Ethiopia: The Need for Pragmatic Politics


Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's (PhD) government has gained a dazzling amount of public acceptance as it is highly dedicated for the national interests of Ethiopia. The current political leadership has made the right political reforms at the right time. The new energetic and young leadership is the lifeline for the nation.

The people should cooperate with the leadership and they are doing it. What truly impresses me is the respect of the leadership to the people. The leadership is from the people for the people.

Ethiopia's politics is faring as a typical third world politics that is marred by ethnic divisions. So the right philosophy that has to be implemented is not liberalism. Rather the appropriate philosophy for Ethiopia's political system is the third world democracy which constructs democracy from the scratches.

In Ethiopia democracy, capitalism and constitutionalism have failed in the last twenty seven years. Thus, Ethiopia cannot practice liberalism in Ethiopia as the political reality does not allow it to do so. Abiy can neither be a conservative nor a socialist democrat. This two camps are the dichotomy of western democracy. But in Ethiopia they do not find a place. Our society is not as such an ideologically divided one. It is rather one where in the two sides of the political aisle are divided into a moderate and a narrow nationalists.

The narrow nationalist is detrimental for both the public and national interests as we have experienced in the last twenty seven years from the extremist TPLF.

Hence, it is mandatory to be pragmatic for the officials for they are always supposed to be more pragmatic than the people they govern.

For the worse we do not have an informed society which is a prerequisite for the smooth functioning of democracy. Political scientists concur that a knowledgeable citizenry is necessary for effective and gratifying democratic governance. Ever since the idea of democracy became an aspiration rather than a fear or threat, political actors have argued that citizens must be knowledgeable for it to function.

Almost every democratic theorist or democratic political actor sees an informed electorate as essential to good democratic practice. Citizens need to know who or what they are choosing and why - hence urgent calls for expansive and publicly funded education, and rights to free speech, assembly, press, and movement.

The solution for the governance in Ethiopia is pragmatic governance. Pragmatism emphasizes the connection between thought and action. Pragmatism is a philosophical movement that includes those who claim that an ideology or proposition is true if it works satisfactorily, that the meaning of a proposition is to be found in the practical consequences of accepting it, and that unpractical ideas are to be rejected. Pragmatism is defined as an approach to things that focuses on the practical or logical response. Addressing problems logically and practically is an example of pragmatism. So while the incremental, risk-averse nature of being pragmatic can be good for many aspects.

Abiy should not stick to philosophies that are futile when applied practically. He has to devise a thought that could solve political problems which is a home grown one. A good example is Medemer As to Temesgen Tessema, Law Lecturer at Wollo University, "medemer" is a concept borne out of strong emotion and desire for unity. This philosophy has saved the nation from collapse.

To make long-term, deep progress in his political leadership, Abiy needs to think big sometimes. Pragmatic leaders are practical thinkers. They focus on the processes behind any task, initiative, or goal. Their top priority is to figure out how the nation is going to get things done in line with the national interests.

Ed.'s Note: The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Reporter.

More From: Reporter

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.