By Melaku Dawit
Tigrai Onlne - December 21, 2013
Our country Ethiopia, which is known for its ancient civilization, long lasting history of freedom, and deep culture of tolerance has spent two decades of forming a goevrnment through democratic electoral process. The different nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia have put their vows and trust on the constitution so that their progress would not delay or collapse.
It’s remembered that yesterday, citizens had been considered as second citizens in their homeland. There were regions where their people were not beneficiaries in their country. Yesterdays Ethiopia was a land of troubles to its nations, nationalities and poeoples. It was not only this. That sever time where the people were not allowed to live their lives properly; where the people were put into endless war, famine and migration had ended for once and is buried.
Today citizens have started tasting an enjoyable life having new hopes and standing on fierce cooperation. It becomes possible to them to live peacefully and move freely with the scarification of the life of thousands. With their scarifications, we got peace, development opportunities, and building of democratic system in the whole country.
Those terrible life styles have ended; the dictatorial leadership has just become a history and we are able to create a country where government can only come to power through peaceful and democratic ways.
It has got a fierce belief that with the established peace and democracy the nations, nationalities and people’s of Ethiopia become the beneficiaries of the development endeavors in an equal and just manner. And they have already started testing the fruits of the success.
The source of all these blessings is the trust and vow in the constitution that the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia had made out of their bloods. On 21 April 1998 the House of Federation of the Federal Democratic republic of Ethiopia has discussed and passed decision that the date which was a reason for respect of Human and Democratic rights of nations, nationalities and people by ratifying the Ethiopian constitution, should be remembered with some celebratory programs each year.
It is therefore, the 8th time that the Ethiopian nations nationalities and people’s day is being celebrated on November -29 E.C. Let’s remember what were the main motos of those days? And In which cities did those holidays were celebrated in the country?
The first nations and nationalities day was celebrated in Addis Ababa. The moto of the celebration at the time was "Our Constitution Is the Manifestation of Our Unity". The second holiday was celebrated in Hawasa with the motto “our diversity is our beauty and our beauty is our diversity and strength”.
The third holiday was organized by Oromia region in Addis Ababa with a motto of “Lets fasten our development through strengthening our unity”. The fourth holiday was celebrated with the cooperation of the Afar, Oromia, Somalia, Harari and Dire Diwa regions. The main motto of this holiday which was celebrated at Dire Dawa was “Tolerance for Democratic unity and development." Addis Ababa had stationed the fifth holiday with the moto " the nations, nationalities and people’s of Ethiopia will cooperate and contribute for the Ethiopia’s Renaissance".
This holiday was celebrated concurrently with the 5th International Conference on Federalism. The sixth holiday was celebrated in Mekele city with the motto “our constitution for our diversity unity and Renaissance.” The seventh holiday which was celebrated last year in Bahir Dar had a motto of “Being one in many, Mary in one in the legally of Meles with our constitution for the Renaissance”. This year’s nations, nationalities and peoples day was celebrated in Ethiopian Somalia’s capital Jigiga. The moto of the celebration says "Our constitution for our Renaissance”.
The nations, nationalities and people’s of Ethiopia are motivated more than anytime in building a dominant political economic society by strengthening their common beneficiaries.
Everybody is standing to keep the constitution which has its basis on our diversity and is the manifestation of the success of the renaissance projects. The constitution is the source for the respect of human and democratic rights, democratic unity, identity of the nations, and nationalities, existence of beauty and cooperation, making the people the source of power and the emergence of developmental democratic system in the country.
The citizens are continuing their cooperation to sustain and spread the fruits of the constitution, to magnify the identity of citizens and their cultural values, and elongate the best experiences so that they will be manifestations for unity and strengths.
It has almost become two decades since the constitution which was ratified by the representatives of the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia start working in the country. Within this time frame, a lot of activities have been done and good results had been seen on securing the equitable benefitality of regions especially in development activities. Comparativly a fast economic development and growth is being registered in every region by using the declaration on Ethiopia constitution that every region have an equal right to development.
By looking the historical reality of the country a multinational federal system had been endorsed and applied by the constitution. This multinational federal system has answered the question of identity and economic benefitablity by the peoples which were neglected by the previous regimes.
The activity of sustaining unity which is based on equality and tolerance and building political, economic society is growing alarmingly. The federal system has also allowed the direct participation of nations, nationalities and peoples to lead themselves in a decentralized administration.
With this, the political, economic and social benefitablity of the people had improved. They are also contributing to the development of the country by prospering (developing) their localities. There are facts that are evidences for showing that regions are equally benefiting.
In order to create conducive environment for the equitable and justified share of regions, the developmental state has also ratified clear economic laws, policies and strategies of development that the people can use according to their realities.
In an attempt to accomplish this, the government had been developing paths to show for the people by taking the best experiences and spreading to the whole society.
By looking on the previous experiences, the obstacles for policies and strategies of economic development have been revisited and corrected. The participation of the nations, nationalities and peoples over these issues is being enhanced and secured.
For the last eight years, regions had been contributing a lot for the registered double digits economic growth by preparing their economic development and good governance s strategies both in rural and urban areas, and by making their people the major actors in the process.
The federal government is building roads connecting regions and fast telecommunication services on among regions. In addition, a dominant political economic society is being established by accelerating electric power supply, Air transport service, empowering the integration of market in the country and abroad.
The 5 year growth and transformation plan is designed to work in a way that enhances the participation and benefitablity of the nations, nationalities and peoples in Ethiopia.
The interactions among the different regions in Ethiopia for exchanging experiences is playing crucial role for their equitable and just share in economic development. There would be no reason that the county wouldn’t join the level of Middle income countries in short time if it solved the obstacles of development and take good experiences to proceed the process.
Here it’s appropriate to look the level of capacity building in regions that need special assistance. Unfortunately these emerging regions are found in the peripheries of the country. These were places where there were no attempt to improve on human power, social and economic development and infrastructures. These were places which the human conditions; spread of poverty and backwardness were severe and worse than in the country.
At this time, as it is clearly ratified by the constitution the political rights of these people are respected. With this they are able to administer themselves, improve their localities and keep the security of their people, and make them beneficiaries of the development, democracy and good governance.
One can clearly see that social and economic institution and infrastructures are being built in an alarming rate in these regions. They are also continuously empowering their human power by learning in Federal Higher Learning Institutions and are improving their administration capabilities.
These areas are currently peaceful more than anytime and the development of infrastructure is growing fast. Conducive environments are being created for the productivity and market relations of these regions.
With the local and external capital investment that is flowing, these regions, are moving in the path of development and economic growth. This has created opportunities for technological innovation, employment opportunities, and additional income for people around them.
Besides the development efforts by the regional government and the people; a special assistance Board was established by the federal government.
To bring sustainable capacity building, neighboring regions are developing cooperation programs and systems that contribute to the success of Millennium development goals. The cooperation of regional and fedelral governmen will continue since the results of the mentioned activities are motivative and important for the future.
Here, it is appropriate to mention about voluntary settlement that is going on these regions. In the first place, the main intention of the settlement is to help citizens benefit from the development and growth of their country. It is to help them be a part of good governance and building of democratic system.
Additionally, the program is designed to protect the good governance, democratic and right to development by individuals. In the context of democratic rights, it’s true that individuals cannot possibly struggle in unorganized way and to voice their interests in such scattered manner.
Therefore, this program helps them to live organize way out of that scattered lifestyle. This helps them to contribute their own parts for keeping their rights and discuss with government structures and solve their problems.
The program also makes the delivery of social, economic and infrastructure services easy. The results of the program show that, it contributed for examining food security of citizens. The program also has a goal of saving citizens out of the dangers of global climate change.
Based on this goal, it has become possible to voluntarily settle people in Somalia, Gambela and Benishangul Gumuz regions. The activity of settlement program considers the democratic principle and was done with fullest voluntary of citizens and by firstly studying whether or not appropriate land (both for farming and grazing), enough supply of water is available. Besides, the activity of creating awareness of the people to avoid aid seeking mentality and to directly go to production was done.
In addition, social infrastructural institution had been built. This settlement program secures the benefitablity of peoples in the development, good governance and democratic system and their participation. It is believed that the program will change the life style and standard of their life in a in a short period of time.
However, those institutions who don’t want to see the success of the plan (especially those who claim being human rights institutions) have been trying to be obstacles on the program-though their wishes weren’t successful.
These institutions want that poverty and backwardness becomes our overall manifestations throughout our lives, and want to make us to be their tourism destination and centers for their poverty and researches, to the end of our life.
They sometimes claim the program is done “forcefully and by displacing citizens for investment purposes” and other time they take the side of environment protection and talk as if there is threat on wild animals.
This program is rather, what citizens do it by their willingness. It is not forceful displacement; it is rather an opportunity that they would be given a fertile land, with rich underground water.
There is one thing they should understand. The thing is that they can't be the first to be concerned for the people who are resettled, for the wild animals above the government.
By book or by crook, this program cannot not be interrupted since it helps them to be beneficiaries of the development endures of the country. These institutions have predicted that the country is just to be over! They said that the country has divided. THey wished that its people are going to fight each other. They expected many bad things to happen for our country.
However, everything is fine here. Their bad wishes didn’t come true. Rather, the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia opened new chapter in their lives. They continued building their country based on mutual understanding and consensus, respect of human and democratic rights, keeping their vows which they write it with their bloods.
They made the Ethiopian democratic republic government with a great foundation. They have again made their vows to keep their constitution in the eastern city Jigjiga. They call “Let all the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia never again give our hands to poverty, dictators… and cooperate and see the success of the renaissance!”