By Tsehaye Debalkew, Washington DC
Tigrai Online - May 28, 2013
A solid and tortuous journey of hard won popular struggle was waged tooth and nail against the military junta for seventeen years after the imperial order was assigned into a limbo. The revolution which culminated in ousting the much vouched sanctity and infallibility of the monarchy abated and cemented by the landed gentry, was however aborted and hijacked by the military oligarchy thereby inviting national democratic movements to sprout across the width and breadth of Ethiopia.
The ascendance of the military putsch into the helm of political power in our country consigned the nation to a perpetually entrenched ruthless and merciless dictatorship.
The dictatorial military rule clamped down upon all conceivable rudimentary human and democratic rights. It's notoriety was climaxed by condemning Ethiopia into a gigantic prison cell of nations, nationalities and peoples, wherein thousands were recklessly subjected to suffocating cruelty and nefarious subjugation by the utter and sheer power of the barrel of the gun.
It is therefore only twenty two years since the much hated military junta was pushed asunder that one reminisces with the utmost felicitation and profound pride that the genuinely heralded millennia years of sovereignty and independence of our beloved nation with its patriotic history of valor has all the more been embellished with brand new historic triumphs registered in the political, economic and socio-cultural spheres.
A mere two years have elapsed since the commissioning of the Grand Renaissance Dam. In the wake of this historic project it is only telling to witness an outlandishly shining and startling crescendo of testimony to the ever spiraling stories of success and achievements that abound in Ethiopia to-day.
An old chapter of the history of Ethiopia wherein the bristling bravado and patriotism coupled with centuries old aboriginal civilization and gallantry was brandished with new assets of renaissance.
Thus modern values of farsightedness, peaceful co-existence, rapprochement, conversation, patience, dialogue, civility, accommodation, tolerance, diversity, understanding, mutual respect, resilience, trust, magnanimity, commitment and an all out spirit of hard work and duty bound discipline and democratic discourse have taken root.
Gone are the days of mutual destruction, attrition and hate. The blossoming of the rights enshrined in the Ethiopian constitution and the burgeoning democratic culture and exercise within the bounds of the law of the land, have given rise to a totally novice culture of peaceful political contestation where political power is achieved through the popular will expressed by the ballot box.
Equally worth noting is the achievements Ethiopia has registered so far in the socio-economic fields. It is appropriate to underline that Ethiopia has inked double digit Growth so far during the Growth and Transformation Plan.
The average double digit growth that has been registered puts Ethiopia in the list of fastest growing countries of the world. By way of presenting some of the sectors that the GTP anticipates to make a lasting impact it is in order to cite some of the salient results attained. In this regard one can enumerate that the country envisions to generate over 8 to 10,000 MW of energy and laying 132000 Kilometers of new electricity distribution lines and expanding access to power to 75% of the population by the end of the plan period.
Building of 97500 kilometers of new roads including all weather roads to connect villages to main roads, constructing close to 2400 kilometers of new railways linking the country to the main port and growth corridors, raise the number of cell phones from the present of 10 million clients to 40 million, expanding water supply infrastructure to 99% of the population and drilling of some 3000 water wells per year are some of the huge tasks to be achieved through the implementation of the GTP. Other development indices include raising the increase in net primary enrollment to 100% and raising the number of university students to half a million As pertains to the health sector it is anticipated that the outcome will be 100% primary health service coverage.
One can proudly ascertain that Ethiopia which is identified as one of the countries to meet the Millennium Development Goals / MDGs/set by the UN is on track to attain the target of the MDG in both health and education programs. Perhaps a vivid assertion as to the right path that Ethiopia has been anchored on during the last twenty two years is the stark reality that speaks volumes in itself.
The number of universities was only three, One of them was Asmara University. The other two were Addis Ababa and Alem Maya/ then / universities. Twenty two years later to-day there have mushroomed 32 government universities and a higher number of private and faith based universities and colleges. In today's Ethiopia the entire student population is over twenty million, ie, one of every four citizens is a student, thanks to the Federal Democratic Constitutional System.
Ethiopia has declared that its number one enemy is poverty. Twenty two years have so far clearly shown that it is on the right track. With the indelible results attained to-date and with the committed resilience of its hardworking people and the current correct leadership Ethiopia will yet rise and shine further.