Nation Building: Endeavours of Successive Generations



Every generation of Ethiopia has contributed to the history and socio-economic development as well as sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. As the nation marks the day of generations on the fifth of Pagumen today, the current generation needs to cherish the historical contributions made by all previous generations of Ethiopians and keep the stamina, commitments, valor and determination that need to be replicated by the forthcoming generations.

In his inaugural address on the second phase of Friendship Park on October 2022 last year, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed remarked: “strong generation is the foundation for strong nation; a nation built with a strong generation can overcome challenges, maintain unity and ensure the national sovereignty of its country.”

Ethiopian demographic structure shows that the current generation of youth comprises some 70 per cent of the population. It is to be recalled from history that out of the entire peasant army that fought in the Battle of Adwa, the youth constituted a significant number proportion.

Meaningful national development ensues only when change and continuity of national transformation is carried out by successive generations. To this effect, the incumbent generation should leave footprints to posterity. Ideally, generation needs to draw best practices from the previous generation and builds upon them at best. Both success and challenge of the past generation serve as a foundation for today’s generation in its quest for building prosperous nation. 

Unlike the previous generation in Ethiopia, the generation of the 21st century is provided with a number of opportunities particularly in the areas of ICT and advancement of science and technology.This would mean that the current generation needs to discharge its responsibilities by ascertaining the development of country through research and development, exploiting its tangible and intangible heritages for nation building endeavors.

The young Ethiopian generation of the 1960s to 1970s fought for changes in the autocratic political order and paid huge sacrifices in flesh and blood. Sons and daughters of Ethiopia also fell while defending the unity and territorial integrity of the country.

Since the 2018 change of leadership, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed charted out a reform program that was inclusive and change oriented. 

In Ethiopia a new era is in the making. Efforts are being made to put in place a system where Ethiopian elites will table their political agenda with a view to resolving the major backlogs of Ethiopia. To this effect, the National Dialogue Commission has been expending relentless efforts to conduct major debates and discussions national issues with representatives drawn from across Ethiopia.

The culture of political wrangling among political elites in Ethiopia is much to be desired. Today’s generation must attach paramount importance to peaceful means of resolving differences. This view has been expounded by the reform program which Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spearheaded Ethiopia in 2019 in his discussion of the fundamentals of the Generation Medemer book.

The premier argues: “The essence of Medemer is not class struggle but collective cooperation and collaboration that is transmitted inter-generationally. Change does not come through the barrel of the gun. Change comes through dialogue, discourse, discussion and debate. Change comes by changing hearts and minds.”

The present generation of youth is expected to uphold the unity and development of the country by providing services that are of crucial importance for nation building and the battle against poverty. This is important because much of the future of this country would depend upon the selfless contributions of the youth.

As they strive to fulfill their duties, the youth in Ethiopia need to draw best practices, wisdom from senior citizens and their parents and above all, they should acquire proper knowledge and digest and filter it through local contexts.

The youth should also pay special attention to developing their careers by acquiring vocational skills and academic knowledge to perform their national duties responsibly. 

As we are observing generation day, it is opportune moment for Ethiopian youth to give attention for the clarion call which senior citizens are putting forward. 

In all fields of areas, there were noted Ethiopians in athletics, literature, science, arts and many more. They have left us valuable footprints that we all should follow suit. 

Ethiopia is a mosaic of culture, ethnic identities, languages and the likes. Ethiopians have coexisted for centuries. They have fought together to defend their motherland. This generation should be mindful of ill intention of some forces to the extent of disbanding the ancient peaceful coexistence and social cohesion of Ethiopians.  

The youth of the current generation should relate with youths across the world and particularly African youth for the common cause of their destiny.  

To this effect, youths must give utmost priority to education. The youth must set goals, exerting maximum efforts, dedication to achieve success. 

It is fitting here to quote Prime Minister Abiy what he said during first General Assembly of Organization of Educational Cooperation (OEC): “By investing in education, we equip our youth with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate an ever-changing world.”

All the more, this generation must be able to engage in constructive dialogue with a view to living in harmony  and peace in this  country and beyond. Happy and Prosperous New Year.    


Ethiopian News Agency