We need a country where every individual is treated equally regardless of their ethnic background, sex, age, medical status, sexual orientations, political or religious views; a country that doesn’t favor or neglect one group over the other groups; a country where merit, hard work, competence and experiences are prioritized instead of nepotism, favoritism, preferential-ism, incompetence, ignorance, stupidity and loyalty to a political party when assigning or recruiting people for a certain job or responsibility.
We need a country that cares for its citizens-a country that provides education, housing, job opportunities, health services, social security and infrastructure fairly and equitably to all its citizens instead of only for a very few privileged groups; a country where there are no first citizens and second citizens; a country that bleeds for its citizens who die in the deserts while migrating to the other part of the world to win life; a country that weeps for its citizens who are abused, bullied, intimidated and harassed by their employers in the Middle East.
We need a country which has independent and vibrant media organizations that work to present accurate, true, objective and unbiased news and views to the public to enable them make informed decisions about important matters that affect their lives. We don’t need media that is totally under the grip of the ruling party, and present mere propaganda, fictitious news stories and ridiculous, senseless, tasteless documentary films to build the image of the government. After all, media organizations are not PR organizations.
Media organizations should be managed by experienced media people instead of cadres or party people that do not know the ABCs of journalism and media management. We don’t really need the media that praise the government for 24 hours for very little political, social and economic achievements instead of critically pinpointing the weaknesses of the government officials so that they can improve and direct their strategies, plans and policies in the best interest of the people they are ruling. We don’t need the media that tells us everything is perfect while social and economic problems are happening right in front of us.
We need a country where laws are enacted to protect and defend the public welfare instead of protecting the interests or benefits of a particular ethnic group or political party; a country where the constitution (the main law of the land) is practically applied to promote development, democracy, good governance and equality; country where laws made are compatible to the constitution not otherwise; a country where the government officials do their job in accordance with the laws; a country where our governors are held responsible for their actions. No one is above the law.
We need a country where there is TRULY independent judicial system that is not controlled, operated or influenced by the ruling party. Our judicial system should treat the governors and the governed equally. Every person is equal before the law.
We need a country that makes sure all its citizens are benefitting from the economic development the country has achieved (if there is any); a country where three meals a day is not a luxury but a necessity; a country that pays us adequate salary to support our family. We are overworked and underpaid particularly, we, the teachers. If we have truly registered double digit economic growth over the last eight years, then we should be able to see its manifestation at least in the form of salary. We need a country free of greedy traders who are working day and night to exploit us.
We need a country that makes sure that its citizens get enough electric supply before making decisions to sell it off to the neighboring countries. It is funny that people in Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan and Yemen are enjoying electric power made in Ethiopia while Ethiopians, particularly those in the rural areas, are sitting in the dark.
We need a country where human rights are respected and protected; country where journalists are not jailed, not intimidated, not tortured, not threatened and not made flee their country simply because they are telling the truth; country where people are not jailed or threatened because they have different political or religious views; a country where press freedom, political freedom, religious freedom and academic freedom are upheld as fundamental values to create an egalitarian (free &open) society; a country where there is no fear; where people demonstrate and challenge their governments to demand for their rights. We need real freedoms, not lip services.
We need a country where public institutions such as universities are managed and administered by competent, qualified, experienced and visionary individuals instead of inexperienced, incompetent and unqualified party men or women. Universities or colleges are places where young men and women receive education that enables them to be great leaders, researchers, philosophers, engineers, economists, agriculturalists, managers, accountants, lawyers, social scientists, journalists, writers, linguists, artists and so on. Universities are expected to be centre of excellence where innovative and creative minds that can change the world are made.
By the way, universities are not ‘Keble’ or ‘Woreda’ administrations where local people should be in the position of administering them. Thus, the assignment of university presidents and the recruitment of university academic staffs should only be based on merit rather than ethnic background. Anyone from anywhere in the country, should be able to be a president of any universities in the country, as far he is competent, qualified and experienced and have the leadership qualities needed for managing academic institutions. Appeasement strategies have to end somewhere.
We need a country where differences and diversities are seen as blessings not as threats. Differences in political and religious views are normal as far as they are dealt with properly; a country where political leaders respect the public, genuinely work for them and care for them. This is so because the public are the employers and the political leaders are the employees. If the employees are not doing their job properly, the employers have a complete authority to discontinue or terminate the contract or agreement they have with their employees. Our political leaders should be aware of these facts. If our country is a democratic country, then it means power is in the hands of the public. The public has the power to hire or fire those who govern them. That is what democracy means. At this point, it would be good to note what Abraham Lincoln has said about democracy “ A government of the people by the people for the people.”
We need a country that creates job opportunities for its young people and its university graduates. Every graduate cannot be entrepreneurs. It would really be a blessing if every graduates turn to be entrepreneurs. But that is not the case. Telling graduates to create their own jobs is not enough. Okay, those graduates who are talented and creative are capable of creating job opportunities for themselves and for many others as well. Okay, then, what about others who can’t create jobs because they don’t have the know-how and because they don’t have the capital?
Look, like governments in the other part of the world, our government should create many more employment opportunities for young people by designing effective economic and development policies that promote local and foreign investments, trade, technology and development projects. You see, in America, Barack Obama and his administrations are very often accused for failing to create jobs for the Americans. President Obama, however, doesn’t respond to the accusation saying, “Hey, my fellow Americans create your own jobs; if you cannot, I don’t care.” Instead, he is coming up with different economic measures that he believes will create millions of jobs for his people.
Yet, in this country, the case is quite different. Here the government says, “Hey, our fellow Ethiopians create your own jobs, if you can’t, we don’t care”. Indeed, that is what government officials invited by universities on graduation days say to tens of thousands of graduates. “The government cannot create jobs; you have to create your own jobs.” I think the government forgets that creating jobs for the citizens of this country is one of its responsibilities. My question is if the government cannot create jobs, how on earth graduates who are novice and don’t know where to turn to will be able to create jobs? Huh, is creating jobs that easy by every individual? In recent years, the government claims that it has created a wonderful employment job opportunities for university graduates i.e. working on cobblestone pavements. If those university graduates engage in cobble stone lying, then what will those who didn’t go to university do? After all, you don’t need to go to a university to study accounting, journalism, economics or mathematics to work on the cobblestone pavements. To lay cobblestone, you need two or three days training. That is it.
We need a country that is free of corruption: political corruptions, moral corruptions, system corruptions, money corruptions and of course corruptions of any kind; a country where land (the main resource in this country) that is claimed to be a public property is not sold or leased by the government by displacing the local people without proper compensation.
We need a country where TRUTH prevails instead of lies, deceits and hypocrisies; a country that is truly democratic where power is only gained or lost only through public votes. We need a country where free, fair, democratic and genuine elections are held as per the constitution. We don’t need elections for the sake of elections. We don’t need election results that are manipulated or rigged. We don’t need superficial elections which are designed or engineered to pretend democratic and please the Western powers and the international financial institutions such as World Bank and IMF to get aid money which half of it goes into the pockets of some corrupt public officials.
Above all we need a country that unites us for common values instead of divide us that will definitely lead us to our fall as a nation.