The coming of Abiy Ahmed (PhD) as Prime Minister of Ethiopia has brought new hope that the political arena and bureaucracy will be reformed although some remain skeptical about the future. Abiy, one of the youngest leaders in the recent Ethiopian history after Mengistu Hailemariam and Meles Zenawi, has received extraordinary and wide spread acceptance from the general public and the Diaspora. After his inauguration on April 2 he has become the most hotly discussed topic on social media and in public squares throughout the country.
Most of the hopeful thoughts from citizens have been centered on his speech to the parliament during his swearing in ceremony. Significant numbers of Ethiopians have posted quotations from his speech, where he mainly focused on national unity and future cooperation between citizens. He has apologized for the incidents in the near past. “I ask a forgiveness from the bottom of my heart for the many advocates of freedom and justice and politicians and the many change-seeking youth whose lives were cut short before they were able to enjoy and have fun during the prime of their lives and for the many individuals and families who were exposed to both psychological and bodily trauma during the previous years,” Abiy said.
“The wisdom taught us by our Ethiopianess is not to be overcome by temporary obstacles but rather to change the trials we face into opportunities and desirable accidents and achieve victory. Yesterday, our forefathers, broke their bones in Metema, Adwa, Maichew, and KarraaMarra and shed their precious blood to preserve and bequeath to us a country that has been able to keep its independence and pride,” he said during his 40 min speech at the parliament.
Individuals saw his speech as progressive and unprecedented. Experts said that his speech had a power that would bring all Ethiopians and political parties together to work for change.
However the others express their concern that he will have difficulty exercising his power independently since the ruling party’s leadership style is collective.
Now the eyes of the citizens are on the new PM’s future moves hoping he will be able to realize the expected changes in the country and allow the democratic rights stated in the constitution to be implemented and resolve disputes between some regions.