Generation Medemer: Remedial For Posterity - ENA English
Generation Medemer: Remedial For Posterity
BY STAFF WRITER
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has authored the third series of book entitled Generation Medemer. The first and second series of his books are: Philosophy and Paradigm of Medemer published in 2019 and the Principles and Practices of Medemer written two years later. This latest series, Generation Medemer, with focus on principles and personalities of Medemer is published in Amharic, Afan Oromo, and English languages.
The book which once more proved that Prime Minister Abiy is a prolific writer with five books to his name. Particularly, the aforementioned three books have been written in the context of a daunting responsibility he shoulders as a leader of Ethiopia, pioneering a far-reaching national reform program in the unprecedented challenging situation following the war in the northern part of the country, internal and external conspiracy. Fascinatingly, he has managed to write these books in five years despite those difficulties.
In latest book, Prime Minister Abiy has taken the initiative to show a generational description of Ethiopia, a country which boasts of history dating back to 3,000 years. The book gives a road map on how the Ethiopian current generation learns from mistakes and tries to improvise on their future.
Apart from his previous books, this newest book of the prime minister takes a different stage at a more advanced age which is talking about the millennial generation to put Ethiopia in a position at a global stage. Thus, the book is a deliberation on how Ethiopia is positioned in Africa, in the Middle East, and globally in general. It also suggests how the coming generation needs to work, needs to think and needs to unify in order to strengthen Ethiopian position globally.
Accordingly, the first part of Generation Medemer is dedicated to conception and chain of generations since the 19th century Ethiopia while part two deals with generation path and journey and the third part deals with the rising of the new Medemer Generation.
In a recent presentation on the English version of the book which was introduced to the international community residing in Addis Ababa, one of the presenter outlined eight items that defined Medemer as synergy, alignment, synchronization of times, ages and era, symmetry of space and balance, alignment of functions, and many others.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as a writer defined Medemer as “an idea that seeks to address the deficit in a new social, political, economic and foreign relations and orientations. Medemer encourages working together for a shared vision towards a mutually beneficial goal. It builds on past successes while striving to correct mistakes in the effort to create a more harmonious union.
The book defines and delineates generations that the country has cruised through. Accordingly, five levels of generations in Ethiopia since the 19th century are identified, namely, the conservative patriotic generation, the dreamers generation, disillusioned generation, smart generation and the future Medemer generation to be established.
The book identifies the conservative and patriotic generation, imbued with the spirit of victory at Adwa in 1896, is the first to experience modernity (elements of Western modernization). It was the first to have access to modern schools, hotels, cars, cinemas, airplanes and newspapers. That generation placed a premium on “Ethiopianness” and strove for unity and cooperation. It sought to emulate Japan which had successfully modernized while maintaining a balance and blending of its traditional values with the technological progress of Westernization. The Conservative generation sought “to preserve the culture, ethos spirits and patriotism and pride of Ethiopians and aspired to harmonize the modern with the traditional values.”
According to Prime Minister Abiy’s latest book, the dreamer generation came into being in the middle of the 20th century and is sometimes referred to as “the children of the 1960s.” This generation was shaped by the expansion of modern education, mass media and broad exposure to foreign values and practice as well as revolutionary ideas. The student movement phenomenon was unique to this generation which steeped itself in Socialist Ideology and organized itself in revolutionary “study clubs.” It mimicked upheavals in Western higher education. Its principal aspiration was to see a democratic Ethiopia but got caught in a vicious cycle of violence which traumatized millions and led to mass exile and displacement of hundreds of thousands during the Red Terror of the Derge era.
While the conservative generation was willing to blend tradition with modernity, the dreamer generation did not find much that is worthwhile in traditional values and wanted to fully uproot the existing reality and replace it with a new socialist culture and society. “The leading intellectual figures of the time seemed to believe the solution to all our problems could be derived from the thoughts of a few foreign individuals,”Abiy states.
Generation Medemer also argues that the disillusioned (confused) generation came in the last three decades of the 20th century in the aftermath of the demise of the Derg and socialism. This generation witnessed the rise of the ethno-nationalist wing of the dreamer generation. It is disillusioned because of the demise of socialism and ruination of its sacrifices and the political confusion that engulfed the country. Due to its traumatic experience during the Red and White Terrors, this generation lost clear content of politics and disengaged from politics.
The other generation is the smart generation, the millennial generation that has been raised on the politics of division. It is estranged from other generations, ignorant of the country’s complex history and is overwhelmed by bitterness and frustration. Its alienation stems from institutionalized politics of division and globalization which has enhanced the influence of foreign social/media to sow ignorance and confusion among members of this generation.
Abiy conceives of the alienated generation demands what the country cannot provide and would rather migrate to foreign lands for an uncertain future than stay and strive to make things better at home. It asserts its rights but is clueless of the responsibilities attached to those rights. Its expectations are shaped by globalization. It suffers from a malaise of self-pity, hopelessness, and victimhood. It has limited critical thinking abilities and consumes disinformation on social media mindlessly. Its politics is characterized by extremism.
The Generation Medeemer identifies five basic characteristic features of the current generation which is characterized by love of art and beauty, emotional intelligence, the need for trust as social capital, pursuit of excellence and mark of ethical integrity.
The book explains intra-generational with the context of raising a new generation of Medemer, relating the existing generation with the newly emerging generation and transgenerational relations of aligning with generation across borders and boundaries to relate with the rest of the world.
All in all, the latest series of book authored by Prime Minister Abiy puts a lot of emphasis on how Ethiopia could become a powerhouse in the world that could be considered as a paradigm shift. It has set a tone for the future, and for Ethiopia to be a superpower. And it's a very visionary text, which the coming generations understand, read and have an opinion, have a perspective.
The principles of Medemer are not either confined to Ethiopia; they can be applied in universal context. Most certainly, it is a thought of Medemer or inclusiveness. Many scholars who read the book pointed out that the book establishes perspectives by drawing lessons from the past mistakes, rally together and understand each other.