Empower Ethiopia Unlock its Full Potential

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Adal Isaw ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it December 31, 2012)

It is that time of the year for people to reach a resolution to rectify their shortcomings. For personal, familial and societal reasons, many people introspect a day or so before New Year to get rid of the bad and to start anew with what they think is good. In many instances, people travel a short distance to rectify their bad habit in life. They plan to eat less to lose weight; they decide to quit smoking; they promise themselves to exercise regularly to be fit and healthy. They plan to do these and may be more to live a better life, and, in hope of prolonging their stay in this world.

In some instances, people travel a bit further to be inclusive in their resolution to do good for their partners, friends and families. They may decide to rekindle a love lost for minor reasons; they may go back to their families to reconnect their ties, and, they may promise themselves to stop nagging their beloved circle. They plan to do these and may be more to live a better life relative to the life that they had lived a day or so before New Year.

Seldom, few people travel further than the short and medium distances traveled by other people in their resolution. They do so to consider their society—the unit that makes them who they are as part and parcel of a nation. These people may travel to their country after many years—to share tears and laughter with friends from childhood. They may walk to their elementary school to walk back in memory and think about the pristine nature of their own child life. They may ponder deeply about the many poor albeit outstanding children they knew. As a result, they may decide to do something to better their childhood school, city, and by extension their country to affect a better life. Seldom or not, the decision to consider your own society and hence your own country in your New Year resolution to rectify a shortcoming, if there ever was one, is simply the best. It is with this in mind that I have chosen to travel further in my resolution to become one of the million keys—to empower my poor country unlock its potential as a result.

I never thought of my country as a poor mother per se but as a mother who is still searching for million lost keys to unlock her full potential. As you are, I am one of the million keys and I can help our country unlock its full potential to develop at higher rate than it has done so far. The lock that kept the potential of our country in the dark may be is adamantine from centuries old ills that accreted unabated. But this does not mean that the lock is impossible to unlock. Million malleable keys may break at ease, but keys that are as strong as the collective will of the Ethiopian spirit to stay sovereign suffice to unlock the lock and breaks it to pieces if need deems it proper. This is the best way, the open and relatively easy path if you will, to empower our beloved people reach their full potential.

Our people are among the toughest in the world. They have endured centuries old ills and we cannot under any circumstance question their resolve to become the key; they are one. The missing supporting link, if I can ever phrase it in such a way, is you and me in the Diaspora. This is not to downplay the contribution of the few keys in the Diaspora, but it is to emphasize that a great number of us are still lagging behind from becoming the needed keys. Of course, we are nevertheless the keys among the million keys, though we have not yet become the adamantine keys needed to unlock the full potential of our country.

The key to become the adamantine key is to pinpoint and focus on what we can do at relative ease. For example, if it is possible for us to spend a penny here and there to account for a monthly expense of, say, eighty dollars a month, we should consider a resolution to change this habit and learn to save and invest to become one of the million keys to empower our country unlock its full potential. In the past, we have reacted to depressing news of hunger and starvation in different forms. Today and for most part, we do not wake up in the morning to hear redundant depressing news. Instead, we often wake up to hear the good news about the development of our country, and about the drastic change in the collective will of our people to fight poverty to its inevitable grave. This beautiful news should engender in you and me in the Diaspora a shift in our collective will and attitude as well. And the irony of it all is that the needed drastic change in our collective will to empower our country comes with no expense to us.

The drastic change in our collective will to consider our country in our New Year resolution comes with incalculable benefit to us. For example, consider this simple scenario: as one of the keys among the million, I believe, you can reach a resolution to purchase a one thousand dollar bond to build Hidassie Gidib. One thousand dollar may not be that easy in one bunch, and, you may intelligently decide to take your time to collect a change here and there to account for eighty four dollars a month in saving.

If you do this, you will have a little more than a thousand dollar by the end of 2013 to purchase a bond and hence empower your country reach its full potential. Keep in mind that there is no loss but benefit to you—both in terms of finance and the incalculable benefit that accrues as a result of your resolution to become one of the million adamantine keys to empower your country. This way, you and I in the Diaspora can collectively refute the adage that posits the impossibility of climbing two trees at the same time. It is doable; we can benefit financially while helping our own people reach their full potential. In 2013 and hopefully for consecutive many years to come, I wish you to become one of the million adamantine keys to empower Ethiopia unlock its full potential.