Ethiopia: Meles Zenawi and the continuing modernization of this nation
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The government of Ethiopia under Prime Minister Meles Zenawi continues to push on in order to modernize and offer hope to the people of this nation. It is difficult to imagine how this nation looked under the Mengistu regime because times are changing.
Ethiopia is a nation with a rich history and culture and in recent times many seeds have been planted throughout the nation and now Ethiopia is beginning to bloom. This can be seen in many areas and this applies to poverty reduction, major economic development, increasing educational standards, building more universities, water sanitation, health care facilities, and a host of other vital areas, which all indicate extremely positive figures for the EPRDF government.
Also, Ethiopia is playing an important international role and this applies to Somalia and being a vital voice in Africa. This applies to issues related to energy, education, trade, free trade, water issues, and regional conflicts.
At the same time Ethiopia is looking for major international investment in order to utilize the rich resources that this nation is blessed with. This applies to gold, copper, platinum, potash, natural gas, and other resources. Also, Ethiopia is focused on developing hydropower in order to meet domestic demand and to help regional nations.
Meles Zenawi and the EPRDF (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front) is a political movement which is represented and open to all ethnic groups, irrespective of ethnicity or religion. The guiding principle is modernizing the nation under a political system which is democratic and which focuses on real issues.
It is difficult to imagine the period of the Mengistu region which had blighted the future of Ethiopia. Added to this is the geopolitical reality of Ethiopia and major regional tensions exist in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Therefore, knowing all these facts then the achievement becomes even more remarkable.
It is clear that some outside forces desire to create religious and ethnic tensions but the EPRDF cares little about religious or ethnic affiliation. Therefore, backward forces which are focused on single issues are being challenged on the political front by the EPRDF which is inclusive, modernist and focused on creating a strong and democratic state.
It must be remembered that Japan and Singapore were both guided under democracy and the same political party ruled for decades because the respective political movements in Japan and Singapore had won the trust of the people.
The situation in Ethiopia, Japan and Singapore, were very different when each nation began to modernize and this applies to time, regional factors and internal problems. However, the similarity applies to the ruling parties in each case being focused on economic development, developing the infrastructure, increasing educational opportunities, and creating a strong and viable nation state which would play an important role within the international community.
Ethiopia is strategically important and this applies to geopolitics, water related issues, regional stability and many important areas. It is vital that major players in the international community continue to strengthen ties with Ethiopia because this nation is a pillar in a very unstable region.
Also, given the natural resources of Ethiopia and the rich history of this nation then greater interaction is a win-win situation for all interested parties.
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