Subject to a vicious cycle of drought for long, the agrarian state Ethiopia was heavily dependent on foreign aids to rescue the lives of its people some of which breathe their last before salivation arrives from some quarters. The country had no option than dependency syndrome.
Owing to this tragic phenomena, its untapped natural resources and best images notwithstanding, coining the country’s image with hunger and famine, lexicographers were using Ethiopia as a typical example to drought. Reportedly, abroad, pointing fingers at Ethiopians as famished people was not an uncommon thing.
Also for want of the right policy mix that lends impetus to its development,civil wars that assailed the country,lack of skilled personnel, lack of self confidence in indigenous capacity,the absence of sagacious leaders, lack of international donors who without taking sides extend help discerning facts on the ground, undeveloped financial muscle and opportune moment Ethiopia, lagging far behind, was a spectator of others’ development.
Now fed up with wallowing in the quagmire of poverty and knocking on the door of donor organizations,bracing up for turning itself round, this ancient country is striving to cruise its ship of development from a murky to a calm water.
During the past two decades the country was laying the groundwork that allows it a breakaway from a recipient of aid. It has put its foot down to ensuring its survival, like a creeper, winding itself on donors.
Modernizing the agriculture sector now the driving engine of the economy, multiplying over yields and ensuring food self sufficiency Ethiopia is bracing up to leapfrog to higher levels of industrialization. It hunger for hydro power that feeds electricity to the ever increasing number of industries in the country therefore goes without saying.
As is the case in other parts of the world the country is also experiencing a boom in population,another challenge for its food-self sufficiency and development. Hence allowing Blue Nile leave its mother land without rendering its service to it– generating hydro power– is no longer acceptable.
It is against this backdrop cognizant it has to put such trend behind it, openly discussing and mobilizing its people, building its financial muscle and indigenous capacity as well as giving room to mutual regional growth Ethiopia set out to build the Grand Renaissance Dam(GRD), the 3rd year anniversary of which is due and which is also 32 % through.
Ethiopian engineers and other experts deployed at the site are working round the clock to realize the hydro power plant that helps see off poverty from Ethiopia and create a launching pad for industrialization thereby heralding regional deliverance and clicking.
Here, in extirpating poverty, the mixing of the government and citizens like milk and water is worthy noting as it has a double message to friends and otherwise. It is this fact the committee comprising a cross section of the society and established to see to the actualization of the dam underscored last Friday.
Citizens as never before are backing up the GRD project with financial and labor assistance and expertise. The mass media is unfailingly carrying across developments on the GRD. Writers and artists are further mobilizing the public,encouraging the government to press ahead with its plan and portraying to the international community the true intent of the dam.
To bar the door for ambiguity or confusion that emanates from the misguided information the lower riparian countries harp on, the Addis AbabaUniversity has been conducting awareness deepening symposiums.
Reportedly in the sphere of diplomacy laudable achievements are being registered in Khartoum. Telling on concurrence of interest, even Egyptians are seen sponsoring similar cultural events jointly organized by Ethiopia and Sudan. At the end as it is scientific analysis that takes the upper hand over political rhetoric, to win the favor of our Egyptian brothers and to reverse the tide of the propaganda campaign of Egyptian politicians and less true experts such symposiums must be made a point. To out reach many a lot remains to be done in public diplomacy taking on board religious fathers among others.
Opposition party members here that were underplaying the GRD seeing the filling of the dam with concrete and its actualization are now asking the government to involve them in discussion forums.
Government employees turn by turn paying homage to the dam reaffirm support. The number of people buying bonds is also on the rise.
Military attaches from over 20 countries that paid homage to the dam this week following the visit the Ministry of defense facilitated to them had noted that the GRD Ethiopia is fighting to realize depicts that in a similar fashion harnessing their resources African countries could ensure their socioeconomic deliverance. They as well lauded Ethiopia’s achievement in this regard.
They said “Ethiopia has both the interest and capacity for mutual regional growth. The GRD project Ethiopia embarked on to carry out by itself to lift its people above the level of poverty and ensure its renaissance is worth crowing about.”
The attaches from neighboring countries expressed their countries interest to take lessons from Ethiopia’s experience of hydro power generation.
General Manager of the GRD Engineer Simegnew Bekele had told the attaches that “The GRD that meets international standards is environment smart as well.”He further noted the GRD that generates 6 thousand Mega Watts electricity, apart from generating hydro power that ensure regional integrity, will serve a giant research center.
“Hence the GRD is of national,regional and global importance!” he assured the attaches.
To sum, as the benefit riparian countries reap and the return countries in the region gain are immense extending one’s due share to the project is not a task to be left for tomorrow.