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
The article on the poor quality of service in Addis is right on. (Inside Ethiopia’s service providing sector, Dec. 2012). As an expat recently arrived here I went to a local restaurant. After waiting for 15 minutes while the service staff ignored me I left. Finally I figured out what to do. When you go into a restaurant go immediately to the counter where they keep the menus. Pick up a menu, decide what you want and find a waitperson. Tell that person what you want and where you will sit. Go sit down and about 15-20 minutes later your food will arrive. Not all in one piece, but little by little and may be without a napkin or eating utensil. Finally when it comes time to leave there will not be a check. Go to the cashier and tell her what you ordered. Be sure to pay the exact amount as change might not be available.
Thank you for bringing the issue of industrial malfunction in today’s Ethiopia to your esteemed readers (Face to face with institutional injustice, Nov. 2012). However, you have argued that the special attention Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has given to the animal husbandry and meat export business, if your sources are to be trusted, has two shortcomings. I agree with the first, but your second argument is somehow short of details and lacks a good argumentative stand. Nearly a decade ago the late PM Meles Zenawi gave the horticulture/floriculture sector all that this country has as a nation: a fertile land, a generous access to government money, tax break and what have you. The result is an industry that is now one of the three biggest foreign currency earners to the nation. Having been aware of the sector’s immense contribution, the government of Ethiopia has recently made available close to 50, 000 hct of land in various parts of the country for the sector.