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Ethiopia - SWOT analysis of Ethiopian Positive Images

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02/02/09

  12:02:05 am, by admin, 1309 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

Ethiopia - SWOT analysis of Ethiopian Positive Images


Ethiopia - SWOT analysis of Ethiopian Positive Images

Ethiopia is a country with many untapped resources and capabilities that is being tainted by negative images. The main objective of this research paper is to analyze and optimize positive images of the Ethiopia using Strength, Weakness, opportunities and Threat (SWOT) methodology. For Ethiopia to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) it needs to build its positive images, rely on its own resources and citizen capabilities which it has in excess.

Positive images of Ethiopia can be effectively used in the world competitive environment. The decision to hold Ethiopian Millennium Celebration, Celebration of National Flag Day, recognition of Ethiopian athletes, the re-erection of Axum Obelisk are some of positive steps taken to build positive images Ethiopia.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the world's time-bound and quantified targets to 1) Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty 2) Achieve Universal Primary Education 3) Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women 4) Reduce Child Mortality 5) Improve Maternal Health 6) Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases 7) Ensure Environmental Sustainability 8) Develop a Global Partnership for Development. Ethiopia is one of the world nations that have promised to materialize the MDGs by the target date of 2015. For Ethiopia to meet these noble goals, it needs to capitalize on its many positives images, rely on its national resources and depend on its citizen capabilities.

As all children in a family have special gifts that build their images; every country in the world have their own resources and brand(s) that magnify their own images. If parents of a child concentrate only on the negative images of their child, the child will not grow up to its maximum potential. Negative images of a country could be a black ink that deters investors to invest in the country, chase away tourists from visiting the country, keeps citizens demoralized, rob their pride of nationality, make citizens hopples and takes citizen’s interest away to invest all their resources and efforts to better their lives.
An old country like Ethiopia should learn from all past positive and negative images of the past. However it should put negative images on the shelf and keep positive once and build upon them. Just as successful corporations identify their niches in the industry, build upon them, and market them to the whole world; so should Ethiopia, it should identify its own abundant niches and build upon them. Ethiopia should say good bye to its negative images and say hello to its many positive images and use them to develop the country.

Positive impacts of positive images of a country are more than income of population or tax base of the government. It is psychological feeling that would be installed in every citizen of the country that installs I can do it attitude. Positive images of a country build confident on citizens to be successful in life, encourage unity and teamwork, citizens values what they have and thankful for that. However, negative image of the country keep citizens head down and they wish they were from country “A” or “B”. In addition of building pride and confident on citizens, positive images of a country attracts sustainable investors to create jobs and increase the tax income of countries, build citizens trust in their government, citizens want to work hard to build their future in the country, the country gain respect by international organizations, and invest in different sectors and industries of the country.

Nowadays, more than 200 countries in the world are competing with each other. One country is the strongest, the other one possesses more oil and gas deposits, some countries have the most population, others are known for their war history, culture, engineering, sports, leadership and political stability. These resources and capabilities are some of positive images being used to build their countries.

Historical positive images of Ethiopia such as Axum, Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, city of Harer which was named a UNESCO World Heritage site, City of Harer (the fourth holiest city in Islam – behind Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem). Ethiopia’s positive images include Fasil Cassel (Built between 16th and 17th century), beautiful cultures and languages it houses, the battle of Adiwa and Mychew the war which modern military of Italian lost to Ethiopian heroes, its own unique alphabet characters, its long distance world record holder runners.

All these historical positive images of Ethiopia prove that Ethiopians are hardworking, have capabilities to build their country into 21st century and beyond. It shows that Ethiopians have the wisdom, the niche and the base knowledge that is needed to compete with other nations in science, technology and social developments.
Unfortunately, the key elements of Ethiopia’s image have been perceived only as famine, red terror, ethnic conflicts, wars with Eritrea and most recently the war with Somalia.
Condensed SWOT Analysis of Ethiopia’s positive image is as follow:

Strengths Weaknesses

Ancient History and culture

High level of educated people outside the country

Vast amount of hydro, solar and thermal energy source.

Success in Ethiopian Millennium to boost the positive image of Ethiopia.

Positive culture of Christian and Muslims living together peacefully

Many cultural and religion sites, monuments and castles.

Unstable and unpredictable politics

Social insecurity of population

The economy and development of the country depend on donor countries.

Poor infrastructures such as roads and communication lines.

Ethnic based political system which creates division and conflicts among citizens.

High mortality rate

Tuberculosis, malaria epidemics and fast spread of AIDS

Opportunities Threats
Vast Agrarian resources
Nile and Omo rivers for irrigations and hydro powers.
Educated and capable resource of employee for new investors
Reversing the brain-drain phenomena.
Separatism provocation from East and West of Ethiopia
Energy dependence on Sudan and other Arab countries.
Threat of wars with neighbor countries such as Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan.
Introduction of Islamist extremism in the country.

This is not the complete analysis but it defines the main strategic areas of building positive images of the country that need to be analyzed. The author of this article will furnish a strategy on how to take advantages of Strength and Opportunities of Ethiopia’s positive images and eliminate some of Weakness and Threats that hold the nation from going forward and progress.

Ethiopia’s image can be conventionally divided into internal and external factors.
Strengths and Weaknesses are internal while Opportunities and Threats are considered to be external factors. It is for this reason why SWOT analysis is sometimes called Internal-External Analysis.

As it is depicted on the table, some of the external factors which affect to build positive images of Ethiopia are – wars with neighboring countries such as Eritrea and Sudan, Expansion of Islamist extremism in the country, energy dependency on Arab countries.
Internal factors which affect in building positive image of the country are - Social insecurity of population, dependency on donor countries, poor infrastructure such as road and communication lines, ethnic and religion conflicts, compliance with rule of laws, tuberculosis, malaria epidemics and fast spread of AIDS, capacity of national health system etc.

In conclusion, Ethiopia might not be able to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by recycling only the negative images of the country. It needs to learn from its negative part of history, put it as past history of the country, recognize all positive images in the past and preset, build upon its positive images and go forward.
Positive images a nation attracts sustainable investors to create jobs and increase the tax income of countries, build pride of its citizens, citizens trust in their government and want to work harder in building their future in the country, the country gain respect by international organizations, tourism sector of the industry would be good tax revenue for the government and create jobs for citizens.

The author of this article is Senior Software Engineer working for one of fortune 500 companies in the USA. He can be reached at Shiferaw_G@yahoo.com.

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