Haji Mufti Message for Oromia Youth Incidentally, it is not impossible to anticipate that the reforms that are currently aggressively being pursued in the economic realm as well are sure to accentuate the uncertainty and instability. These changes are being pursued in a context that is devoid of any public participation and consultation. Despite the impact they would have not only on the economic policy space of the country but also on the positioning of various sectors of the public in the economy, they are being pursued as purely technocratic exercises, accessible only to those in the know and those that are part of and campaigning for market forces. Given that these are being implemented in the absence of a national political consensus on the transition and the direction of the country and with the public largely left out, they can even carry more impact on societal power relations and expectations about delivery by or through the state. In the absence of an elite bargain and a new political consensus, even the political forces that returned to the country almost by default tend to operate on the basis of their own play book. In their eyes, the absence of a bargain and a new political consensus reached with their participation amount to a lack of a shared rules of the game, hence their inclination to use their own play book. While clearly a lot of progress has been achieved since PM Abiy came to power particularly in the political space, both the transition and these changes face major risk. The source of this risk is the fact that the transition and the changes are not grounded in a new national political consensus. Indeed, much of the troubles the country has experienced which threaten to undo all the great achievements registered are tied to this absence of a national political consensus. Thus, if the current trend of eruption of various incidents of tension, instability and violence are to be reversed and for the transition to succeed it is critical that a process of political dialogue for hammering out an elite bargain and achieve a new political consensus is urgently initiated. This can be accomplished on the basis of what I proposed in the article on namely a peace plan, ‘a plan whose starting point should be addressing the troubles in the EPRDF, which have been spilling over to trigger the insecurity affecting various parts of the country. It should establish a new inclusive consensus between the members of the ruling coalition. Such a plan should also involve stabilization of regional and local governments that experienced insecurity and violence. Additionally, the country needs such a peace plan that creates a platform for inclusive national dialogue as vehicle for truth and reconciliation and for building a rule and values based national consensus.’ The debate should not thus be whether the glass is half full or half empty. Indeed, it may as well be that there is a lot pouring into the glass & the glass may as well be filling up. In a context of absence of political consensus, the issue is that the glass itself may as well have cracked. If the crack is not fixed, the glass will break and all that is being poured into it spilt. As important as pouring new wine into a glass is thus the need of fixing the crack on the glass.Ethiopia’s government has explained that privatisation of the national airline and state telecommunications company is being done to ease the shortage of foreign currency. Ethiopia announced last week plans to open its state-run telecoms monopoly and state-owned Ethiopian Airlines to private domestic and foreign investment. In an exclusive interview with state broadcaster, Fana BC, Dr. Yinager Desie, Commissioner of the Ethiopian National Planning Commission said lower export performance, failure of mega projects to commence production, high demand for imported goods and growing external debt burden have worsened the shortage of foreign currency. displayAdvert("mpu_3") Ethiopia requires more than $13 billion over the coming two years for oil importation, private investment, upgrading of existing projects and for repayment of external debt. South African telecommunications firms MTN Group and Vodacom Group have already expressed interest in taking up investment options in Ethiopia’s telecom sector as soon as it opens up. Desie says the privatised enterprises would generate large amount of foreign currencies to tackle shortage. The commission will therefore give priority to foreign companies in privatising the enterprises as government’s decision is targeted obtaining foreign currency.