye Bandew what about “Megib Le Sera ” NGO “s finaced project !!!In your desperate
Rocky Land !!!For a real Misery you
have the best example .Hope you are not going to represent as a good example of Social
and Economic progress peoples working
days to nights for only 15kg of wheat
per family .War ,whether in the Ogaden ;Gambella and any other part of the country you Agazi Bandits are really bot on hollidays !!!Hopeless it’s because they have hopes that manus specially the youth have chosen
EXILE by risking their lives !!!!TCHINKILATEBIS DEDEB BANDA !!!!Hey Adgi nobody is more imature as you
pasting Agazi bandits and Tigre Mafiosis daily propagandas and whorshiping as Almighty God a blood sucker Tyrnat !!!Whatever the level of your stupidity , Abe has heroically given the proper slap on an international tribune ,to your leba master .And Artist bTamagne has become ,not only on USA vut in the whole world the “Nightmare” for your leba master .Eventhough sell out Aderby Bandas ,TPLF cadres and Agazis have done all they can to sabotage his trip in South Africa .Not only his trip has been a success he did galvanise the Patriots in South Africa wills and mights to eradicate for once and for all Agazi Bandits ,Tigre Mafiosis and Kersam Bandas !!!AHYA LEKESKES BANDA !!!

06/05/12 @ 18:56
Comment from: king [Visitor]
king

yilma.
yu are morn as always

06/05/12 @ 19:07
Comment from: Mj tyson [Visitor]
Mj tyson

What is sad, is that after the fall of the axumite area, Ethiopia rapidly went into a downward spiral, until the coming of Atse Tewdros and his predecessors, the fathers of modern Ethiopia. So for almost a millenium Ethiopia was in the dark ages a period of ongoing internal conflicts, little progress in anything and isolation from the world.

06/05/12 @ 19:35
Comment from: Yebonga Mar [Visitor]
Yebonga Mar

Aytakte Yilma and the so-called GlobalBelaiMariamJesus,

You fellows are still moving on caught in a clock-stop syndrum. Where have you been all these years when transformation has been taking place? Who asks for your expertise any way? You people are good for nothing; simply bragging about petty issues. The type of Alemayehu G. Mariam, Elias Kifle and Yilma are desperate parrots in servitude of Issayas Afeworki. So is the so called chicken headed Belai Habte-Jesus, who enoy showing up his so-called MD, MPH, PhD, etc.,etc., that has given nothing to Ethiopia to speak of. Don’t forget that she has over 80 million population; out of which 65% is young energetic population that has already replaced the old minded ones like the Alemayehu, Elias Kifle and Yilma Bekele. The hell with you all. Ethiopia does not need you any way.

06/06/12 @ 08:14
Comment from: flulu [Visitor]
flulu

This guy has selective dementia.he doesn’t want to rememer all the new innovatores and enterpneurs in the last twenty years.To name few,all the private universties and colleges,so many private shoe factories who are exporting their shoe to europe for the first time in the history of shoe business in ethiopia.you can also mention all the cement factories ,car assembly lines ,so many high class and standard hotels.
As I mentioned at the begnings you defintely have selelctive dementia who doesn’t want to remember all the good things that happen in the last twenty years .
I am not a big fan of the current adminstration but when I see this kind of pointless hate filled oppostion it makes me to support the other guys .At leat they have a clear vision how to make poverty history .

06/06/12 @ 12:26
Comment from: opp [Visitor]
opp

Ybonga Arr,
Stop hallucinating & come out of your shell! a real “keficho busho “ never ever endorse the Tigre leeches. Why don’t you call yourself Hagos Abreha & do us all a favour? kimalm yetigre lemagne.

06/06/12 @ 15:49

rebtel

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