ADDIS ABABA- Ensuring the inclusivity of the National Dialogue Commission and encouraging the diversity of thoughts would enable the commission to attain the intended goal of addressing Ethiopia’s longstanding political disagreements amicably, economic experts said.
Speaking to local media, an economist Shiferaw Addisu (Ph.D.) stated that the commission should closely work with relevant actors including contesting political parties, civic society association, Academia, the general public, among many others and include their views.
Sharing the above, another economist Zelalem Teklu (Ph.D.) highlighted that the commission should open the door for non-political figures including religious institutions, activists and public figures.
Moreover, lessons should also be drawn from other countries that went through similar processes regarding national dialogue commission.
“Some issues including history should not be tabled in the discussion in a way that would lead to further antagonism and conflict and the maximum efforts needed to be done to present the issue in a more transparent, accountable and impartial way.” Noting challenges that Ethiopia has been encountering cannot be solved overnight.
Zelalem stressed that concerned bodies including the media are expected to create a positive public attitude and trust on the outcome of the negotiation.
For Shiferaw, the government should be committed and provide its unreserved support to the whole process of the national dialogue commission. “The government should not consider the commission as a side show.
Rather, it ought to be supportive of the process not as a way to its political currency, but as the main accountable body that would implement the outcome of the negotiation.” On the other hand, the opposition camp must focus on the outcome of the negotiation and as the saying goes, ‘don’t throw the baby out with the bath water,’ they shouldn’t be frustrated by some shortcomings in the process.
By the same token, the public should not let only the organized groups lead the way and have to make active engagement in the discussion and express their view.
About the commission’s overall impact, Zelalem indicated that if the dialogue meticulously addressed the main sources of conflict including disagreements including ethnic strife, it would undoubtedly restore peace and maintain the economic growth.
“Let alone the final outcome, the current phase of the commission would contribute greatly to revive Ethiopia’s investment and tourism sectors,” Shiferaw opined.
“Even though, the political economy is deficient, the fact that the commission is set to resolve the challenges in a win-win approach thereby contributing significantly to address multiple challenges of the nation”, he remarked.
BY BETELHEM BEDLU
The Ethiopian 24 February 2022