By: Amleset Abrar
Somaliland sun – Ethiopians worldwide commemorated the 25th Anniversary of Ginbot 20, the day in which a new era was ushered with the downfall of the Dergue military regime of dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam.
Ethiopians resident in Somaliland in company of invited guests from their host country commemorated the silver jubilee anniversary at a colorful function hosted by the Ethiopian Consulate in Hargeisa.
“The day marks the demise of the repressive military regime and the dawn of a new era of peace, development and democracy for the Ethiopian People” said resident Ethiopian Diplomatic envoy to Somaliland Brigadier General Berhe Tesfaye during his address to participants among who were senior government officials, political party and traditional leaders.
According to Brigadier Tesfaye the ruling Ethiopia People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front-EPRDF did not only succeed in forceful removal of the brutally dictatorial Dergue regime but established a democratic government in which the country’s political, social and economic environment has flourished.
“Under this new government, all the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia are recognized equally under the constitution, irrespective of any gender, sexual, religious, ethnic or cultural differences” said Brigadier Tesfaye.
Taking over at a time in which the Dergue regime had become synonymous with famine, poverty and insecurity among the populace the EPRDF government lost no time in mapping out plans setting out its priorities and identifying poverty as the most formidable enemy, that should be addressed immediately, as a prelude to reversing the collapse of the economy.
As he thanked Citizens and government of Somaliland for ever strengthening friendship and cooperation with Ethiopia that has culminated in successful economic, security and cross border movement among the two countries people and for the conducive working and living conditions availed Ethiopians in Somaliland Brigadier Berhe Tesfaye also outlined a number of achievements that have seen his country become an African economic power house.
Said he, “as we join other Ethiopians commemorating the silver jubilee anniversary of Ginbot 20 it is worth mentioning some more of the tangible strides the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has garnered in the quarter century since the fall of the Dergue”
In summary some of the sectors noted by the diplomat included
After three years of the Ethiopian provisional government, and having involved citizens from m all walks of life nationwide the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was drafted and promulgated.
In its process of democratization, Ethiopia held its fifth multiparty elections last year that were independently verified as having been free and fair.
Prior to 2000 Ethiopia which was repeatedly to be the world’s second poorest country but today it is the seventh-fastest growing economy courtesy of an EPRDF economic development strategy that has since then seen an acceleration of GDP growth from 0.5% to 11%,.
This dramatic economic growth with which Ethiopia has inscribed its name among the leading emerging economies of the world resulting in Life expectancy rising by one year annually since 2000 also gives credibility to the governments’ target of middle income status by 2025.
With economic growth alleviating poverty and attendant rise in life expectancy ensuring access to adequate medical attention to the over 100,000,000 population of Ethiopia has been from year one in 1991 been a challenge thus a priority for the EPRDF government.
Unbowed by this seemingly insurmountable challenge , todate the authorities have seen to it that citizens have access to a health facility within Five kilometres from residence, added 18,000 medical centers and built over 200 fully fledged hospitals .
Including the above infrastructural development coupled with attendant equipment , Ethiopia’s health sector that has a professional work force of 40,000 is currently availing apt medical attention to 90% of its huge population.
With primary education enrollment rate having doubled to 90% in the last decade, the Ethiopian government is now working even harder to further increase access to education in underserved areas.
The increase in primary school enrollment coupled with improvement in overall quality of education has further lowered the drop-out rate nationwide where 27,000,000 students are pursuing studies at various levels of learning.
While sustainable food security is a never ending challenge as well as ongoing strategies to transform the local economy to a manufacturing driven one, the education sector is playing a major role with the production of diploma and degree level trained cadres with skills in various agricultural, engineering and management fields.
Bordered by five countries Ethiopia with a total area of 1,127,127 square kilometers (935,183 square miles), with Adis Ababa the highest capital city in Africa at 2,400 meters (8,000 feet) offers major logistical challenges.
Since the exit of the Derge dictatorial regime the EPRDF government has strived to ensure that its people are availed ease of movement and instant connectivity.
Today an asphalt network of roads stretching over 100,000 kilometres has been put in place while 76m citizens nationwide have access to landline and/or mobile phones.
In the capital Adis Ababa residents are currently utilizing a five kilometres of electric train service whose development is also ongoing with a view to covering the entire city while the railway connecting the Ethiopian capital to Djibouti has been modernized.
energy is something that is most demanding in the growing economy of Ethiopia at the moment.
And with intent to providing both domestic demand and export of surplus to Neighbouring countries and beyond Ethiopia aims to increase its current power production capacity from 2000 MW to 10,000
With 7 hydroelectric and 3 wind powered plants the government has managed to so far avail residents of 5600 towns 24/7 access to electricity.
The multi-million dollar millennium Dam under construction at the moment is another major boost to power generation capacity once completed.
Without any doubt many achievements have been garnered in the Ginbot 20 era spanning 25 years worthy mention also being the fact that over 45% of citizens own houses in which they dwell while 67% have access to sufficient clean drinking water.
It is therefore without doubt that the socio-economic and political situation of the country has altered radically and completely following the overthrow of the military regime and the coming of Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to power in 1991.
Dignitaries from Somaliland who were all in accord on the friendship shown their country by Ethiopia which remains the only one to maintain a fully fledged diplomatic office in Hargeisa included
Leaders of Kulmiye, UCID and Wadani political parties as well as the presidency and fun reign affairs ministers.