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Damn the gang of futilitarian anti-GERD lobbyists

By Dilwenberu Nega
Jan. 11 2012

Ethiopian Grand Millennium DamSomewhere in Shakespeare’s Hamelet there is a passage which talks about the futility of perpetual protest. It definitely is an eerie reminder of what we are made to witness: a desperate and futile campaign by hopelessly befogged individuals in Europe and America to discourage patriotic Ethiopians from buying GERD (Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) Bonds, simply because they are opposed to the ruling EPRDF. This is not senseless, it is nonsensical. While supporting or opposing EPRDF constitutes a democratic right of all Ethiopians, opposing the building of what is for all intents and purposes the backbone of industrialized Ethiopia, is tantamount to working against the grain of the common good and, therefore, against the national interest of Ethiopia.

To me, the argument of to buy or not to buy GERD bonds boils down to how each and every one of us value our Ethiopianess. Are we a run-of-the-mill Ethiopian émigré who believe that unless and otherwise we do not become leaders of Ethiopia, we care less whether Ethiopia stands still or goes backwards? Or do we have that strong patriotism in us which helps us sift our personal interest from our country’s national interest? These are in essence the “to be or not to be” question for the Ethiopian Diaspora as it decides whether to buy or not to buy the GERD Bonds.

It surely must be a mean and despicable act for the Ethiopian Diaspora to condemn the poor multitude in Ethiopia to live in the dark, while they enjoy all the benefits that flow from electrification of towns and villages. Moreover, do not lose sight of the fact that in Ethiopia, where people still  gripped by the white heat of enthusiasm for the construction of GERD, continue to buy GERD Bonds, there is understandable anticipation that Ethiopians abroad would equally be enthused by the ongoing construction and out-flank them by the purchase of bonds they make. While the first phase of the sale of bonds outside Ethiopia has been encouraging, there certainly is room for improvement. Friends of GERD must, therefore, take it upon themselves to spread the Gospel of GERD: “Ethiopian patriots bond together for the Bond. You have nothing to lose but your fear.”