An Opportunity Must Not Miss On The Questions Raised On The Integrating Development Plan Of Addis Ababa With The Surroundings

A short Note- to be considered for further discussion.

Ethiopia is at a cross road overcoming poverty and backwardness at the same time exercising a democratic culture which never existed in its modern and medieval eras. To say the least; the Nations and Nationalities of Ethiopia had never been fully familiar to each other neither have a similar language and culture nor a similar experience on difficulties of an exposures to a common problems of humanity. The common problems of humanities are being denied a dignity and respect by a fellow human whose existence and glory is depend on the expense of the many. Due to the above facts the revolutionaries of the 60’s raised the questions of nationalities and the slogan “Land for the tillers”. Now, after five or six decades, the questions seem similar but the cause for the protest is different than the 60’s. What makes this question different is an economic development of public investments in one area of the union (Addis Ababa-Finfine). This sudden development have soared the value of the land beyond any economist imagination and has created an urban expansion to the land of “tillers” with unfair compensation to the displaced and a culture and language domination of Addis Ababa, federal city- which Afan Oromiffa is not a working language of the federal City. These questions are just and must be answer properly for great good of the union.

Many people have been saying the cause for the protest is bad governance of the local administrations and corruptions; not understanding the core value and principle of the human dignity-fair wealth distribution and culture/language. It can be agreed that corruption has played a role on the unfair compensation to the displaced but not on the second question-Language and culture.

Article 33 of the Ethiopian constitution on the Right of Nationality (2) states “Every Ethiopian national has the right to the enjoyment of all rights, protection and benefits derived from Ethiopian nationality as prescribed by law.” Which the states (KILIL) are the unions of the federal government and their state language has the right to function on the federal cities as such of Addis Ababa.

Article 39 of the Ethiopia constitution on The Right of Nations, Nationalities, and peoples (2) also stated “Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has the right to speak, to write and to develop its own language; to express, to develop and to promote its culture; and to preserve its history.” Hence; denying the state language at the federal cities is unconstitutional. Based on the above articles of the Ethiopian constitution, all working languages of the states have an equal right as the federal working language on the place of their common, the federal city (capital city). Even if the meaning and translation of the article not as intended an amendment is must to accommodate the question raised by the people. All federal cities can accommodate all the working language of the states-Amharic, Oromiffa, Somalia,Tigrigna and Afar. Not imposing on the states (KILIL); rather accommodating the above states languages to be working languages in all federal cities/towns. The benefit is beyond the cost it takes to implement.

For the last decade and some; the nation has enjoyed a double digit economical growth which the public investment played a major role. However, when it comes to the growth of Addis Ababa comparing to other major towns of the union have not near to compare the growth. The reason is the federal government wealth distribution and infrastructure building has been focused as the old way of supper structuring a government concentrating on its capital. This way of structuring and concentrating national capital in one area is neither good for the city nor for the union at large. Many people are flooding to one city looking for better opportunity which their towns failed to do. If this continue, eventually will be hard the city to give services and function well. If this is the case, what can be done to correct?

Article 41-of the Ethiopian constitution on Economics, social and Cultural Rights (7) states- “Every Ethiopian has the right to engage freely in economic activity and to pursue a livelihood of his choice anywhere within the national territory.” If that is the case, why is all the ministry of the federal government concentrated on one city? Does a city have to be a federal city to accommodate ministries of the federal government? If so, why not having federal cities all over the union that can be a melting pot as the capital? Why not a citizen to preserve a livelihood of choice anywhere within the union of states to engage freely in economic activities? At least the capital cities of the 9 states (KILIL) can be federal cities or the cities of all nations and nationalities. Allocating the federal institutions all over the states on the suggested federal towns or cities will harmonized and unified the nations and nationalities of Ethiopia than ever plus satisfies the economic and social rights. Note: The federal cities that being suggested above will have the special interest to their respected states as the provision given to the state of Oromia regarding Addis Ababa.
The last suggestion to be considered here is language at high school level on the federal cities suggested above and at all states. The expansion of colleges and universities in all over Ethiopia has given the opportunity to this generation to know its people but the students not fully understand the culture/language of the nations and nationalities. Hence, if the working language of the states being thought to the pupil at high school level and at least available by choice on the curriculum and thought certain as mandatory or an elective to graduate, doing so a generation will be fully familiar to each other and beyond. The experience of sharing similar difficulties and exposures for common human need will ease the future generation to sort out differences what the previous might failed to accomplish.

The better is tomorrow!
By Kasay Areki

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