Ginbot 20: Progressive era outwitted repressive regime: Frensenbet W/Tensay

Mr Fresenbet Woldetensay, who is heading Peace Culture Building Directorate under Ministry of Federal and Pastoralists Development, while gracing ‘Ginbot 20’ (fall of Dergue regime) celebration at AMU, in an informal chat he spoke on remarkable achievements made by Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia government in the last 26 years for the betterment of people.

At the outset, he said things were awfully bad or rather depressing during Dergue Regime. Our first achievement is Constitution itself, which is an embodiment of people’s aspiration and fruits of our prolonged struggle. During Dergue, people had land but their farms’ yields were forcefully taken on a very minimum prize.

In the sharp contrast, today, land is the symbol of equity; presently, though it’s owned by the government yet people have right to produce whatever they like and it can be easily transferred to any of their kin or sale without any hassle or interference.

Adding further, he says, importantly, establishment of democracy is epoch-making feat; in that repressive era, people had no rights; now they can organize, demonstrate and express ideas or opinions. In all nations and nationalities people are free to use their own language, profess religion, ethnicity and administer own regions. The establishment of self-administration has further facilitated rights for development, security, peace, and it has also ensured rights for an individual, family and group as well.

Peace is pre-requisite for development and social harmony in the country; previously, Ethiopia was known for civil wars and strife with neighboring nations, but, now they are things of past, thanks to introduction of innumerable developmental agenda that have ensued fast economic growth and alleviated poverty to 21% in the country clearly vouchsafe for our good intent, he said.

However, there are some challenges ahead, basically remnants of Dergue regime - chauvinism, is harming the national fabric and federalism. They support unipolar world, where only one culture, one language and one country exit; while we have given a magnanimous dimension to the national ethos by establishing multi-culture, multi-ethnicity and multi-lingual environment. Our government is committed to promote social security, religious and cultural diversity, peace and inclusive growth in the nation.

Now people take pride in their glorious culture, language, and identity. And in the backdrop of this political maturity, in the last 26 years, 10 regional governments have been established, which are now carrying out their own business without any kind of biases and political prejudices, he adds.

Corruption is the biggest hurdle in the path of development and it’s aggravating, though in Africa Ethiopia is below the ladder in this regard, yet, we have to fight it out. And for this, we want to evolve consensus among leaders, intellectuals and different sections; different methodologies are in place to inculcate the culture of amicable discussions within institutions and people from across the board so that problems of any nature and gravity are resolved peacefully.

On inflation, he informed that three years back situation was bit critical, but, now using macro-economic measures government has introduced robust fiscal measures and for the last 11 years’ growth rate of 11% speaks volume about our pragmatic approach.

To keep peace intact, we are seriously rejuvenating ‘traditional values’ built through ages, which are often confronted with religious or ethnic conflicts which are on decline and through discussions and awareness creation we have successfully quelled such radicalism. Now religious leaders have formed a coalition, wherein they resolve their issues through talks and discussions, he averred.

Nonetheless, situation is better as we are heading in the right direction; now our Constitution is more relevant and federal system is pragmatically applied to ensure inclusive development. As we are going through Growth and Transformation Plan-II, we are sure to win the battles against all odds.

 

(Corporate Communication Directorate)