Ethiopia: Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day – Fruit of Ethiopian Constitution

by Zelalem

Less than two weeks are left to celebrate the 12th Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day which is going to be ceremonialized colorfully in the Afar State. This part of the country is one of the notable historical sites. The Ethiopian Herald, hence, has reviewed some documents from the House of Federation (HoF) to give you some highlights on some important facts about the event.

It is clear that the Ethiopian Constitution and Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day are two sides of the same coin. The Constitution is the foundation for Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ unity, peace and harmony and is a secrete behind nation’s Strength. With this anchor idea, hence, Ethiopians celebrate December eight as the 12th Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day warmly and colorfully.

The Day commemorates the endorsement of the Constitution to make it a juncture to review pioneer thoughts and set forth future directions where all the attendants vow to further extend efforts to safeguard the Constitution.

As a document from HoF indicates this year’s celebration is not only renowned to enjoy the fruits of the Constitution, but is mainly aimed at renewing the promise to protect the Constitution from any of the annihilating acts of anti-peace elements.

The Constitution is a legal and grand political document that is used as a guideline to overcome nation’s deep rooted problems that would benefit all equally.

“The Constitution has changed the political scenarios of the country for the better: from agony and destitute into hope, conflict and war into peace, from oppression into democracy, and identity inferiority into source of pride. It is really the manifestation of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ commitments,”as the document stated.

Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia have already launched the democratic and constitutional journey and are heading with the new spirit to ensure sustainable peace, development and democracy to create one political and economic community.

And the results achieved so far have proven that the journey of the country is at the right direction. Ethiopia is now internationally acclaimed for its tremendous and fast economic growth.

Currently, Ethiopia has become an ideal place for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) due to the enabling environment put into effect. This is the outcome of the viable economic policies and relentless efforts of the government and the general public. This achievement has proven itself as promising. And the renaissance journey that the country pursues towards middle income economy would be realized in shortest time possible, as the document further indicates.

Economic transformation is not only the intention of the Constitution, rather ensuring lasting peace and security in the country is the other great concern of it as building sustainable peace and security is one of the pillars during the formulation of the Constitution.

The ultimate goal of the Constitution being incorporating public issues that had been neglected in the previous regimes and protect public interest, it is a well known fact that one of the pressing issues is its role and contribution to entertain Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ of the new Ethiopia.

The document further analyzed even if Ethiopia is a home for several Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’, previous regimes were not willing to entertain diversity and failed to acknowledge this serious and undeniable fact. But the new Ethiopia after the endorsement of the Constitution has acknowledged the rights of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’, valued diversity and provided wider protection, not only personal rights but also group rights.

The document also highlights that the Constitutional system is strong and deep rooted even if it is impossible to fully avoid conflicts and misunderstandings. Therefore, it is noted that misunderstandings could occur any time and eventually cause conflicts. But such conflicts that had came to happen in the nation are not the representatives of federal system.

As the formulation of the Constitution is based on the concept that the public is the owner of the authority, it is designed to ensure their’ superior and fair benefits from all the fruits of the system.

In the same way, as peace is protected and ensured by citizens, national development will also be realized through a system that consolidate citizens as one in a manner they employ their maximum efforts. It is from this fundamental notion that the Constitution has provided vast freedom for citizens to work and run business, the document capitalizes.

On the one hand, the federal system has been formulated in a way that all Nations, Nationalities and Peoples are allowed to exercise their unrestricted rights of self-administration. The rights promulgated in the federal Constitution and the federal system enshrined self determination up to secession. States’ borders are demarcated based on the topographic settlement of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia. Respecting group rights is highly interrelated with identity.

Today the formulation of the federal system and the celebration of the Day has created conducive situation that would enable Nations and Nationalities to have the authority for self-administration, to learn, work and judged with their vernacular languages, elect their leaders, develop their languages and know their history.

As it is stated time and again, the fundamental principle of the Constitution is to ensure public benefits. And the Constitution has clearly differentiated duties and responsibilities of federal and state governments. It has singled out the issue of land ownership and management as a direction to ensure fair benefits among all. It has also declared that the right to ownership of rural and urban land as well as natural resources are entitled to the people and government of Ethiopia.

The Constitution has guaranteed Nations and Nationalities to have self-governance as they all have lived for years in harmony.

At this point in time, the government and people of Afar are finalizing preparation to welcome guests to the 12th Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day that would be held in Semera Town.

Ethiopia is the country of diverse ethnicities, cultures, languages, and ancient civilizations. And the people of Ethiopia need to preserve these diversities. Celebrating Nations, Nationalities and People’s Day has played utmost role to share experience, learn about one another, collaborate on common agendas. More importantly, the celebration, which is moving across the nation, is playing greater role to develop infrastructures across all corners of the nation. Least developed states are also narrowing their infrastructural development gaps with this opportunity even if the main aim of celebrating the day is building one political and socio-economic community with strong unity and solidarity which respect diversity.

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