Based on secondary and primary source materials, analyze the postcolonial development trajectory of Ethiopia about its environmental background. Using a political, environmental perspective, the paper should interrogate modern discourses regarding the relationship between resources and development in that context. Though it may concentrate in a particular dominant economic area or natural resource dynamism, it should explore an overview of the country's advancement trajectory, including all vital sectors, and take into consideration the fundamental cultural, political, social and geopolitical factors at play
Ethiopia being a landlocked country has faced a myriad of challenges in its postcolonial development over the years. This started from the traditional political scene and dictatorship that has been witnessed in the political arena that has also been the major drawback to the economic development. The political volatility has resulted from the long-standing political conflicts that have increased insecurity in the nation. The political direction the country has taken resulted from the previous one-party state that the country was in in the years 1995 has made the arena give birth to a new phase of leadership transformational process (Abbink and Hagmann). The rebels that emerged over the years against the empire that ruled for a long time facilitated the introduction of the revolutionary democratic state through the political party of Ethiopian people’s political Front (EPRDF). The birth of the multi-party state pushing away the traditional empire system has made a good step in the economic growth of the nation.
Growth has been witnessed in the agriculture sector which is one of the primary source of funds for the nation. Agriculture has been enhanced through the availability of funding system for the cash crops and those produced for domestic consumption. The flourishing construction sector is another economic step that the country has been able to realize over the years. The manufacturing industries and the service sector also play a significant role in the economy and are evidently some of the key pillars of the national cake and competitiveness of the nation in the sub-Saharan region. Despite the proceeds, they have resulted from the revolution, poverty and famine are still killer issues affecting the country following the conflicts that exist in the neighboring countries that it could trade. This paper will analyze the postcolonial developments that exist and the emergence of the new democracy in the nation to its economic wellbeing.
Ethiopian Revolution against the Feudal Systems
The traditional leadership system that was based on empire system had its challenges that faced the nation. The dictatorship that emerged saw economic progression to digress massively, and poverty went high with increasing alarm. The mismanagement of the state positions through the biased policies made the people have much of the state tax converted to suit independent interests. The location of the country favors famine and drought that for a long time was never addressed and people were forced to live in such harsh conditions helplessly. As a result, people were directly exposed to shocking severe weather that also deterred economic growth.
The workers and peasants had to strike on many instances to force the state to take actions through resistance to state orders. Some of the strong reasons cited for the revolution was the state increasing and expensive tax system despite the law pay at which they were being compensated for labor offered at the firms and in the service industry. The effect of the strike led to deaths and sufferings to many, and many people were rendered homeless when the country went on strike in the 1970s. The loyal positions to the Empire also started to defect, and a revolution was built the empire over the years that gave birth to the modern democracy and the development that has resulted in the recent past.
The Derg became the replacement to the Haile Selassie regime. The rebirth of the nation started from the impositions of the slogans that promised development and peace. The new system gained power since their policy was to implement a new regime that favored peace and love in the nation. The land was to be given back to the tiller, and the peasants were to gain rights in their respective areas of work. In response to building relationships and increasing direct trade with other nations, the country under the Derg rule formed alliances with the US and the United Kingdom’s that for a long time gave donations and support for the nation-building until some treaties were signed with the USSR that made the donors withdraw their support. Oppositions grew in this regard, and marginalized parties rose to represent the rights of the minorities. Increasing famine and repression among others were some of the factors encountered in the fight with the Somalis in the Ogaden province (Hagmann and Korf 205). Opposition against Derg governance rose as the people were rendered squatters for their agricultural lands and the relationship that was formed with the USSR made the country have no gain in the newly formed Revolution.
New Federal Arrangements
The increasing humanitarian disaster resulting from poor governance and famine increased the instability in the country. The military was the only organ that had a party, and the growing ethnical splits and tension made the situations turn to worse. The political climate worsened when the USSR stopped their initiative to provide support for the country. Internal feuds rose, and poverty and famine eat the country into ashes. The oppression rose mainly from the students, and most of the elites fled to escape the bad ruling of the revolution. Education tuned worse as the only standing higher learning institution was that established during the Selassie regime. The service that could be offered in the manufacturing and process industry could not meet the standards, and the economy deteriorated further. Democratization and state building became a complex endeavor to handle, particularly because the nation was young. The increasing strain from ethnical clashes and those emerging from neighboring groupings claimed the independence of the country. The military dictatorship was also another reason that made many people flee the nation lowering the education standard of the nation and the economic wellbeing of the country.
Challenges of Democratization in Ethiopia
The political change was first witnessed in the early 90s after the democratic election of the new government in Ethiopia. The new government that was formed was based on the democratic and peaceful representation of all. Many small sub ethnic groupings felt that indeed they were represented in the national cake. This gave birth to the present democratization that is seen in the country. The fall of the dictatorial leadership of the military gave birth to the inclusion leadership where rights and social justice could be practiced in a nation that was for a long time far from receiving democracy for its people (Debelo 24). The main solution that the new government brought with it was the desire and the fight to address the social injustice that was brought about by the poor tax system in the country and the discriminatory ownership rights that were sparsely distributed in the nation.
One of the main factors that have been able to promote peace and social wellbeing is the introduction and acceptance of the ethnical language groups for various populations. Language use has helped the nation to promote recognition that has made people from various backgrounds to feel the worth of democracy and presence of acceptance to share leadership roles. Language represents the heritage of a country that symbolizes cultures that a country represents. Acceptance of all common and uniform language that would be easier for the people to use in public places enhanced peace. Integration and intermarriage have since been practiced, and trade has improved from the good relations and ties made freely in the nation.
The democratic governance made the people of the nation have strong belief in their systems, and a great sense of positive change has made the trade to be positively thought of, a process that has enhanced prosperity. The use and the practice of the pluralist democracy have over the years been the symbol of modern democracy seen in the landlocked country that has also given it a unique identity. The pronouncement of the new constitution has also played a major role to the people of Ethiopia. The constitution has been able to hold the people together by making them believe in a common goal that fosters leaving together and working towards improving the economy of the nation while basing upon the free will and consent of the people (McMichael 247.). In addition to the constitution rights and privileges that the people have been able to enjoy, the pronouncement of the referendum of the long fought for the province of Asmara has been able to help the country secure an economic base. The base is for its agricultural produce that plays a significant role in the development of the national gross domestic product, the national cake. This referendum bid saw the people secure their rights that relaxed ties for economic growth by reducing the tension with the Eritrean government and the local population.
The devolution of power and the use of democratic government system has enabled the nation to have various roles acted upon by all people uniformly. This has promoted the regional balance between different locations of the country thus fostering the equity agenda. Devolution of power has also helped in giving birth to leadership roles from states that exist within the country and giving people the chance to select representatives that they have belief would bring economic product to them. This has played a critical identity in the structural development of Ethiopia and the nation building also resulted from the transformative developments in agriculture and service industry. The desire to overcome the long-term challenges of drought and famine, poverty and economic underperformance has been the key pillars for the nation building.
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