Ethiopia is blessed with an abundance of cultural and natural assets of high tourism values. It is a land of astonishing natural beauty offering all sorts of landscape scenery. These are few of the reasons that corroborate the very description of the country as ' the Land of Origin'.
The Oromia State just like other states is home to peculiar and spectacular landscapes and water bodies. The state straddles across the very heart of the country and provides all sorts of landscape scenery that ranges from semi desert steppe to afro-alpine highlands soaring as high as 4377 meters.
Its scenery, natural beauty and terrain are ascribable to mountains massifs, peaks, river gorges, natural moist, tropical forests, magnificent waterfalls, crater lakes with the endemic animals. At the heart of such wonders is Bishoftu or Debrezeit.
The town that is located 47 kilometers South East of the capital Finfinne, Addis Ababa. It is an easily accessible popular recreation and resort town for overnight visitors and weekend excursionists throughout the year.
Bishoftu is named after Afan Oromo word that literally means an area surrounded by a lot of water. The town is in the middle of the following five major crater lakes.
Lake Hora Arsadi is the oldest known lake resort. The lake is 38meters deep to the maximum and covers the area of 1.1 square kilometers. It is only 1.5 kilometers from the center of the town. And it is located in a beautiful deep basin, reputed for water sports and scenic beauty.
It contains a lot of fish species and aquatic birds which give wonderful opportunity for fishing, watching uniquely colored birds and listening breathtaking birds' songs. Among the many bird species found around the lake, one can see cormorants, hammer corps, ducks, geese, heron’s kingfisher darters and storks.
It is also a sacred lake. Oromos from all over the corners of the country with some other ethnic groups celebrate Irreecha Malkaa, Oromo River or Lake Bank Thanks Giving annually at the lake either in the last week of September or the first week of October. Millions of people gather there decorated in cultural clothes, beads and hand jewelries singing in praise and pray to their Creator. All people of different ages gather there and in 2017 over seven million crowds celebrated the festival.
Lake Bishoftu is the other lake in the center of the town. It earned its name from the town but for the other meaning for its annual performance. The lake is mixed up once in a year by internal natural wave. Then all the drawn dead animals and sometimes human bodies are thrown up. That disturbs the smell of the lake for several days. That is why it is named Bishoftu which has another meaning, to mean literally ugly or upsetting.
The lake has a maximum depth of 87m and an average depth of 55m on the area of 17.9 hectares. And it is only 1.3km from the central point of the town to the South and South West direction. It also assumed as the deepest of the surrounding lakes.
Its natural scenic feature makes it attractive and wondering. It is fenced by rocky steep carrying green trees and bushes at the top. The singing birds, the green views and hotels around the lake makes it a very good breath taking site.
Lake Babogaya is the different lake volcanic eruption created. It found to the North East of the town. It has the maximum depth of 65 meters with the average depth of 38 meters on the surface area of 0.58Km2. It is also 4 kilometers far from the central point of the town.
It is clean for water sports such as swimming and fishing. Tilapia fish species is widely found in the lake. Multi colored birds, the green vegetation, sport activities and cleanliness of the lake makes it a wonderful breathtaking place. And the hotels and facilities have made one of the best developed lake side resort centers in the country.
Lake Kurriftu is also among the major crater lakes in the town. It is 3.4 kilometers far from the center to the North East of the center of the town. It is positioned on the area of 20.96 hectares. Its depth is not known so far. It is from the central point of the city.
It is also one of the best resort centers in the country as it has modern high luxurious resorts around and decorated by natural vegetation with entertaining birds of different color. It is also swimmable and good place for sports on water.
The last major Crater Lake in the town is Kilole Lake. It is found on 15 kilometers on the East from the center of the town. Its surface area and depth are not known yet. Birds such as Water Fowls, African fish eagles, cormorants, Egyptian geese, ducks and plovers can be seen easily around it. Their singings also renew minds and fully relax one.
The other shallow seasonal lake that adds attraction to the town is Cheleleka Lake. It is formed by the rain water that floods down from the surrounding hills. It is the home of thousands of birds from September to March. And, it is periodically the feeding ground for about 100,000 flamingos and other wild birds.
In general, it is not exaggerating if Bishoftu is said the center of lakes and one of the best breath taking towns in the nation with splendid natural offerings. Documents from the Oromiya Culture and Tourism Bureau to organize the article.
BY DIRRIBA TESHOME
Many Ethiopians are having exposures to various social media platforms. As internet accessibility increases more and more, the time spent on the social media is exceptionally mounting. Significant portion of the youth bury their heads in internet for different purposes. But more needs to be done to create awareness on how, when, what and why to use the social media.
According to Dr Abiyot Bayu E-governance Directorate Director with Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, up to the end of March 2018, while over 4.6 million people utilized facebook, some 1.7 million and about 254 thousand users googled YouTube, and LinkedIn. Likewise, 81 thousand users visited Google plus pages.
Social media is a vital instrument to share information with people. The key issue in their usage is what information to share. Facts should be entertained on them. They have to be used only for good: to assist creation of democratic system and support socioeconomic developments, but not to devastate the already existing democratic habits and development.
In the case of Ethiopia, democracy is at its infant stage and need to be supported. Unnecessary rumors on social media or dissemination of false information that lacks credibility concerning any issue of the nation have no value to the country.
Addis Ababa University’s instructor of Political Science and International Relations Lecturer Dr. Demeke Anchiso, also said that youths have greater role in assuring a sustainable peace and development of a country by capacitating themselves with the required knowledge and skills. They have to use their time wisely. Unfortunately, some of them are spending more time on browsing internet or social media which do not add them value. They should use it with time schedule because there is no tomorrow than surfing internet all day and night.
Though there is governing policy on social media usage that verifies the information that people share with each other internationally, there is not at national level. There need to be strategic plans to alleviate such problems. There should be a regulatory policy that verifies and controls dissemination of information without by passing the democratic and human rights.
In different words, the right to give and receive information should not also lead to distortion but for the betterment. It should not be in a way that violates democratic right of the people.
The developed countries use social media to share on various issues and concerns such as personal matters, economy, social, health and politics in a way that buildup their countries’ capacity. And the third world countries should take benchmarks from these nations.
The Ethiopia and Oromia State’s Youth Federation President, Tarekegn Abduljebar, also said that panel discussions with youths are very crucial to help them know how, why, when, what and why to use a social media effectively in the roles of youths in assuring development and peace in a country.
He furthered that the youths have ask their needs in a peaceful way. And he told that the newly appointed Prime Minister will engage the youth to assure development, democracy and fairness. They must use the social media in a rational way with analytical care to the information disseminated on the internet.
Nya Jouk John, from Gambela State, a member of Ethiopian Youth Federation said that the government should facilitate job opportunity and youths ought to learn in order to have bright future vision.
She said that Ethiopia is becoming a very democratic country and the youths’ questions on development and any change can be raised peacefully. “We should work together and we expect change in fulfilling the need of youths with in the coming two years as a lot of works are a head.’ she hinted. She further noted that the youths should protect and use their country’s resources wisely than damaging, and destructing government and public property. And they have to ask their rights in a peaceful way and put right information on the social media. They must use the information released on them carefully and reasonably with clear understanding of the information other than accepting without identifying it.
Addis Ababa University’s Journalism and Communication lecturer, Asemahegn Asres, also warned that “We should outline a strategic plan to regulate social media by resolving the disinformation and upload important messages. To improve the problems that occur on social media, the government as well as organizations should take it as a strategic dissemination of information. To this effect, allocating enough resources and man power is vital.”
He furthered that there should be regulatory policy that controls social media after that institutions would have their own organizational policies. “We must have media platforms like Brazil, china, Vietnam that will be operated in our own languages, culture to avoid hatreds and support our country’s peace, development and democracy,” he remarked.
BY SEID MEHAMMED
The agriculture sector, being the mainstay of the nation, is going through mixed trajectories over the last couple of years. While productivity maintains an upward growth, some areas on the contrary have been languishing due to rainfall shortages mainly ascribable to climate changes.
To address the discrepancy, huge interventions are needed with the major grounds and prerequisites being laid. For long the sector has long been a focal point of the government with best policies and commitment in place.
Usually, polices and strategies are designed in the way that bring positive impact on the sector. But the implementations are met with various loopholes ranging from technology utilization to market linkages.
Equally true, two main concerns have been surrounding the sector: mostly poor utilization of technology, dependency on rain not to ignore climate change problems. Again more and practical effort to promote mechanized agriculture and irrigation to substitute the rain-fed agriculture.
All rounded intervention and coordination play an important role in agricultural development including investing in mechanized farming to scaling up smallholder framers. Diversifying crop production, and expanding livelihood strategies within the agricultural sector, may also reduce vulnerability to climate change.
There is considerable room for more investments in various areas considering that significant percent of Ethiopia’s crop production is rain fed, said, Yenenesh Yogu. Agriculture Expert at the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resource.
Agricultural intervention planning is perhaps the most important challenge to unlock current technology adoption challenges and identify feasible pathways to actively engage farmers in the co-design of profitable and resilient farming systems.
To ensure the continues growth of productivity and production, it is imperative to minimize the heavy reliance on rain. There are areas with full irrigation potential. What it takes to exploit this opportunity is acquainting farmers with new technologies and improved farming package, she added.
She also emphasized the need for developing the country’s irrigation systems and water-harvesting techniques. In terms of technology utilization, “what we need to prioritize is to embolden and create demand from the agrarian population to look for technologies. "We should give the technologies what the farmers need not what we need to give to". Before introducing technologies we need to assess what is best for the farmers and best fit to the geographic and weather condition of localities. Nowadays, farmers are desirous to adopt new technologies with the help of development agents.
"We have witnessed production boost but could come under challenge unless the supply of improved seeds and fertilizer is improved. Besides ensuring utmost utilization of every drops of rain, expansion of irrigation needs to be scaled up"
To bring the goal of agricultural transformation in to reality , it calls for a renewed look into the understanding of agricultural technology adoption and application. In addition to deepening technological progress, providing the farmers with improved seeds , fertilizers and farming packages also requires timely step.
Modernizing the sector is a work in progress and requires a fixed eye and continues commitment. To do so, introducing new technologies, creating robust experts, raising the awareness of the farmers are prerequisite, said Dr.Legese Welde, Researcher at Holeta Agricultural Research Center
To counter unavoidable impacts of climate change, promoting irrigation is the best alternative. once technologies are introduced what should done is to encourage the farmers to adopt them, he further notes.
At a times improving the functioning of markets for agricultural inputs such as fertilizer, seed and outputs could also be a means to increase production.
The demand for technology should come from the farmers' side. There is a clear understanding that those farmers with the required technology and package gains surplus production. vice versa. That is why the performance of the sector differs among states. there should be equal commitment and uniform practices to address the discrepancy.
What determines productivity is strict application of fertilizer and improved seeds and packages. Of course the sector is transforming. productivity is in steady growth, but bringing structural change is far from over. need to get out of subsistence farming to commercial one,
Making agricultural inputs affordable and available can also help farmers get increased production. There should also be feasible market linkage for smallholder farmers, this is what I think we hardly do, said Dr. Legese
Strengthen and diversifying cooperatives to provide better marketing services and serve as bridges between small farmers and the private sector is crucial.
For long mechanized farm has been on the table , but it seems to take slow motion. Mechanized farm is both time and cost effective.
Tamiru Habte Mecanization Director at The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resource Agricultural said mechanized farming has been there for long but is at early stage. That is why the ministry designs mechanization strategy focuses on smallholder farmers.
"Mechanizing the sector is capital intensive. It demands huge sum of money to get combiners, tractors and other machinery. The smallholder farmers cannot afford to but the machinery, hence private investments is expected to play critical role in availing them to users in reasonable price. Interestingly, famers are demanding more for technologies," states Tamiru
The ministry works with small and micro scale enterprises and other businessmen to provide the machinery in the form of rent.
According to him manufacturers should turn their face to producing agricultural equipment to substitute imported machinery and make them available to farmers. At the same time, the famers must learn how to operate the equipments. To do so, agricultural vocational colleges should be capacitated to train and guide the famers.
Above all, one of the best yet simple way to create productive farmers is to scale up best practices and model farmers. There is no doubt that if farmers are supplied with the required technology and farming package, they would be able to feed themselves and the whole nation.
BY DESTA GEBREHIWOT
At the end the first Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP I) ended tow years ago , the coverage of clean drinkable water supply was 82, 91 and 84 percent at rural, urban and country level respectively. This was through providing 15 liters of clean water per person in a day within the radius of 1.5 Kilometer at the rural level and 20 liters of clean water per person in a day within the radius of 0.5 Kilometer at urban areas.
The second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) was planned to put the nation at the level of the middle income countries and new standard was formulated for the clean drinking water supply coverage. Since then, the standards are implemented efficiently.
According to the new standard, at the end of GTP II the rural clean drinking water coverage grows to 25 liters of clean water per person in a day within the radius of one kilometer at the rural level which makes it 85 percent. Out of
this, 20 percent will be from tap water.
Similarly, the urban clean water supply is planned to be 100 liters per person in a day at the first grade towns. As well, 80 liters, 60 liters, 50 liters and 40 liters at the second, third, fourth and fifth grade towns respectively. This takes the urban clean water coverage to 75 percent.
According to the report of the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, in the middle of the five years GTP II, the clean water supply coverage has grown to 68.5, 54.7 and 65.7 percent at rural, urban and country level respectively. This means, out of the 100 million population of the nation, 65.7 million or 65.7 percent of the population are benefitted from the clean drinking water supply so far.
Since 1991, about 2.777 million people became users of clean drinking water by over 3.777 billion Ethiopian Birr government investment in the sector. All the states and city councils of the nation were beneficiaries.
With much being achieved in promoting potable water supply coverage , there remains lots of work ahead to reach many areas and quench their trust.
BY DIRRIBA TESHOME
The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia clearly asserts that the form of the government must be Federal and Democratic. And all the political parties should apply the terms of the Constitution as it is the supreme law of the country.
As they are the true manifestation of political pluralism, parties must promote and amplify the free and democratic expression of the will of the people. Political parties also have to be fundamental and serve as a primary rung for the noble cause of political participation.
Parties' formation and their exercise of political right should be democratic and meet the growing expectations of matured political participation from the people's side.
Political parties need also to be democratic inside and out as their internal practices determine the way they operate externally. They should practice what they preach. It is when the parties embrace the true sense of democracy that they would be to lead and develop a democratic nation.
To be internally democratic, political parties have to allow their members to participate in the decision making and deliberation process within the party structure. For the parties come up with sound policies and political programs, the parties ought to nurture citizens’ political competence and/or producing more capable representatives.
Democratization should not also impede parties to keep their electoral promises and dilute the power of a party’s inner leadership. Those who fail to bring intended positive impacts on the party must leave power to the better and accepted one.
Internal functioning of parties should be legally regulated and open to the people of the nation to be reliable. This includes candidate selection rules; internal elections for leadership positions; or women’s and minorities’ representation in the party leadership. This leads to legal acknowledgment of the need for democratic culture inside political parties and intra-party democracy a central focus of political parties’.
As well, they should respect their members’ rights including toleration of party factions, direct participation of members in direct decision-making and elections in their selection procedures. The relations between the party and its parliamentary group should also be democratic as it plays pivotal role in democratization.
They must be made independent and relay on free thinking. The members and structures of the party have to be autonomous including decision-making concerning election and replacing local leadership. The competences and the election procedure of party leaders must be democratic. In fact, an exemplary lessen was set in the history of the country just few days ago.
The recent features of the ruling coalition, Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), have ventured a unique form of intra-party democracy. The front has been discussing the causes and solutions for public grievances transparent and democratic.
The front and its members have taken key measures to resolve the problems. Among these, the front’s former Chairperson Hailemariam Dessalegn’s sudden resignation was very critical. He decided to leave his position to let someone who would better handle the situation as a solution. This indicated his and the front’s commitment and trust in democratizing the nation.
Meanwhile, some African countries’ ruling parties’ leaders were fighting on power. The former leaders were not willing to leave their position though their parties and peoples were urging them to step down.
EPDRF’s discussion and approval of the resignation demand were very democratic as well. The peaceful and democratic selection procedure of the new leader through long discussion has demonstrated its internal democratic behavior. The transition of the key political position has also shown the commitment and the strength of the front towards democratization.
And the acceptance the elected leader achieved from the members of the front and Ethiopian peoples’ at large has cemented the trust the nation has on the ruling to which the parliamentarians did again. This democratic and peaceful power transition emanates from the very nature of political efficiency and effective internal structure of a political party.
Therefore, the political parties’ intra-party democracy should further be held as a very essential step to pave the way for the future possible inter party power transition in the country.
Ethiopians fought very hard against former dictatorial regimes to secure democratization and good governance and that they have enjoyed these values over twenty five years now. Also, the current government fought rigorously for the prevalence, maintenance and development of peace, democracy and human rights.
These rights that are entrenched in and guaranteed by the cons titution are reinforced on a daily bases because democratic rights, human rights protection and respect for the dignity of the Ethiopian people is the number one priority of this government and will continue to be so in the future.
Therefore, international gover nmental and non-governmental organizations alike must not be mislead and must not be confused by some extremist Diaspora leadership in that regard. Instead, they should rest assured that democracy and human rights are alive and well and are here to stay because as mentioned earlier, these are matters of survival and not matters of choice because they are hard fought for.
The government of Ethiopia will make sure that democracy, good governance and sustainable development are its number one priority. Also, international assistance and cooperation in that regard is imperative, rather indispensable to guarantee these fundamental mechanisms of human rights protection. Therefore, international governmental as well as non-governmental institutions alike must continue their assistance in that regard in order to reinforce those civilized values they have cherished.
As in any law abiding gover nment, the Ethiopian government has the responsibility of impleme nting state of emergency in order to secure law and order as well as protect its citizens from violent activities bringing those culprits to justice. That is exactly what the government has done against few extremists.
The government has also given amnesty to many offenders to help them learn from their mistakes and be responsible citizens. This is what is called due process of the law of the land.
Democratic rights, due process of justice and good governance is well and sound in Ethiopia and is here to stay because that is why the Ethiopian people fought and paid a lot of scarifies for. An excellent example of such a phenomenon is the decision taken by the nation’s former Prime Minister to voluntarily and without any pressure from any one, group or government to resign from the highest post of the land i.e. from the post of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and from the leadership of his own party. Such a bold, courageous and wise decision is simply unprecedented unheard of and truly historic.
It is indeed exemplary not only to the democratic process underway in Ethiopia but also to the whole continent of Africa as well. Another example is the democratic process undertaken by the ruling party in selecting the new leader of the party and thus, the new Prime Minister of the country. This shows that there is no turning back on democracy in Ethiopia because the country is on the right track in that regard.
On the other hand however, those who want to grasp power by any means including through violence are very busy in lobbying and in knocking at every governmental and non– govern mental doors in order to mislead the international community on the current Ethiopian democratic process.
They say among other things that democracy is going backwards in Ethiopia, the government is turning more and more to dictatorship and that there are no human rights that opposition parties are under arrest simply for political reasons etc.
The reality however is that Ethiopia has continued to embark on what it firmly believes i.e. on democratization, good governance, on poverty alleviation and on sustainable development because these are again matters of survival and not matters of choice to the public at large. Therefore, the country will continue to advance following the right trend.
The international community should not be mislead by few self serving hard core opposition parties whose intensions are to bring back the old archaic and dictatorial system.
The Ethiopian people suffered enormously under the former brutal military regime for a very long time and do not have the intention to go back to that old system anymore because they have had enough.
There is no turning back on those hard fought values and norms. No one should have any doubt on that and most importantly, no one must be misled by few opposition propagandists form within and the Diaspora.
Therefore, it is important that governmental and non-governmental organizations alike build confidence on the democratic process flourishing in Ethiopia and continue their cooperation and collaboration in order to further reinforce peace, stability and good governance in the country.
BY YOHANNES GEBRESELLASIE (Ph.d)
Following FDRE Prime Minister’s call on Eritrea to reciprocate to Addis Ababa's readiness to engage in peace talks and resume bilateral relations, Eritrea has once again put the Algiers Agreement as a precondition for any breakthrough.
The question then is why does Asmara put the Agreement in the face of repeated calls for peace while Addis Ababa remains committed to the accord?
Eritrea’s response came soon after Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s official invitation for talks to resume diplomatic ties with Eritrea in his acceptance speech to Parliament that reaffirmed Ethiopia's commitment for peace talks.
Ethiopia since long has been committed to the Algiers agreement while it equally believes that there have been basic issues that should be tabled for discussion, says Dr. Belete Belachew, Researcher at Center for Dialogue, Research and Cooperation.
“It is not Algiers that is hindering any possible peace talks; it is rather Asmara’s tendency to use its conflicts with Ethiopia for political gains. Consequently shuttering down hopes of reconciliation,” he adds.
There must be similar stance and compromise from the Eritrean side as well. Unfortunately, According to Dr. Belete, Eritrean government is manipulating its border conflict with Ethiopia for own political gains. It has been wrongfully using it to quell internal political dissidents and other socioeconomic challenges.
“Former Ethiopian prime ministers had been insisting on peaceful dialogue and consultation, but their calls did not bear fruits. The new Premier's call, though appears more inviting in approach, is continuation of Ethiopia's repeated acts of readiness towards renewing friendship with Asmara, but the regime in Eritrea was nothing but a stumbling block.”
The very problem for Eritrea to reestablish friendly relation with Ethiopia stems for Asmara regime's hawkish behavior and its inclination to use its conflict with neighbors as a 'means of survival,' so claims Dr. Belete.
Seconding Dr. Belet's comment, Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institutes Deputy Executive Director Mogos Tekelemichael says that Asmara cannot use the Algiers accord as a pretext.
The Algiers Agreement applies to both countries. One cannot abide by it while the other side is violating it. Eritrea cannot insist on implementation of one component of the Algiers agreement while violating its other component, he adds.
“Eritrea has to respect the agreement in its totality otherwise for Asmara to question Ethiopia's commitment is nothing but a double standard.”
Mogos believes that it proves hard to end the two counters' stalemate when the Asmara regime's intention is to bury its head on the Algiers Agreement, there are complex underlying reasons that cannot simply be resolved through 'peace talks'.
There are many more opportunities that both countries may use to renew their friendship, Algiers might have been a point of discussion, but the other aspects of the people to people relation are more than good enough to reestablish ties, Assistant Prof. Dr. Tafese Olika Political Science scholar at Addis Ababa University (AAU) .
The Asmara regime has been stubborn to the extent of undermining Ethiopia's relentless attempts to resume friendship particularly in the people to people spheres. While calling for dialogue is an important step for Ethiopian side, it will less likely to come to fruition unless Eritrea becomes more receptive to the call.
“There are no viable alternatives to break the deadlock unless the Eritrean government boldly expresses its readiness for peaceful negotiation and genuine discussion,” states Dr. Belete.
It is premature to tell how Ethiopia's policy would shape Eritrea position as there is no clear policy from Asmara. Otherwise it behooves policy change form Ethiopian side, as to Dr. Belete says adding, it is true that Ethiopia is pushing for creating positive environment for dialogue within the very limited means available.
“It is sad if not upsetting that the two countries have long been in deadlock. No people could be more attached and friends in the Horn. It takes a lot of give and take though sitting in the negotiating table comes first though. It needs more action to bring the stalemate to an end. The people to people relation is exceptional and unique in terms of cultural and linguistic values,” says Dr. Tafese for his part.
It calls for revision of policy as the political dynamics brooks no delay including putting feasible strategy that will bring visible change on the ground. Reestablishing friendly relations benefits Eritrea as much as it does to Ethiopia. It also depends on how serious the Eritrean government could be to peaceful settlement of differences. There are many fertile grounds to renew amicable ties between both countries.
Peaceful relation between the two countries means an add up to the Horn stability and security. It is both the people that has lost so much in the diplomatic row and would make best out of it, if the countries break the deadlock.
It is in the interest of both to normalize relation. Ethiopia is more committed for amicable ties as it strives to horn peace and stability. But Eritrea's foreign relations have not been in tandem with other countries of the region.
The 'no peace and no war’ situation has not been advantageous to Ethiopia, particularly for its people living along the border between the two countries. There must be a change, underscores Moges.
The scholars agree that Ethio-Eritrea’s relation is more than border issue. Hence, both countries need to resort to other opportunities such as the age long people to people and cultural ties to break the deadlock.
BY DESTA GEBREHIWOT
The recent power transition within the ruling coalition is a good start in realizing internal democracy, but some works await the coalition to further prolong the democratic tradition, political and law scholars said.
Still being with in the coalition, the procedure followed in the election of the new Prime Minister and power transition is a new democratic practice in the history of the nation.
Following the political unrest during the last three years in some parts of the nation, the ruling coalition EPRDF has been engaged in series of dialogues in a bid to make reforms that are believed to sooth the chaos. It has sucked some of its prominent members. This has assisted the front to improve the mistrust among the sister parties and identify their root causes which were primarily related to the leadership.
Former Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn’s application to resign from his post to contribute to the solution of the problems was a milestone in bringing forth the fronts practice of intra party democracy.
According to Professor of Public Policy Dr. Costentinos Berhetesfa, says, “The election of a new Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed shows a level of democracy unprecedented in the way EPRDF functions. Therefore, I think it is a major step towards developing an intra party democracy and also towards developing one single party instead of having four different parties with other collaborating parties like the Somali Democratic Party.”
He added, “EPRDF needs to move towards that direction and has to use its internal democracy to the formation of united EPRDF as a party instead of a coalition.”
This demonstrates that the members and leaders of the front have conquered any mistrust among them and brought about unanimity.
As well, he said “EPDRF brought its experience during its armed struggle against the Derg regime. It made the procedure of electing its new leader very secret which it couldn’t have done as a democratic party. It should have made it open to the public.”
This also shows that the members of the council are highly committed to keep secrets of the front and showed loyalty to their bylaws.
Dr. Cnstanteneous also says “Even though intra-party democracy existed, the marginalization of some of the member parties has created mistrust among them and has raised issues. And the internal consistency and understanding has assisted it to reunite.” Therefore, EPRDF, has been solving its internal problems through its democratic values that developed in years.
He further noted, “All the top political positions used to be merit to fulfill the ethnic balancing interests but the current election is unprecedented in that the council members voted for more than one candidate while previously they simply discussed whether to approve a single nominee or not.” So, its reliance on vote also displays the internal democracy.
Lawyer and Political Analyst, Teshome Woldehawariat, says on his part that EPRDF is proceeding in its intra-party democracy but with some assignments to perform in the future. “Its discussions and commitments to improve in these two years indicate the status of its internal democracy.”
Teshome also notes, “It has reversed TPLF’s domination and started tuning to the voices of the people and availing ample space to the majority. Currently, EPDRF’s democratic centralism has become fact. I observed that the election of the new leader was based on democratic discussion.”
He further indicated “The council’s members’ voting also indicates that the front is entertaining pluralism. It went against its practice of simple nomination.”
This demonstrates that the front has resorted from its less participatory approach to more inclusiveness of its members in decision making, according to Teshome.
The Political Analyst and the Lawyer also says, “Its procedures followed to elect a new leader were based on competence and shows that the front believes in ability rather than political merit. It voted for a reliable and hopeful person. Therefore, its intra democracy has moved a step forward. The evaluation system it is following also shows its democratic development.”
His view demonstrates that the coalition is qualifying in its internal democracy and committed to the nation’s democratization.
Dilla University’s Political Science and International Relations instructor, Muhidin Aman also says though the front is exercising some degree of internal democracy, it cannot be said that it has fully achieved it. “The election of the new Prime Minister indicates that its internal democracy has moved to the top somehow.
He further states “Top political delegation used to require submissiveness and did not consider those who had different views within the party. But as I think, the new leader is not submissive. He believes in ideological pluralism. It elected him uncommonly based on competences for which majority voted for while few didn’t. Therefore, one can say that the front is becoming more democratic”.
According to Muhidin EPRDF, unlike its previous approach, is developing some democratic qualities.
The scholars also say that the coalition still has to pass some hurdles so as to become much more democratic.
“It must add a level to democratic thinking within the party to attract the youth and further its internal consistency and understanding where high level of the members would participate. The Premier’s speech also indicates that all should participate meaningfully in the all aspects of development in the country be it political or economic.” Dr. Constantenous says.
He also insists, “EPRDF should not remain a coalition of four separate parties to be fully internally democratic and must work towards merging the members and form single party.”
Teshome on his part adds “The front must work to advance the first peaceful power transition in the history of the nation though it is within the party.”
BY DIRRIBA TESHOME
ADDIS ABABA-Nine places with alluvial gold deposits have been identified in the country in over the last six months, The Ethiopian Herald learnt
Geological Survey of Ethiopia, Public Relation Director, Tamiru Mersha said that the places are located in Tigray and Benishangul States. “Extraction process has already started in Benishangul sites,” he said.
According to him, a gemstone mineral is also found in the southern part of Ethiopia while four metallic minerals have been discovered in Shire, Tigray State.
“In the last year (2016/2017), the agency has identified 21 mineral deposit places and they were analyzed. After the processes, they were transferred to concerned bodies through the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas,” he added.
The Director also mentioned that all the exploration programs are aligned with the strategic policy of the government and its effort to transform the economy to industry during the second Growth and Transformation Plan.
The Geological Survey of Ethiopia carries out geological mapping and investigations related to minerals resources, oil and natural gas, hydro-geology and engineering. Its works are supported with well equipped laboratories capable of undertaking Geo-chemical analysis of solid and liquid samples, physical property testing, and photographic and mineralogical studies, according to the Director.
BY MISAEL LEMMA