And to the Business Frontier
October 1, 2007

Various sources suggest that Ethiopia’s economy has been growing significantly in the last few years. In its recent report, the World Bank identified Ethiopia as one of the top ten emerging economies in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The country’s political problem has had disproportional toll on its economy in the past. Disproportional number of Ethiopians, especially outside the country, may have been pre-occupied by its political problems. The 2005 legislative elections seem to have changed Ethiopia’s political landscape for good. It may have presented an incipient condition for real multiparty democracy in Ethiopia.

The current legislative body in Ethiopia has various alternative parties. One can argue that in politics, knowing one’s right, presence, and defending one’s right may be the three important steps in solving political problems. We have reasons to believe that those alternative parties in parliament generally know their rights very well. We also know that there are various political parties in parliament representing various constituencies. Many of them have proven to be defenders of the rights of their constituencies. Therefore, we can argue that the political system put in place in Ethiopia is one on which more genuine parties and political perspectives grow on. With a stronger legal frontier, this political arrangement is bound to make a difference in the country’s political future.

At this juncture in Ethiopia’s political and economic developments, Ethiopians with entrepreneurship skills that may have been involved in politics disproportionately will perhaps serve the Ethiopian people, the country, and themselves better by actively involving in the business environment. In doing so, however, they should not succumb to unethical and opportunistic business ventures that widen the gap between the rich and the poor. Especially those political activists who are heading in the direction of business venture in Ethiopia have the moral imperative that their business ventures benefit the people on whose behalf they have been struggling.

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