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The Son Of Africa And His Humble Moral Choices

Prime Minister Zenawi has passed away on August 20, 2012, he was 57 and his life’s lamp went out untimely out. Though Judgment is something that one has to face invariably, the Horn of Africa in particular and the continent of Africa in general have lost a pragmatic visionary and a detail-oriented strategic thinker of this era. That is why tributes and accolades are flooding from all corners of the world to reflect his attributes.

The Prime Minister who consider himself as a leader and as a student, sure indeed, that in no time made his hallmark to be intellectual rigor. He earned his Masters in Business administration (MBA) from “Open University” of Great Britain and masters of Science in economics from “Erasmus University” of the Netherland. He also received honorary doctoral degree in political science from “Hannan University” in South Korea (courtesy Wikipedia). In fact New York Times is quoted in reflecting his towering intellect as “a voracious reader with a steel-strap mind who could rapidly digest mountains of statistics and quote large chunk of Shakespeare at length”(NY Time Aug. 21, 2012 by Jeffery GettleMan). His force of intellect was recognized by his peers in the ranks of EPRDF and becomes the reason of his ascendency to the office of Prime Minister.

PM Meles’s moral choices were understood by speculators since 1991 when he took power that his prime goal was to eradicate “poverty and ignorance.” All his domestic policies were framed around and directed against poverty and ignorance. He won the admiration of IMF and World Bank to receive international loans for agricultural, educational, and infra-structural developments. Ethiopia now with real GDP growth at a double digit rate since 2003, have outperformed most African countries. He revolutionizes the country’s backward and inefficient marketing system. The impressive growth in services is driven by expansion in financial intermediation, public administration, and retail businesses. The poverty line at national level measured by the poverty headcount index has declined by 5.5%. A decline in national poverty is reported by African Development Bank Group (ADBG) in recent years. And yes, the decline of poverty of a household income and expenditure is attributed from a fall in head count poverty in rural areas. He advocated the pro-poor domestic policies and according the World Bank East African leadership, Ethiopia ranks number one in Africa on spending as share of GDP going to pro-poor sectors.

In higher education, Ethiopia had one University when EPRDF came to power. Now there are over 20 universities and expecting to increase by 10 as projected by the end of the decade. Meles will be remembered as a leader who value education not only to his people but also to his neighbor countries. He is a leader with a moral value and belief that educated society could easily solve the intra-national conflicts and inter-state conflicts. Education will allow us to challenge the psychological dimension of conflicts to bring sustaining peace, the Prime Minister remarked in one of his speech to ENCDC. We Eritreans are grateful for allowing our young refugees to various universities to continue their education.

The PM Minister and his administrations have changed the “psychology of dependency.” For decades Ethiopians had a psychological believe that Ethiopia could not survive without the Eritrean ports. Indeed Ethiopia has proved that it could stand and move ahead of the countries that have port outlets. The will power of Meles and his peers has changed this debilitating emotional dependency and made the public to see alternatives. Now the port of Djibouti is expanded to serve Ethiopia’s needs and new rail roads are on construction to extend from Djibouti to the Northern part of Ethiopia. Currently, Ethiopia is the center of stability and economic development in the horn of Africa. All the credits are to the PM and his administration.

Meles The Global Voice of Africa

PM Meles was the leader and the voice of Africa in global warming. In 2011 Ethiopia become the first African country to launch climate resilience Green Economy Strategy. He was fighting on climate change and become a leader in “Africa’s green thinking.” Meles in redirecting his influence, energy, and vision and to stop the third wave of financial and economic crises of Africa, he called African leaders to rethink their development strategies. He reminds them that “rapid and sustained growth in Africa is a matter of life and death.”

As a chairperson of the committee of African heads of state and governments on climate change, Meles advocated and demanded that the West to compensate the world’s poorest continent for climate change. In 2010 he participated in the debate of global warming representing Africa at New York City. PM Meles by putting Africa on prospective and up in the front did highlight that “Africa has contributed nothing in global warming”. But also didn’t hesitate that “the impact of global warming is more devastating in Africa than elsewhere in the world.” As part of his Green Economy strategy, Ethiopia planted 1.7 billion trees since 2007, and become the 3rd largest worldwide in planting trees. Meles will be remembered for his strong commitment for African integration and supporting African Union’s peacekeeping engagement.

Ethiopia in particular and Africa in general lost their exceptional leader. My condolence to the family of the PM and Ethiopian people at large and rest in peace “the hero of the poor” to borrow the words of Ex-Prime Minister of Great Britain.

About Amanuel Hidrat

Amanuel Hidrat, is a political activist and a passionate writer in the current struggle against the Eritrean regime. His extensive writings are focused on constitution and constitutionalism, constitutional process, nature of governments, and grievances of the social groups. His articles can be found “Tebeges”, a rich column at that archives over 150 articles. He has been writing at Ntsebraq in Tigrinya since 1998, and in English since 2000. Through his writings, , he promotes "multicultural liberalism" and "multicultural constitutionalism" that provides a fair share to social groups in the decision making process of governance. Amanuel believes it’s not individuals, but ”our social groups”, that should be the building blocks of the Eritrean nation state. Amanuel studied “Industrial chemistry" at the Poly-technical Institute in Ethiopia, and "Clinical Pharmacy" at St John's University in the US.

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  • Dongolo

    Selam all. Even more interesting is this 2012 article by Amanuel Hidrat wherein he praises Meles Zenawi.

  • Michael Solomon

    Amanuel – Almost missed this one!! – I do not read very often but it is amazing how low some opposition celebrities belittle their African brothers and sisters? The devil you crowned as the “son of Africa” was known to be the lowest IQ and merciless dictator by his own people – did you come up with this or you had a hand from madam Rice?
    Just curious are you still in contact with him? – I could not fathom for a second how on earth any half sane person would come up with such a conclusion.
    I would highly recommended kilte shewate – in Adwa or debre-zeit – with this type of polished resume I am sure MLLT would be more than happy to fund the recommended trip.

  • Libona

    What’s wrong with you. visionary , great leader…for heaven sake, please save it. He is no different dictator. Ruled the country till death do him apart. Call him manipulative, liar, killer, serpentine…if you wish. visionary? no way. Had no vision at all. At times free tigray, then Albanian communism, then federalist, then capitalist. then nationalist but fighting for the supremacy of one region at his core. Oh open your eyes and refrain from propagating for him. Is that type of leader you are envisioning for Eritrea? God save us. Please try to see Ethiopia as an Ethiopian would.

  • wedicambobolo

    he was a lair .A bad lair

  • Alellah

    So much so for the advocator of democracy praising a dictator at the helm. A dictator who claimed to have been elected by 99.6%….c’mon you can do better than this – trying readers take you seriously on this certainly exposes ones true stand on democracy. Check you tube about the tyrant dictator meles rantings, and the disparaging insults on the few members of the so called parliament who asked questions… C’mon men…praising a congenital leader who comited “genocide” on the people of Harari (complete wipe out of villages) and the annuak people. The guy who is despised and detested by majority of Ethiopians but hailed by foreign leaders. Is this any trait of a democratic leader. Oh please save us from the dreaded, staged funeral ala “Death of the Father Kim Jong Il South Korea”… Oscar Caliber performance for worst imitations.

  • Daw!t

    Great article, but brace yourself for verbal abuses. Some of the ultra-nationalist Eritreans will maliciously misrepresent your favorable views about the prime minister as being too Habesha (too close to Ethiopia). Consequently, some would obviously believe that you are indeed one of the “Neo-Andinets”. I know the queen of Awate site, Nitric, would say a word or two. Glamorizing Meles definitely ticks him/her off.

  • w. Asghedom

    He was a great leader great vidion , in the dark era of Africa , he was a leader, educator, and example of being a true leader.
    God bless him and recieve him in heaven
    God bless ethiopians including eritreans , may peace reign on them.
    God bless Africa and all the sons of Africs.
    God hrlp all these your people to have Harmony and Peace.

  • welde

    Beautiful writing!