Meles Zenawi – The Great Dreamer

By Yohannes Gebresellasie, Ph.D
Dec. 12, 2012

People dream of anything and everything. Therefore, dreams vary from one person to the other. There are simple dreamers and there are great dreamers. Simple dreamers dream simple dreams while great dreamers dream great dreams and want their dreams to materialize and to become a reality; for that, great dreamers work hard and work day and night with absolute commitment, perseverance, vigor and tenacity in order to realize their dreams.

The great black American Human Rights advocate and peoples’ leader Martin Luther king; popularly known as Dr King is known among others for his famous saying “I have a dream …’’. His dream was about equality, about humanity, dignity, fairness, love and Peace. He dreamt for the above and other social goods in general and for the equality and fairness of his people: the American public in particular. Further, Dr. King dreamt for all people to live in peace and in harmony irrespective of the color of their skin, ethnic or national backgrounds or religious denominations. He detested discrimination and the notion that some are more equal than others. Generally, he dreamt of justice and equal treatment for all. Dr King was an American Hero who made his dream materialized at the cost of his precious life.

Hear at home, in our nation, we witnessed other great dreamer who made his dream come true. This great Ethiopian Hero indeed an African Hero is our late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. This great dreamer worked his whole life until his death with absolute and unequivocal persistence, dynamism and commitment to make his dream come true. Meles’s dream was not about his personal and even about his family’s welfare but solely to the benefit of his people: the Ethiopian people and his nation; our nation that he dearly cared and dearly loved. All his life, he dreamt of peace, justice and for fairness and equality for Nations, Nationalist and Peoples of Ethiopia. He also dreamt of eradicating poverty and ignorance: those two things he calls the number one enemies of our nation while working day in and day out to transform our nation to prosperity and progress.

Further, he dreamt of making his people stand proud anywhere and everywhere they are. As a result, he was able to realize his dreams by changing the long overdue backward mentality and by transforming his nation and his people once and for all for the better; thus, he made his dreams come true. Meles was a great leader and a proud son of our nation and an Ethiopian hero while he lived and after his death. Meles never had life for himself and even for his family as his life and his family have always been his people and his nation. He never had any break time or vacation time. His life was work, work and work: the only thing he knew very well in order to fulfill his dream: the dream of eradicating poverty and backwardness from the face of Ethiopia and change his nation for the better once and for all.

Meles Zenawi demonstrated unmatched sacrifices and unprecedented personal dedication and determination in order to make his dreams come true. That is why the Ethiopian people from coast to coast showed their respect, love and admiration to this great dreamer and Ethiopian hero; the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi during his lifetime and after he passed away.

Meles Zenawi had an accurate depiction, unwavering incites and commitment coupled with high intellectual caliber to his national interest and his country’s developmental endeavor. While analysing and synthesizing the ideological divide between neo-liberalism and the democratic and developmental state and categorically rejecting neo-liberalism that sees the role of the state as: A night watchman consisting of the bare minimum that is required to uphold the law: the police, the judicial system, prisons and the army which is dubbed by some as the “21st. century political dogma as a dead end, Meles Zenawi chose and developed the democratic and developmental state approach that sees the position of the state as one: that plays an active role in guiding economic development and using the resources of the country to meet the needs of the people. A developmental state tries to balance economic growth and social development. It uses state resources and state influence to attack poverty and expand economic opportunities. The degree of state intervention depends on whether a government chooses to leave economic development and redistribution to the whims of the free market, or to be a more interventionist or developmental state in order to lead this country in a socioeconomic path. That way, Meles Zenawi brought about unprecedented transformation on the social, economic and political landscape of our nation. In fact, Meles Zenawi was the sole architect of all developmental plans and strategies of this nation. Those characteristics of this great leader helped his dream not to remain as simple dreams but rather dreams transformed to reality.

Therefore, Meles Zenawi will always have his people‘s love, respect and admiration and will remain in the hearts and sole of his people for ever. Meles Zenawi’s legacy will also continue to shine and motivate the Ethiopian people in general and the young generation in particular for more national unity, economic progress prosperity and national pride.

Meles Zenawi served his nation, his region and indeed the world at large until his death; thus, his accomplishments are well acknowledged and recognized by world leaders and world intellectuals alike. His role at the G8, G20 representing the continent of Africa, The AU, IGAD, NEPAD and on the World Climate Change Forum and his role in peace keeping and peace making in Somalia, Sudan, South. Sudan, Liberia, Rwanda etc. earned him respect and admiration not only as The Great Ethiopian Leader, but indeed The Great African Leader as well. Representing our great nation in many international arenas, Meles Zenawi made his people, his nation, his region and the whole continent of Africa very proud with his exceptional intellectual capacity, oratory and negotiation skills and unique patience, determination perseverance and persistence.

Meles Zenawi can be called as the father of modern and civilized Ethiopia that will continue to progress and develop with his vision and the legacy he left behind coupled with our peoples’ hard work and commitment in order to finish the unfinished business of our nation. We Ethiopians owe this great leader a great deal; for he dedicated his whole life to improve our living standard and to put our nation amongst economically the fastest growing nations in the world. His was able to put Ethiopia amongst the five most growing nations in the world and his dream has become a reality because, during the last nine years, Ethiopia showed a double digit economic progress (10-11%) on average and that pace is continuing even on this current year. If this trend continues on the same pace, Ethiopia will definitely join the middle income nations within the next nine to ten years and that is a huge leap frog unprecedented in the history of this nation. That is also a great legacy of a great Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

Now, what should we do to pay what we owe to this great leader? The answer is very clear and simple. The answer my friends is simply to finish his unfinished dreams into reality: to develop our nation with hard work, perseverance and vigor; in other words to work and work and work hard with commitment to get rid of poverty and backwardness those two things Meles Zenawi calls number one enemies of our nation. Meles said we can do it believing on ourselves and depending solely on our peoples’ energy, resources and commitment. We can pay him back simply by answering to the above national challenges and that means paying back what we owe to this great leader: the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.