By : Tewodros G. (PhD.)
Ego , defined as one’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance, can either be a trait that pushes one to strive for greatness or be a person’s ultimate downfall. When it comes to Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed, his unchecked ego seems to be more of the latter. Despite having a number of accomplishments such as winning a Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Abiy’s inability to listen to experts, desire to excel in multiple fields, and consistently putting himself on center stage has caused him much trouble as a leader.
Abiy Ahmed has a reputation for dismissing the advice and expertise of others. He often takes the role of “Mr. Know-it-all,” diving into projects and situations without considering the realities or nuances involved. This has led to many initiatives being started with much enthusiasm, only to be left incomplete and unaccomplished. As a result, the country’s main projects remain in its infancy, with no progress made in the past five years.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde:
Dr. Abiy displays conflicting personas of a peace ambassador on one hand, and a terminator on the other. Though he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, he later led his country into a war in Tigray, where he took on a starring role. Additionally, he mobilized Amhara “Fano” and “special forces” to fight in the war, only to later label them as illegal forces and engage them in further conflict. This contradictory behavior has only worsened his leadership credibility.
Dr. Abiy’s ego has also led to the dismissal of talented individuals who hold popular support or critical expertise. By removing officials who may outshine him, he has further weakened his administration and failed to utilize the strengths of these individuals for the benefit of the country.
Preaching to the Experts:
One of the most striking manifestations of Dr. Abiy’s ego is his tendency to lecture professionals on topics within their areas of expertise. He has spoken about medicine to medical doctors, given a presentation on warfare to military generals, discussed religion with religious leaders, and more. This tendency to dominate conversations and neglect others’ expertise reflects a propensity to always be the center of attention.
Overall, Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s ego has driven a wedge between him and the people of Ethiopia. It has led to the dismissal of invaluable talent, stalled progress in important endeavors, and contributed to a chaotic leadership style. If Dr. Abiy wants to truly lead Ethiopia towards a brighter future, it is essential that he reigns in his ego and starts listening to the experts around him. The stakes are high, and Ethiopia deserves a leader who is humble enough to recognize when he does not know everything and to learn from the valuable resources at his disposal.
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