Lack of Good Governance in Ethiopia
Among other factors, lack of good governance is one of the causes of public grievances in Ethiopia which lead to the loss of human life and obliterate of properties during the past two years especially in Oromia and recently Amhara regional states. When we assess briefly the functioning of good governance system in Ethiopia in relation to good governance whether at national or local government is inconsistent with essential elements of good governance which comprises the following main elements:
(1) People Participation. In principle all men and women should have a voice in decision-making, either directly or through legitimate intermediate institutions that represent their interests. Such broad participation is built on freedom of association and speech, as well as on the capacity to participate constructively. Community members may be provided with information, asked for their opinion, given the opportunity to make recommendations in the decision-making process. Even though freedom of association and speech are constitutionally allowed people have not yet practiced in reality in Ethiopia rather than theoretically explained on their single media they have since they have been in power.
(2) Rule of law. Legal frameworks should be fair and enforced impartially, particularly the laws on human rights. This means that decisions are consistent with relevant legislation or common law and are within the powers of council. But in reality during the implementation of rule of law there is an intervention from external body which distract from consistent relevant legislation during decision making process in Ethiopia.
(3) Transparency. There is a free flow of information from the bottom to upper and vice versa to make transparent to the people. Processes, institutions and information should be directly accessible to those concerned, and enough information should be provided to render them understandable and monitor able. People should be able to follow and understand the decision-making process. This means that they will be able to clearly see how and why a decision was made – what information, advice and consultation council considered, and which legislative requirements council followed.
(4) Responsiveness. Institutions and processes should serve all stakeholders. Local government should always try to serve the needs of the entire community while balancing competing interests in a timely, appropriate and responsive manner. But the responsive process by the institutions have been served based up on bribe, relative or proximity, partiality, long time,… etc.
(5) Consensus orientation. Due to the lack of good governance differing interests could not be mediated in order to reach broad consensus on the best interests of the group and, where possible based up on policies and procedures available.
(6) Equitable and inclusive. All men and women should have equal opportunity to maintain or improve their well-being. This means that all groups, particularly the most vulnerable, should have opportunities to participate in the process. Example, proportionate economic allocation and utilization, appropriate political representation, and social participation could be applicable.
(7) Effectiveness and efficiency. Processes and institutions should produce results that meet needs while making the best use of resources they produce. Local and national government should implement decisions and follow processes that make the best use of the available people, resources and time to ensure the best possible results for their community. However, inefficiency and ineffectiveness could result due corruption, bribe, and misuse of human resource, inappropriate polices, rules, procedures and others.
(8) Accountability. Decision-makers in government, the private sector and civil-society organizations should be accountable to the public as well as to institutional stakeholders. National as well as local government has an obligation to report, explain and be answerable for the consequences of decisions it has made on behalf of the people or community it represents. But nobody has been accounted due to wrong decision, policies and procedures happened on behave of the government institution in Ethiopia which could be transparent, responsive and explicable to the public in general to take the accountability.
(9) Strategic vision. Leaders and the public should have a broad and long-term perspective on good governance and human development. There should also be an understanding of the historical, cultural and social complexities in which that perspective is grounded.
By Tolessa Kerore
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