By: Tesfaye G. Deboch
Friday, June 25, 2010
It wasn’t long ago that I read two articles on Ethiopian youth on Addis Fortune’s website. I was doing my daily routine of staying well-informed about issues affecting my country, surveying different topics on several websites. Both of the articles described the apathy of our generation regarding Ethiopian current affairs and politics. The first article entitled “Lack of Political Interest in EPRDF Generation Troubling” addresses the shortcomings of the EPRDF and opposition parties in their public debates that fail to engage and excite the Ethiopian youth. The second article entitled “The EPRDF Generation” gives a bird’s eye view of the philosophical and cultural topography of our generation. As I was reading these two articles I was filled with sadness and disappointment, but I also thought how wide and ready the fields are for those who have the passion and the calling to awaken the Ethiopian youth for an Ethiopian renaissance. And that call, my friends, is more real today than ever.
Cultural and economic renaissance of any society should start at the grassroots level. It takes place when men and women of good faith act to change the existing undesirable conditions through their own will–without being coerced by some kind of external force. We Ethiopians have the resources needed that can potentially make us a better nation – a nation free of poverty and internal strife. But, I dare say, that we lack the will to execute. We lack the initiation to step up and take a role as community leaders. Unless we stand and break this chain our greatest dreams will remain dreams only, and we will certainly remain on the wrong side of history.
We have misfortune–inherited from the past and acquired in the present-that needs to be removed and roads that need to be paved for the next generation. The solutions to our problems lie within us. Depending on our willingness to compromise and work hand-in-hand, we shall see our riddles solved and our misery will only have to be a part of our past.
So here comes a call, a call for community leadership and engagement. The call is not coming from a political party or religious organization. It does not have any agenda but our own – young Ethiopians. It is not influenced by propaganda but by our own craving to see a better and brighter tomorrow for our homeland.
If you are discomforted by what is going on, then join hundreds of young Ethiopians who have committed their time and energy for change. If you are disinterested in any Ethiopian matters, then our goal is to get you connected to passionate people whose visions may excite you and help you see the glory and satisfaction in serving the needy. And finally, if you are happy with the current state of affairs, think of your involvement as something to make it even better.
As I said above, all effective social change should start at the grassroots level. Ethiopian Global Initiative (EGI) is a grassroots level initiative that has the vision to unite Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopians alike. It is a stage for all who have been dreaming to see beyond the “coffee shop gossip” involvement in the current Ethiopian affairs. Your commitment and active participation makes a difference.
Tesfaye Girma Deboch earned his Bachelors of Science in Economics at the University of Wyoming and is currently a Doctor of Economics candidate at Washington State University. He is a member of the Ethiopian American Youth Initiative and permanently resides in Addis Ababa.