In the scenario of Dawn, progress is hopeful but initially tentative: it
takes time for the full light of the new day to be visible. Ethiopians
build on recent reforms and reconciliation processes as it progresses
on a democratic path. Deep-rooted contradictions salient at different
levels within communities are being resolved through open, round
table discussions. Conceptions of forgiveness and conciliation – as
opposed to antagonism and hatred – are gaining currency among
formal and social media channels. Institutions and the economy
are gradually and steadily built up and strengthened in line with a
clarifying vision and with a growing unity.
Recently enacted reforms have created a sense of hope in Ethiopia. There is a sense of freedom
following the end of the state of emergency. Internet censorship has stopped. Repressive laws
have changed. Political prisoners have been released and are free to participate in the elections.
Relations with neighbouring countries are stable and promising. Our democratic transition is
gathering steam. Deep-rooted contradictions salient at different levels within communities
are being resolved through the facilitative role of the newly established National Reconciliation
Commission. Conceptions of forgiveness and conciliation – as opposed to antagonism and
hatred – are increasingly gaining currency among formal and social media channels.
There are challenges too. Protests continue against government policies. Youth agitations erupt
across the country. Two million people have left their regions as internal displacement continues
unabated. The population is 105 million and rapidly growing. More young people need jobs. The
youth are voicing their discontent at the lack of opportunities for them. Laying the foundations
for democracy will not be an easy path but a new Dawn is within sight.
Citizens talk about the future of Ethiopia. There are physical platforms for conversations. Social
and mainstream media also provide channels to speak. Civil society, intellectuals and political
parties facilitate dialogues in their communities. The focus is on a transition to democracy that
is unique to Ethiopia. In these conversations it becomes clear that different historical narratives
exist. But, there is an intention to find commonality through it all.
Opposing political forces open up for a bargaining process. The goal is conciliation, as well
as the continuity and stability of the nation. There is also a significant drop in disarray in the
incumbent party whose leadership finds a way to bring the unity, discussion and dialogue
evident in the general public, into the depths of the political coalition. A big challenge is to find
consensus from major parties and groups on a roadmap to amend the constitution.
The 2020 elections are free and fair. Parties organise along ideological and class orientations
more than along ethnic and regional lines. The result is the emergence of fewer, but larger
political parties with representation spread across the country. A spread of political parties wins
seats in parliament. Coalitions result in shared power at the federal and regional state levels
and the first multi-party government in our country.
The new government is keen to address the population growth that is underway. The fertility
rate is about four births per woman in 2020. The government implements the national fertility
policy. Family planning services are expanded. Education and awareness around the population
is offered across the country.
By 2025 our focus is on building robust institutions. Stakeholders
By 2025 our focus is on building robust institutions. Stakeholders agree on a roadmap to ensure
a clear understanding of the path ahead and to act in unison. This will not be easy with some
key parties and people notably absent from discussions. Still, reforms continue. We establish
independent democracy and justice institutions. A rational bureaucracy emerges.
There is a massive drive to educate and train public sector officials. Diligence in the
management of public finances is a focus area. A stronger regulatory framework is put in place
to maintain the integrity of the financial system. With the emergence of credible institutions,
albeit at an early stage of their existence, other areas are set to flourish.
Our citizens are organising effectively. Civil society organisations are developing and maturing.
People are raising their consciousness and are protective of their rights and liberties. This
provides an important counterbalance to the governance of the state.
The incumbent party decides to amicably partake in the debate of the Constitution. It sits with
the opposition and a diversity of stakeholders to debate and reach settlement on all the issues
on the table, even while some stakeholders who do not believe that the Constitution should
change are absent. The provisions in the existing Constitution that are commonly accepted are
retained. The parties compromise on divisive constitutional provisions. The rights, duties and
limits of power of the ruling and the ruled are well defined in a new Constitution. There is equal
participation from all Ethiopians. The new Constitution uses gender-sensitive language, and
rejects all forms of violence. It is the pride of all Ethiopians.
The federal system is tweaked to work efficiently. The central government ensures that regional
states are allocated resources fairly based on current needs and the legacy of neglect in some
cases. This supports local government to deal with local challenges. The same fairness in the
allocation of resources is in turn applied at the woreda and kebele levels. The capital market
emerges as a decisive factor in funding development. Municipalities for example, begin to sell
bonds. Challenges remain. It is hard to shake off the enduring feeling among some groups that
the system is inherently unfair. But through transparency, the aim is equitable growth across
the country and for all our people.
Our economy is growing. The private sector is expanding and dynamic. Private investment is
on par with government’s capital spending. Measures are enacted to reduce corruption and to
protect the progress that we have made.
The government announces that it will relinquish control over key segments of the economy.
The first step is a sale of a minority share in the Ethiopian telecommunications sector to the
private sector. It is at the feasibility stage of selling stakes in other state owned enterprises.
There are concerns about the availability of funding for the Ethiopian private sector to step in
while foreign investors are very interested. The structure of our economy is changing
Our approach to natural resources is changing. In the past there was a top-down approach
to the management of natural resources. People used these resources in whichever way it
suited them. For example, a person with a water pump would extract water from a lake for
personal use. The shift is now to community utilisation and management of resources. Our
communities implement rules such as prescriptions for water quality and the quantity to be
used by community members or external users. Awareness comes from discussion and decision
platforms to guide communities on the use and utilization of resources.
The women’s rights movement has created a national critical mass of concerned citizens who
articulate their demands from an equality perspective. The movement is empowered to hold
leadership accountable to address the demands of women and girls, and it is able to help
politicians to value women both as a voting constituency and as leaders in society.
The government is in a better position to maintain law and order across the country. Still, there
are concerns that the use of the military for peacekeeping leads to an artificial peace that is not
sustainable. The ‘gun control’ kind of peace is transformed into a self-regulating peace where
our people are conscious of their situation. After years of normalized violence, there is progress,
evidenced by a decline in the levels of violence and conflict.
By 2030 elections have become more credible. Indeed, the political discourse is showing
incremental signs of maturing as a democracy. Political parties have become stronger and more
viable along ideological lines.
There is a genuine and enhanced commitment to tackle environmental challenges. Government
specifically seeks to mainstream its environmental policies. By now, we have reduced urban
pollution, deforestation and soil erosion. Our country is a serious player in the global response to
Ethiopia becomes food secure. We have increased availability, access, utilization and stability of
the food system. The government places emphasis on distribution systems to transport food
from areas of high production to areas where it is needed the most. Agricultural commodities
that are currently imported are increasingly produced locally. Peace and stability are the main
drivers of food security. In previous times of famine and food aid, some foreign actors gained
indirect influence. They do not take their loss of soft power lightly.
By 2035 we have a traceable reduction in the prevalence of gender-based violence due to
sustained campaigns and the government’s visible commitment to ending violence. Cases
are reported more frequently, survivors get adequate care and support, societal tolerance
to violence drops, together with the practice of victim blaming. We have sustained national
conversations on healthy relationships and the culture of violence.
The taboo against women farming in many Ethiopian communities is officially challenged
by the government and validated by a higher number of women engaging in farming in
communities across Ethiopia. This contributes to the food security and social cohesion of their
communities. Social development is improving. A key contributor is the progress that is made on land policy.
Key policy considerations aim to make land productive, to ensure the well-being of people who
work on it and to ensure that more Ethiopians have title deeds to property that they own. More
Ethiopians owning property assets pave the way for further financial autonomy and growth at
the level of the family. We are doing well in our response to environmental challenges. The impact of environmental
disasters is lower. There are strong early warning systems in place. Local emergency response
organizations are strengthened to respond to droughts and potential famine triggering
situations. A national green economy strategy is implemented across the country. It practically
addresses mitigation of greenhouse gas emission, boosts carbon sequestration, reduces water
loss and erosion.
By 2040 Dawn sees the realisation of the democratic transition. Ethiopia has done the hard
work of focusing on the basic issues. In parliament the multi-party system is firmly established
with equal representation and diversity in terms of gender, age, ability and social class. Ethnic
relations are amicable.
There is now a culture of accommodating differences. A new concept of
unity and a common national identity emerges. The federal system allows for unity on some
issues and diversity on others. Ethiopian women have achieved political representation as
elected officials and as members of Parliament. Gender equality and social justice are noticeable
features in our country. Our population growth rate has slowed down significantly.
We now play a major role in regional and global affairs due to a strong democratic culture as
well as strong leaders. Our standing also affords us increased negotiating and bargaining power
when it comes to international agreements and contracts. An unexpected consequence is that
migration from neighbouring countries is on the rise as people feel that opportunities in our
country are enticing.
There are still challenges. We have not made as much progress on social development as we
have with the economy and governance. Making decisions is hard and slow as we listen to
differing and divergent perspectives from parties that are not always on the same page. But the
tolerance for this is part of the democratic process. It is an incremental social progress.
Much hard work has been done to lay the foundations for democracy. But, it is still a long road
ahead with opportunities and ¬threats along the way. Our democratic project remains a work in