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In this scenario, like a Divided House, different sectors and regions
use their newfound freedom to pursue their own ambitions; gaps
and divisions grow at all levels of society. The economy is doing well
but social development does not receive adequate attention. Multiple
crises expose the central government’s fragility. Some regional states
strengthen to the point that they are confident about total self autonomy. 

the government. However, some people still feel that the election was rigged using
sophisticated methods including bribery even though the Election Board was led by an
independent person.
The space opens for assertive leaders to emerge in some geographic regions. Some of these
leaders have used brute force to destroy alternative leadership in their domains and have
their sights on absolute control of their regions. 

የፉክክር ቤት DIVIDED HOUSE

 There is also a group of regional state leaders
whose stance is distinctly democratic. The emergence of all of these leaders has not happened
overnight. They have been amassing resources for a while.
The Ethiopian economy is growing in line with the high growth rates of the past decade. It is
forecast to continue to do so into the near future. The moniker “African Tiger Economy” is apt.
Being a patronage economy, stories emerge of funding that is meant for infrastructure projects
being diverted to a small group of connected people. Corruption is rife. The private sector is by
and large unable to partake meaningfully in the economy. Wealthy Ethiopians are leaving the
country. The economic growth is not benefitting all Ethiopians. In that respect, economic policy
is failing.
People are very concerned about the lack of progress in social development. Poverty is on the
increase again after healthy gains. Job creation will be difficult with half a million schoolleavers needing jobs each year. Savings and investments for ordinary citizens is not even a
consideration.
Divisions are growing at many levels of society just as it does in a Divided House where no one
seems accountable. At the national level there is a feeling that some regional states dominate
the culture of the country. Within regions, many people feel that the culture of other regions is
imposed on them. In general, groups are using different historical narratives of the origins of
Ethiopian development and the formation of the country. The state for its part attempts to use
historical narratives to justify policy changes that favour one group over another.
Groups seek out the narratives that support their agendas and drive them in different
directions. In recent political history, a mentality of division was instilled between ethnic groups;
between the poverty stricken and the rich; and between religious groups. They all now have the
propensity to hate each other and act violently.
The divisions prevent any chance of consensus on the Constitution. Some ethnic groups
consider the Constitution to be a guarantee of their freedom so it is not in their interests to
change it. Other groups and regions would like to see changes made to the Constitution. Thus,
this disagreement further escalates the divisiveness of politics at this time. Regional governments use the threat of secession to negotiate for funding and resources from
the central government. Secession has been avoided up to now. One reason is that regional states are actually in a strong bargaining position and would only use secession as a last resort.

Bargaining aside, regional states see secession to become independent countries as taking
responsibility for their future. They continue to build their capacities and wealth in line with
their aim of self-autonomy. Foreign powers are also competing with each other in Ethiopia. They
covertly support different groups based on mining and commercial interests. Ominously, reports
emerge of an upscaling in regional armed capacity. This creates a tense atmosphere.
Elections over the years are characterized by increasing fragmentation and violent conflict.
Regions are definitely stronger yet the weak central government is experienced enough to
conduct elections in ways that keep it in power through the flow of patronage favours.
By 2030, we experience a debt crisis. The causes are threefold. First, we have borrowed
extensively to fund new infrastructure projects, which are not yet operational and therefore
not contributing to the economy as yet. Second, we have not diligently managed our national
debt payments over the years. Third, we have not managed to boost export, leading to an acute
shortage of foreign currency.
The default on debt obligations leaves us vulnerable to foreign intervention. International
finance institutions offer the option of a bailout. Most of our debt is from one foreign country.
The collateral on the loans are the strategic infrastructure that was built using the funds. Energy
projects, logistics infrastructure and other assets transfer ownership out of Ethiopia’s hands. By
this point, the skills to own, manage and operate these assets have already been successfully
transferred to Ethiopians. It is a pity for us to lose ownership under these circumstances. Our
sovereignty is very much at risk.
Informal armed groups are active and attacking people triggered by ethnicity and religion
caused conflicts. There is a huge loss of lives. The government, focused on the debt crisis, is
unable to respond swiftly.
There is not much room to consider the environment at this point, following years of leadership
on the response to climate issues. The state continues to project a concern for environmental
sustainability. But, it is actually to create political legitimacy and to secure funding from
international institutions that can be diverted elsewhere. There are major questions around
the ability of this government to respond to big climate related events as it is already seen as
compounding the plight of vulnerable people.
28 Destiny Ethiopia – Four Scenarios of Possible Futures 

 In 2040 we are dealing with many crises. A major drought takes hold. This disaster quickly
results in famine in some regions. Our country has experienced this before, but not on this scale.
Some regions are better off than others, especially with access as the market and infrastructure
for food is controlled. But for Ethiopia as a whole, this event is a major knock. Another big threat
is the potential invasion by a neighbouring country over the use of common natural resources.
The central government is too weak to deal with all of the crises on the table.
In 2040 local actors are mobilizing to exploit the weakness of the federal system. Leaders in
regional states have options. Their strength and resources can give them the confidence to
secede and become new countries. Or, they can make a move for the leadership of Ethiopia.
Everybody is concentrating on the respective religious and ethnic affiliations. Common values
make way for extreme divisions.
The various divisions in our society pull our people in different directions. We may need to
redraw the map of Ethiopia if this continues. One thing is certain: we are at crossroads. Will
the crises lead to an all-out conflict through the deepened divisions and accountability failures
visible in a Divided House? Or will we find a way to come together to respond to our people’s
collective needs? 

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. 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. 

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 realization of the democratic transition.  

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
progress.

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
progress.