By Yilma Adamu
It is of paramount importance that Prime Minister Abiye or one of his trail-blazer colleagues like Lemma Megerssa pay visit to one or two Diaspora Ethiopian cities.
Unlike the previous two governments, Abiye has boldly submitted to the critical role diaspora Ethiopians have and continue to play in the pursuit of human right, democracy, good governance and economic development of Ethiopia. He made this abundantly clear in his historic address of the Ethiopian parliament and in the town-hall meeting held with the Ethiopian business community
Historical facts of the past fifty years or so leave no room for doubt that the Ethiopian Diaspora will remain a major force in the political and economic life of the country. Consequently, any political initiative aimed at bringing Ethiopians together and charting a successful path into the future cannot leave this growing force behind.
Sure enough, the Diaspora is not unitary in its political outlook, and it cannot be. It is the same in Ethiopia and should be OK too. However, the Diaspora is single-minded in it’s wishes for Ethiopia – a unified democratic nation where human and political rights are respected and the rule of law prevails.
Past governments had, unfortunately, misguided view of the Diaspora. Instead of making efforts to tap its knowledge-base, financial and political prowess, they labeled it as enemy combatant equivalent. They coined laughable terms for their propaganda outfit referring to the diaspora as “Puppets of Imperialism”, “ye-qedmo-serAt nafaqiwoch”, “Hamburger dudes”, “cabby boys” etc. It was supposed to be their little “reductio ad absurdum” game.
The fact of the matter is the Ethiopian Diaspora is a formidable three-million force with extensive intellectual property, financial and lobby power. You will find us as White House advisors, as legislative assistants, as executives, as professors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, in the service sector, in research institutes, in the media, in the army, in the Air Force etc. Most importantly, the Ethiopian community is one of the most respected for its work ethics and moral standards.
Dr. Abiye needs to expand his influence and power base for continued success and security. The Diaspora vision for Ethiopia weaves seamlessly with the vision of the on-going popular movement, spearheaded by the Ethiopian youth in particular and personified by the likes of Abiye and Lemma Megerssa. You can’t find any better partnership.
I strongly reiterate the need for Dr. Abiye or Ato Lemma Megerssa to make a symbolic diaspora appearance as part of their effort to enlist all Ethiopians under one umbrella.
AlMariam has put together one of the mot penetrating and insightful pieces relevant to the urgent challenges of the day.