by Assegid Habtewold 
We are good people. We’re rich in culture and history. Most importantly, Ethiopia is endowed with untapped natural resources and human potential. But, we are among the poorest in the world and kept fighting one another for decades. Let’s be honest, our institutions are broken and our systems aren’t efficient and up-to-date. In short, it doesn’t take a rocket science to know that we’re lagging behind, even using Africa’s standard.
We have to be honest if our desire is to attain a sustainable change. If we are genuinely ready to achieve a lasting change, we have to start admitting our failures as a society. We cannot succeed in transforming the nation without being honest about where we are NOW and how far low we have become 🙂 We have to take responsibility individually and collectively!
That being said, however, since we’re approaching the Ethiopian New Year, I’m not going to spend a lot of time complaining about what is wrong about us and with us. Rather, I’d like to focus on the good news as we Ethiopians are ready to enter into the New Year. Thanks to God, the commitment of many selfless and untiring individuals, groups such as Team Lemma, and our new PM- Abiy, the giant in us has been awakened. We are hopeful and determined to change the destiny of this nation. And, we have what it takes to do so!!!
Nonetheless, we shouldn’t fool ourselves. First of all, we have to acknowledge the old wisdom; we cannot put new wine into old wineskin. We cannot practice new change ideas and succeed using old mindsets, attitudes, personalities, and skillsets. Second, this journey is neither easy nor short. The honeymoon period that we have been in the past more than three months should soon be over and we must roll our sleeves up in this upcoming year to do some serious deconstructions and constructions. We must destroy what hasn’t been working before we build new ones. We have to be courageous to recognize the mindsets and attitudes that led us to where we are and dare to substitute them with new ones that can take us to our dream place as a nation. We have to identify the knowledge and skill gaps that exist, and vow to build our capacity to raise world-class workforce. Without the latter, we cannot transform Ethiopia and change not only the destiny of the contemporary generation but also generations to come.
This rewarding journey, nevertheless, should begin from where we have the most control- from ourselves! We cannot force others to change. We don’t have control. Let’s start where we have the most control and maybe then we may influence others to change, and collectively build a New Ethiopia based on love, forgiveness, tolerance, inclusiveness, excellence, hard work, dedication, and so on.
I cannot emphasize this enough. The protracted and twisted journey of building a New Ethiopia that feeds her people, creates an environment where her diverse children live in peace and harmony, a nation that competes regionally, and becomes an exemplary nation in Africa must begin by first changing ourselves from within. The image that we have within reflects outwardly. We only harvest what we sow. The mindset, attitude, and personality that we have had individually and collectively brought us this far. And, we don’t like where we have been thus far. It must change but the place where we initiate that change should be from within. We shouldn’t keep pointing our fingers toward third parties and others for where we are. Most importantly, let’s not decide to wait and see before we change. Let’s not also wait until others change before we see the change we desperately looking for. Let’s take charge and own our own limitations and shortcomings. When we do that, we actually become empowered and in control.
On the other hand, when we blame others for our predicaments or wait on others to bring the change that we would like to see, we are admitting, indirectly, that we’re victims, helpless, and out of control. While we are in this pitiful position, we’re too weak and too soft to bring any change in our own lives, let alone among our communities, organizations, and nationally. Don’t empower your enemies and the things that victimized you. Tell them that you are in charge and can overcome them in the upcoming New Year. You have what it takes within to transform yours and your community’s destiny!
Thus, use this upcoming New Year as a turning point. Stop using some lame excuses and blaming others for where you are. Don’t wait on others. First change your mindset, attitude, and build a personality that embraces love, forgiveness, equality, justice, and hard work. That is when you will begin to see the change you would like to see happening around you.
We have a New PM who talks about New Ethiopia. Let the New Year be the beginning of your New You. Let your New Year’s resolution list reflect that!
You have a seed of greatness within. You’re wonderfully made to shine in this world. You’re one of the solutions your community has been desperately waiting for. Don’t disappoint them in this coming New Year. Unchain the great potential in you to serve others, your organization, and nation.
Remember, not great laws, institutions, infrastructure, and technologies that resulted great nations. Only great individuals can build a great nation! And, you have greatness chained within you. Begin unchaining it to unchain the destiny of your nation!
In conclusion, use this New Year to nourish and cultivate the great potential you carry within. Discover your uniqueness and your passion to serve others. Grow individually and professionally. Wherever you are, whether you’re in school, college, in business or politics, or doing research or what have you, play your share by building your capacity and committing yourself to excellence.
Be proactive to build the new mindset, attitude, personality, character, and skillsets the new Ethiopia desperately needs. Play your part and inspire others to do so. Go beyond talk, wish, and hope alone. Do something about it and launch yourself, and in turn, your community and country to greatness. Don’t forget. Mere slogans, tones of meetings, and social media posts alone- without actually undergoing change within and growing consistently to shoulder your responsibilities, don’t help you nor your beloved community and country to experience lasting transformation.
Let this year be the year you are going to build your self before you attempt to build others and the nation.
Let your New Year’s resolution be different this time. Straighten up your priorities. Let the coming year be the year you’ll embrace a NEW mindset, attitude, and personality that contribute toward building the New Ethiopia we all wish to see.
Let this coming year be that year you have been waiting for so long. Commit in your New Year’s Resolution first to learn, grow, and build yourself so that you can serve others with excellence and contribute your fair share in building the New Ethiopia. Happy New Year!!!
 Dr. Assegid Habtewold is the author of Unchain Your Greatness- the book dedicated to Dr. Abiy Ahmed. The book is available on Amazon. Assegid can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org