Ethiopia overview

Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
Friday, Sep 01, 2023

The inclusion of Ethiopia in BRICS, an informal group of emerging world economies comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, is a pleasant surprise because the African country's extreme backwardness, poverty, famine, lack of food and humanitarian appeals were once reported in our media in the past.

After going through the news, I started to think that even the most underdeveloped countries of the past have gone so far ahead of us in the race of development and success that we are not even considered eligible for membership of important international forums and alliances. Countries such as Ethiopia, which suffered from famine in the past, are raising flags of success at international level.

The United Nations, in a survey in the year 2000, ranked Ethiopia as the second-most poorest and under-developed countries in the world. Today, only two decades later, Ethiopia is standing next to China, Russia, UAE and other emerging economies due to outstanding performance in every field of life.

On various forums, I expressed my views that we should make China, Malaysia, South Africa, European Union and South Korea our role models in the journey of national development. However, I am told that there is no comparison between Pakistan and these countries because the atmosphere, resources and lifestyle of these developed countries is different than ours. When I talk about India's remarkable achievements, recently landing on the moon, some circles find my statement to be hostile.

However, now in the list of role model countries, the African country of Ethiopia, which was once considered a symbol of hunger and famine, has now emerged as another success story. According to international media, the largest number of richest millionaires in Africa are currently based in Ethiopia. In the last two decades, Ethiopia has achieved outstanding achievements to control poverty by establishing an atmosphere of peace internally, fostered tolerance and unity in society, introduced business-friendly policies and huge public investments, and provided its youth with higher education and career opportunities.

Ethiopia has accomplished the amazing feat of building Africa's largest dam on the Nile River at its own resources, which has relieved not only the people of Ethiopia of water and electricity shortages but able to provide cheap electricity to neighbouring countries. According to agricultural experts, farmers are now able to farm in three seasons utilizing the dam.

When underdeveloped countries of the past like Ethiopia are becoming self-reliant and financially independent, we are seeking loans and aid from the IMF and international organizations. From Karachi to Khyber, people are protesting on the streets against expensive electricity bills, unemployment is rising due to the destruction of businesses, incidents of crime are increasing day by day, the green passport is being declared as the weakest passport in the world, educated youth are migrating due to lack of jobs, and people are committing suicide due to their inability to cope with the inflation.

Internationally, our role on regional and global affairs has become nil and our opinion has no worth on any global issue. Unfortunately, Pakistan is now having the reputation of a country that is unable to provide affordable electricity to its people, whose rulers prioritize their personal interests over national interests, where the local currency is depreciating day by day, where the prices of petroleum products are out of control. In these circumstances, who would be interested to invest in such a country?

Seeing the situation in the country today, let’s pray from the core of our hearts that God Almighty may have mercy on our beloved country, make us capable of being loyal to our nation, and not punish the people for the shortcomings of our rulers.

There is still a chance for us to improve ourselves according to the demands of the changing world and say goodbye to stereotyped hostile ways, otherwise I see the future situation as very tough for the country's economy and our image in the eyes of the international community.

The writer is a former member of the

National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

He tweets/posts @RVankwani