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Behind Ethiopia’s Blind Spot Russia is Imploding And the Global Conservative Tsunami is Taking Shape

Yonas Biru, PhD

Underdeveloped nations who manage to develop against all odds are those who understand geopolitics and position themselves their strategic development framework at the nexus of the emerging global geopolitics and the ensuing international development policy. On a progressive scale of zero to ten, where zero represents complete lack of understanding of geopolitical dynamics, Ethiopia hoovers between two and three. Ten signifies mastery of geopolitical trends and developments in their simplicities and complexities.

This article is triggered by a growing conservative tsunami in Italy and other European countries. Recent developments in France, Sweden, and Italy reminded me of an open letter I sent to PM Abiy on June 16, 2018 – more than four years ago about the emerging conservative tsunami and its implication for Ethiopia. More recently, on March 1, 2022, I predicted the imminent collapse of Putin’s Russia, stating: “Before this is over, Putin will be a diminished figure within Russia and risks being toppled by his own people.” We are not too far away from it.

These developments have implications on geopolitics and nations such as Ethiopia are not immune from its vagaries. Quote from June 2018 Post starts here:

Dear Mr. Prime Minister

You have come to office as the US and Europe are witnessing major social transformations. Part of this is what has casted TPLF out of favor in Brussels and Washington. The Trump administration was far blunter in its dealings with TPLF than the Obama administration ever was.

Whether we love it, hate it, or sneer at it, Trump’s agenda is a movement. A revolution of sorts. His America First agenda has ushered him into the White House, and this is not an electoral hiccup.

His policy against immigrants is neither stimulated by race nor driven by political expediency. Those who cite his “shit-hole countries” and his statement in the wake of a White nationalist rally in Charlottesville are missing the forest for the tree.

The anti-immigrant sentiment is neither an isolated American phenomenon nor a passing flirtation with racism. There are structural and fundamental factors in play.

Governments in the US and Europe understand that tough immigration policies alone are not enough to keep immigrants away from their borders. Supporting Africa’s development has become a strategic policy anchored in national interest fueled by anti-immigration sentiments.

The rapid globalization and the seemingly intractable terrorism problem have created urgency to a structural shift in international development policies. Institutions like the World Bank and IMF are frantically reforming themselves to catch up with the conservative tsunami.

Your government must actively position itself to showcase an aggressive market driven reform that can in a reasonably short time demonstrate Ethiopia can achieve what East Asian countries have achieved in a short period.

Your administration should proactively leverage Ethiopia’s aggressive development agenda and position its strategic development framework at the nexus of the emerging global geopolitics and the ensuing international development policy.

You need to make Ethiopia an active international development aid seeker, not a passive recipient of it. This must be coupled with an aggressive diaspora repatriation effort both in terms of human and financial capital. Ethiopians are ready to take part in the development of their home country.

Let the እምቢልታ trumpet and the እልልታ echo from the top of Ethiopian majestic mountains to the underbelly of her deepest gorges.

Quote of the 2018 Open Letter Ends.

In March 2022, France woke up to a shock after Marine Le Pen’s far right party won an unprecedented number of seats. The tsunami in Italy may be even more powerful. Here are some of the highlights that are a Google search away. “Sweden’s election marks a new far-right surge in Europe” and “Italy’s right heads for clear election victory, final polls indicate”

The answer to such complex and multidimensional geopolitical developments is not #NoMore. Evidently, neither the government of Ethiopia nor the cacophonous noise making and traffic blocking diaspora understands it.