I enjoyed reading your front page story of last month, and reading the one paragraph in the middle of the article was what summed up my grasp of the issue all together. “…Ethiopia has chosen the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s office as the focal point for APRM activities and appointed Neway Gebrebab, special advisor to the PM, as the APRM National Focal Point for Ethiopia. Subsequently Ethiopia has also formed a 23-memebr National Governing Council (NGC) led by Teffera Waluwa, the then Minister of Capacity Building…” (A call too close to disregard, Feb. 2013). It doesn’t add up that a country whose progress in democracy and political governance under evaluation assigns government elites to lead the process and produce a report. It matters less that individuals from other countries were assigned; they were mere cover ups.
Two years ago, in its Vol. I Issue no 2 edition in March 2011, Addis Standard published a story on what has then become an unsettling trend of religious tension between Christians and Muslims in Ethiopia; a month later in its April 2011 edition, it published an editorial calling for a cautious handling of neglected facts, such as over population, affecting the world’s longest river, the Nile; eight months later in its Vol. I Issue No. 9 edition in Nov. 2011, it published a story on the new dynamics of violence against women in Ethiopia.
Your story on Kaizen in Ethiopia (Kaizen and revolutionary principle – a marriage of opposing world views? Jan. 2013) has dealt with some of the most confusing aspects of the two in Ethiopian context. Well done. But with your permission, I would like to add a few more points to show how the Ethiopia of today and kaizen will stay water and oil until after the former, as a nation, summons its courage to deal with its ill-fitted uniqueness both socially, economically and politically. Socially, it is the culture of the strong man completely obsessed with self-righteousness; economically, it is the culture of the owner-knows-all and knows- better attitude; and politically it is the culture of inflexibility and intolerance. Nothing of the philosophy of kaizen looks remotely similar to our uniqueness as a nation. Thank you for bringing the issue forward.
Dr. Alemayehu Refera