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Ethiopia is a developing country and it is obvious that in a developing world not everything is peaches and cream.
Among several problems the general public needs to get used to for the time being is the extremely annoying power interruptions that keeps us in the dark, literally and metaphorically; with the power interruptions comes the interruption of the use of technology.
While the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam stands as a beacon of hope for Ethiopians in the fight for electricity, it sometimes feels like the realization of decent power coverage is far ahead.
We all have heard of the saying ‘Patience is a virtue’ and it is this virtue we need to exercise even more so now, as Ethiopia is going through mega transformation. In saying this, we should also know of a very big problem called corruption.
There have been many grievances by people who say that they have been asked to pay extra money to fix problems with electricity in their area; such as problems with transformers. Many people tend to just pay whatever amount of money asked from them even though they know that they are not required to do so. Most people do this to avoid going through the bureaucracy of filing actual complaints about the problem they are facing.
But as the TV add on Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation tells us, we should never buy our rights with money.
With the growing population, growing manufacturing sector and generally with a growing country, comes the ever increasing demand for energy. This is not only unique to a growing country but every country in the world.
The world’s most developed nations are always looking for new ways to generate more power to meet their people’s and economy’s demand.
Ethiopia, in its own right has been and continues to venture into expanding its sources of power. From dams, wind farms to geothermal projects, the country is exploring and taking every opportunity to become completely power sufficient.
All these ongoing projects along with those to come in the future are what makes most people have patience with the power interruptions that makes a visit more often than any of us would like.
It is stated that the demand for electricity grows by 32 percent annually in Ethiopia. It is also stated that the lifestyle change of many people in Addis Ababa maybe the reason for the frequent power interruptions.
Mentioned lifestyle changes include the transition from use of firewood for cooking to electric stoves. It is stated that as many people have moved into condominiums, where the use of firewood is not possible, they inevitability have moved on to using electricity, causing shortages in some parts of the city.
In my opinion, that is also a sign of growth, that kind of lifestyle change, moving on to better things, shows the slow steps of modernization that is necessary.
So the key word now, and probably years to come, is change. And change never comes without inconveniences. Lasting change is usually revolutionary and nothing portrays a revolutionary change like the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
It is through this change that we should wait in patience and understanding for what the government is trying to accomplish but also with a bit of restlessness and protest against corruption that tries to suppress our rights.