By Tsehaye Debalkew, Washington D.C.
Tigrai Online March 09, 2013
It is heartwarming to learn that significant development gains that Ethiopia has registered over the past two consecutive years implementing the much avowed Growth and Transformation Plan /GTP/ were corroborated and hailed by good wishers far and near recently.
It is in order to cite friends of Ethiopia who sincerely expressed their appreciation by commending the leadership of Ethiopia for placing its people on a development path that will surely be remembered as one of the inspirational examples of the African renaissance.
These friends of the nation in their commendation did not hesitate to mention the initiator and the driver that has steered the nation towards the sure path of prosperity by expressing their deep sense of sorrow and added that "It is with this in mind that we regret the passing away of PM Meles Zenawi and applaud the peaceful transition of power and policy continuity under the stewardship of Premier Haile Mariam Desalegn.
The numbers on progress in Health, Education, infrastructure and water supply were the ones that captured their attention. Thus they quickly confirmed their confidence that the momentum will surely enable Ethiopia achieve most of the MDGs by 2015.
The foregoing observation is perhaps in tune with the full fledged onslaught that the government and the entire people of Ethiopia have initiated through the venue of the GTP to traverse the long and arduous road of acceding the club of middle income countries in the not too distant future by defeating poverty out and out.
To reference some of the testimonials made herein follows what the famous media outlet the Economist succinctly disclosed. "Wars and famines that scourged the country three decades ago are, thankfully, a thing of the past. Today, Ethiopia is rapidly changing and has recorded constant growth over the past several years. This is having a noticeable impact. For example, infant-mortality rates have fallen by 40% since 2000. According to The Economist, low wages are rising and the agricultural sector, still the most important component in terms of gross domestic product, is being modernized at a quickening pace.
However the Economist continues, " there are still many challenges. For example, inflationary pressures need to be kept in check, while overhauling the country’s road and rail access remains pressing. Power is another critical concern. To help overcome these problems, Ethiopia is looking to develop a progressive resource sector, with particular attention being paid to mining and minerals extraction. For this to happen, the country continues to require foreign investment and mining expertise.
Another one of the friends of Ethiopia that positively supports the Growth and Transformation Plan that is in full swing of its implementation process is the Development Assistance Group /DAG/ which recently stated, " Whilst there is a propensity to emphasize the role and responsibilities of government, we should not forget to remind ourselves that Ethiopia’s success is a collective and differentiated responsibility that hinges on building wider ownership and partnership across all sectors".
"We however recognize that it is for the government to lead these reflections and we encourage the government to continue to invite all Ethiopian citizens, through the organizations by which they feel themselves represented, to participate in the ongoing debate on how to build this country".
I believe such a timely and constructive advice that came as it did from a respected group which practically partakes in the ongoing national drive reminds we Ethiopians the traditional adage that says, " a friend in need is a friend indeed." May I hasten to add that DAG has stood the test of time not only as a friend indeed but also as a friend in deed by steadfastly supporting the Ethiopian people during trying times by fully putting its full weight behind them when they needed it most?
To re-iterate the commitment to the GTP and the principles underpinning effective development cooperation between the government of Ethiopia and DAG, is amply a milestone of friendship and serves as resounding lesson to other parties who simply meddle in the internal affairs of our country without indulging into an effort to make a positive impact through practical support and other consultative venues.
The above considered observations it is to be noted are the factors that have received equal and unequivocal attention by the Ethiopian government which has vowed to overcome such glitches in order to fulfill its promise of over hauling the economy in its firm and unshakable determination to root out the grinding state of backwardness, poverty and injustice once and for all.
What is truly comforting is the fact that the Ethiopian government and genuine friends are speaking one and the same thing as pertains Ethiopia's achievements in the wake of the GTP and the triumphant realization of its flagship project I.E. the Grand Renaissance Dam as follows,
"During the past two Fiscal Years (2010/2011 and 2011/2012) Ethiopia has registered real GDP growth of 11.6% and 8.5 % have respectively. The share of industry in total GDP has increased from 10.8% at base year to 15% in 2010 / 2011. The average double digit growth that has been registered puts Ethiopia in the list of fastest growing countries of the world".
The Ethiopian people and Government along with their good wishers shall rejoice and their detractors and the few advocates of doom and gloom shall surely swirl in a fast forward move into becoming the dust bin of history. Amen!