Ethiopia: Change is Inevitable
By Zelalem Eshete, Ph.D.
In response to my article, Ethiopia: Time for a Paradigm Shift part 2, the pro-government (Ethioadvocate) boiled down everything therein to one simple question: “Paradigm Shift for Whom?” (Which was posted on Aiga Forum). The answer is this: it is for all of the Ethiopian people without exception. We all should be in this together.
The argument that PM Hailemariam Desalegn should keep business as usual is flawed. I make the case that change is inevitable whether you initiate it or not. We always need to change if we want to progress towards new frontiers. The old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a breeding place for mediocrity and complacency that ends with a disaster. Even if you claim that the system is working well for you, it is all the more reason that you should strive to make it better through change. You need to listen to others instead of being totally lost in your own world. Ethiopia becomes better for it.
What is the point to transfer power to the new generation; if at the end of the day, the new generation should act just like the old generation? There must be a purpose behind the plan to transfer power from the old generation to the new generation that is more than a show of mere formality. To say that there is no substantive reason for it would not only do injustice to Ethiopia, but also void the legacy of the late PM Meles Zenawi on this matter. You cannot run the country on autopilot. PM Hailemariam Desalegn must lead as he is by bringing new dimensions of the new generation.
Instead of proudly thinking that you have the people on your side, you need to become cautious and avoid taking the people for granted. You should not assume that you have mastered the game so well that you do not need to change. Instead, it is better to learn from one’s drawbacks and improve by embracing change as normal. Settling for more of the same is a recipe for becoming stunted and eventually come tumbling down.
You should not brag, claiming that the majority is with you to the point that you ignore the minority as insignificant. Instead, you should accept change to try to win the hearts and minds of all. You do that by demanding more than the status quo as you strive to become a better servant of the people with each passing day. Change is a good thing.
Believe that the best is yet to come – do not live in the past. Embrace change. Otherwise, you become irrelevant. Proactively bring change that suits the time rather than becoming a victim of your indifference. This is an independent voice of truth in love.