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HomeOpinionThe Illusion of Prosperity: Ethiopia's Struggle Amidst Crisis

The Illusion of Prosperity: Ethiopia’s Struggle Amidst Crisis

Illusion of Prosperity _  Ethiopia _ Abiy Ahmed
More than 10 million students are out of school, hunger is looming in many parts of Ethiopia, two of Ethiopia’s largest regions are experiencing war and economic hardship is a reality for million struggle to feed family but the Ethiopian government is prioritizing prestige projects (photo : PD)

By Muse Jorkie 

In a country gripped by economic collapse, widespread unemployment, and the aftermath of a devastating war, the government’s motto stands in stark contrast to the daily reality of its citizens: “Prosperity.” As bombs continue to fall and militias wreak havoc in the regions, the capital city glimmers with new LED lights and flashy displays, a stark juxtaposition to the shattered homes and barren fields just beyond its borders.

This fragile state, reeling from the loss of millions of lives and the decimation of its infrastructure, finds itself in a dire predicament. With schools reduced to rubble and healthcare facilities in tatters, the people are left to fend for themselves in a landscape of despair. Yet, amidst this chaos, the government seems intent on projecting an image of stability and hope, however superficial it may be.

Addis Ababa, The Glittering Capital

The heart of the capital city pulses with the glow of new lights, casting a surreal sheen over the government’s seat of power. Streets once marred by the scars of war now boast freshly painted facades, their brightness masking the underlying decay. To the casual observer, it might seem as though prosperity is indeed within reach.

However, for the citizens living through the daily hardships of high inflation and joblessness, this spectacle is little more than an illusion. The contrast is striking and painful: while the government pours resources into beautifying the city, basic necessities remain out of reach for many. Bread lines grow longer, and clean water is a luxury.

A Government’s Gamble

What message is the government trying to send with this facade of prosperity? Perhaps it hopes to distract from the harsh realities, to offer a glimpse of hope and normalcy. In times of extreme crisis, such psychological salves can temporarily lift spirits. But the glittering lights and polished streets cannot conceal the deeper wounds.

This effort to project stability and progress might be aimed at garnering international support or investment. By showcasing a semblance of order and development, the government may hope to attract aid or encourage foreign businesses to take a chance on a seemingly rebounding economy. Yet, this strategy is fraught with risk. If the international community sees through the veneer, the country could be left even more isolated and desperate.

The Human Cost

For the people, this focus on the capital’s aesthetic transformation feels like a cruel irony. As they struggle to rebuild their lives amidst the rubble, the government’s priorities seem profoundly misplaced. The flashy lights do not illuminate the dark alleys where families huddle for warmth, nor do they brighten the future of children who have lost years of education to conflict.

The discontent brewing beneath the surface could reach a boiling point. Citizens, already weary from years of hardship, might view the government’s actions as a betrayal, a sign that those in power are more concerned with appearances than with the real and pressing needs of the population.

The Road Ahead

True prosperity cannot be achieved through superficial means. The path to recovery for this beleaguered nation lies in addressing its root problems: stabilizing the economy, restoring security, and rebuilding the infrastructure that supports everyday life. Humanitarian aid is desperately needed to provide immediate relief, and comprehensive reforms are essential to foster long-term growth and stability.

The glittering lights of the capital might momentarily distract from the darkness, but only genuine efforts to heal the nation’s deep wounds can light the way to a brighter future. Until then, the illusion of prosperity will remain just that—an illusion, fragile and fleeting in the harsh light of day.

Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of borkena.com


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