Such a comment to Addis Neger Online’s Piece

By Ankober
Dear Derese,
This is a response to your article entitled ” Ethiopia’s Leadership Void”, August 10, 2010. Thanks for your yet insignificant article. My feeling when i first saw the update on your Online’s address was that you were gonna base your opinion item on the recent leadership meeting that Barack Obama held with African upcoming youth leaders.
President Obama held that forum at the White House with 115 young leaders from Africa designed to mark the fiftieth anniversary of African independence.
Four young ”leaders” represented Ethiopia at the forum, including Mahlet Eyassu Melkie, 29, a climate change activist; Meron Getnet Hailegiorgis, 27, an author; Salsawit Tsega Ketema, 30, Founder of Sel Art Gallery and Yohannes Mezgebe Abay, 35, Vice President of the Pan African Youth Union.
Are these really representative enough, and really upcoming youth leaders? Was the selection made fairly? Were they all neutral? Or as the Ugandan editor of The Daily Monitor, Peter Nyanzi said it, have they both the gut and intersect to involve themselves in issues that Obama and co preached them in those days such as the importance of transparency and accountability, job creation and entrepreneurship, human rights, and the use of modern technology to empower individuals and communities?
I doubt all of the above.

Mr Obama took off time from his schedule to sit down with – not African politicians this time – but with the young leaders of African civil society and business, in the unprecedented meeting. Over the years, the norm in the State Department and the White House has been to invite the same old men to the US to talk about similar issues but with very little results on the ground,says Peter.

“If all you are doing is talking to old men like me, then you are not reaching the people who are going to be providing the energy, the new initiatives, the new ideas,” Mr Obama said at the forum.

Ideologically, Obama did the most plausible sort of thing to help the African youth’s dying political socialization and zeal.Unlike  what you crystallized in the last paragraph of this article saying the latest wisdom a la Barack Obama is that Africa needs strong institutions, and not strong men.From what President’s Forum with Young African Leaders, I learn that, Obama is also/rather focusing on ”leaders” than ” institutions”. Approaching the problems of Africa from leaders/individual centered angle is the quicker and reasonably the rightest approach to tackle Africa’s (Ethiopia’s ) handicaps or drawbacks.

That said, let me delve on your inquisition on leadership voidness in our nation.It seems a proper and timely question to ask and answer at this time. It is unexceptionably crucial to plant and bear new Ethiopian politicians and leaders at this moment of political deviance.In detachment from your previous trends,you wrote this less technically jargoned opinion. To proffer some empirically critical ground to this commentary, I will be making a few jotted analysis:

1.Lack of appreciation: in our case ( both Ethiopia and Africa ), what is so immanently scarce is due recognition, appreciation and reward for accomplishments.Whatever achievement or success  you assume, clothes you buy, initiate or trail-blaze in Africa(Ethiopia) , it is not appreciated or given a ”well done”  by your mates or the bureaucracy.Colonial legacy and capitalism must have left this culture of jealousy,demotion and underestimation.Your first five paragraphs all revolve around the envy of American culture of regarding success at all stakes by all form of the media.The American acculturation of valuing jobs done as a domino effect of duplicating more leaders from the small community circles to the higher high tech technocratic institutions there. All non existent in our culture.Hence, there is a need from people like you involved in the academia and media to instill this culture of appreciating and respecting your fellow’s bits and pieces. Madenek Mesleten new.

2.Zero Stamina :A response to the rest of the paragraphs. The last three paragraphs of this write up are begging questions into why we don’t have leaders who can succeed? What caused it and the like? What I call Zero stamina seems to answer your questions. In a diligent deterrence from your opinion, I  declare that we have plenty of young capable leaders. Here, readers need to be cognizant of the dual meaning of the term ”leader”.The multidisciplinary ,humanistic and vision orientated meaning of a leader is the first context , that i am utilizing it. Our young leaders in this first definition i stated have multidisciplinary knowledge, involvement and capacity. All the three share a good attachment and concern for and on history and philosophy.Vision is the extremely vital decipher of a leader.He,who has a great and majority agreeable,critical and buyable vision , is a typical leader.  By the same token , the second context of leader and leadership , i.e. organisational/national leadership ; these three young fellas win my endorsement.Count how many followers, our young leaders have with values and ethics.Three theories of leadership exist today in Sociology, management and psychological fields. According to the Trait Theory, certain personality traits may lead people spontaneously into leadership roles. A difficult situation or a crisis may bring out the latent leadership qualities in a person, which is referred to as the Great Events Theory. The most widely accepted theory today is the Transformational Leadership Theory, which states that leadership skills can be mastered by people who wish to become leaders. Our leaders do fit within at least one of these theories.

But one common weakness apparently exists both within our old and new generation leaders.When they encounter a small challenge/drawback like the arrest of Teddy Afro, they drift and shy away from their potential leadership capacities and dreams.This sort of zero stamina is testified in other African young/promising leaders too. Bob Marley, Mohamed Ali, Mahatma Gandi, and Nelson Mandella are few of the most popular leaders in their own respective fields that were able enough to reap the fruition of their stamina full leadership.ANC Youth Wing leader Julius Malema is the new hopeful and resilient leader to anticipate.

In a nutshell,I would say that we have enough capable young leaders what they lack is resilience to fare well in times of hardship and obstacles.We should be jealous of Westerners and endeavor to empower and appreciate our citizens/children.