New is not always better


There is a saying that with power comes great responsibility. The reason why certain people are chosen for positions of power that translate into the development of a community, city or country is because they are thought to have what it takes to accomplish this. Unfortunately, most of the time logic has nothing to do with why people are in power. This is true all over the world.
Sometimes it is because one is born into a rich family who has become a household name and sometimes it is through political machinations and backroom dealings. Attainment of power using such means may result in dire consequences like wars lasting for decades.
Addis Ababa is a city that is constantly changing its feature. It is rapidly going through different transformations through the construction of roads, housing and high rise buildings. It is a city that seems like it is coming up with a new facelift quite rapidly and in a very short period of time; in other words, it is flourishing.
During the last five years, Addis Ababa’s water supply to its residents has been reported to have reached 95 percent from its previous coverage of 50 percent, although admittedly this achievement doesn’t necessarily mean that there is equitable water distribution all over the city.
Around 74,000 condominium houses have been transferred to people in the last five years. According to the Addis Ababa City Administration, during the last five years, 371,000 people have become beneficiaries of housing projects. Revenue collection and job creation has also been cited as major achievements of the previous administration that handed over the reins to a new one.
If the previous mayor has been doing a lot of things right, I haven’t the faintest idea why we would want to break in a new administration which will certainly need time to grow into its job and learn the ropes, so to speak.
But out goes the old and in comes the new. Now, what I’m saying does not mean that the newly-elected administration is incapable of doing its job; I am just exploring the idea that maybe the change should not have been made to begin with. If one is presiding over a situation where he/she is registering a clear and positive change, why not just stay in the same position?
Usually, these kinds of changes and shifts lead to a change of system and structure, and plans and projects overseen by the former are neglected and new plans tend to come into effect. These kinds of things not only tend to waste time, but might also hinder the progress that has already been made.
The incoming administration, led by Mayor Diriba Kuma, is expected to continue to further the successes of the previous administration and fare better in some areas where it hadn’t been seen as being that successful. “The new administration will work in close partnership with the public to address the root causes of current problems and maintain positive achievements gained so far,” stated the newly-elected Mayor, expressing his commitment to do more during his tenure.
It is always good to hear people in power express their commitment to do well, bring change and resolve the outstanding issues of the society. There is no doubt that new City administration is keen to do just that, although it remains to be seen what it will come up with to address the problems facing the city in the coming years.
Addis Ababa’s need keeps growing. Besides the growing demand, unemployment, inflation, infrastructure building, housing, land management, equitable water supply and other socioeconomic problems remain as major challenges to any city administration.
Five years is not a long time to bring about substantial and lasting change; therefore, this is one of the reasons why people elected to certain positions should remain put until they see things through.
Hopefully, old and tested ways will be recognized and will continue to be implemented as new ones are added. I sincerely hope that the new City Administration will at least be able to do as much as the previous one, and possibly way more, in the next five years.