Monday, May 20, 2024

Hoping for dawn


After six months of talks, a national forum entitled “the country we wish to have in 2040” predicts four possible outcomes for the future Ethiopia.
“We were skeptical at first when the facilitators approached us to sit for discussion assuming that all goes as usual,” a participant said.
Fifty political party leaders, parliamentarians, scholars, women rights advocates, activists, artists, media professionals, business persons and other from around the country came up with four possible scenarios they called: Dawn, House of Competitors, Dictator, and Broken Chair. The 50 leaders voted for dawn and agreed to solve their differences through dialogue and without threatening the unity of the country.
Facilitated by the Forum of Foundation and Destiny Ethiopia Initiative, an indigenous non -profit organization, the 50 individuals composed possible consequences of each trajectory. In the one they favored, known as Dawn, strong institutions were built and problems were worked on together. Diversity was respected and a strong democracy emerged.
“We have agreed to materialize the “Dawn” scenario through handwork and we, members of the scenario, are committed to work for the realization of the agreed scenario, the resolution reads.
The other three possible outcomes were more troublesome, Divided House would be a fragmented society where each group acts in their own self-interest. Hegemony would be the return of a ‘strongman’ who leads an authoritarian, controlling society. In Broken Chair, which the team felt may be a realistic outcome the country works cautiously, within its constraints but can’t live up to its challenges.
According to the core team who came up with the initiative called a transformative scenario planning, the four scenarios are stories about what could happen in Ethiopia over the coming 20 years. Based on the current reality and the dynamics around key certainties and uncertainties, they said, these scenarios are not forecasts or predictions of what will happen. Neither are they policy recommendations of what should happen.
These four scenarios outline four possible ways Ethiopia could respond to these challenges.
Whereas the three scenarios of Divided House, Hegemony and Broken Chair are possible futures but highly undesirable, while Dawn is the most desired scenario, its realization demands reconciliation, empathy, hard work and sacrifice. Thus the team called up on every citizen to work to avert the potential occurrence of the undesired three and press hard to achieve this outcome.
Members of the forum applauded the gathering as it paves the way for further national dialogue for mutual understanding irrespective of political view.

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