Date: Tuesday, 30 March 2021
By Berhane Woldu
In the 19th century after hundreds of thousand deaths and hundred fifty years later Europe accomplished its economic and political goals. In the 20th Century few Asian countries came out of civil war. North and South Vietnam were united; Cambodia attained peace both countries became middle income with strong State.
Recently Republic of Congo held its Democratic election with the opposition boycotting, the main opposition figure in the hospital later to die. Politics in Republic Congo for that matter most African countries is a fatal mixture of rent seeking, clientelism, and ethnicity. There is no Democratic election, it’s only for propagation and a way to certify themselves as legitimate leaders. These states have national wealth steady flow of resource rents, which the elites shared among themselves. The 80% of the population live in poverty. Income inequality becomes the root cause of destabilization and civil war. Some African countries lack strong and capable states; the leadership is engaged in the extraction of resource rents and their distribution to members of the political elites. Their Democratic election doesn’t hold water.
Centralized governance is embodied in a highly institutionalized bureaucracy and operates through clearly articulated rules. Fared Zakaria a contemporary political thinker: inveterate that developing nations are better of making a highhanded centralized transition to a fully modernized political and economic system rather than trying to jump to democracy. This is where Eritrea is headed economic growth with developed political institution.
Eritrea in the 30 years armed struggle has been able to form a strong Nationalism and after independence achieved strong state and a leadership with social capital. After Independence Eritrea was building modern institutions that was interrupted by war of aggression by the former Ethiopian government dominated by Weyane elites. Back on truck: Eritrean leadership is working hard to secure society that is prosperous, modern, secure, well governed, and low levels of corruption with a balanced political institutions. Effective government is one that its bureaucracy is built on the concept of meritocracy. No one person has any more intrinsic right to official position than another.
Personal connections rather than merit were the means by which individuals were placed in position of responsibility prior to 1991. To eliminate clientelism from government stronger merit-based service emerged. The Eritrean Government gradually dismantled the clientelistic system of colonial Ethiopia and laid the foundation of a professional bureaucracy by inviting educated Diasporas’, civil servants and professionals. Believing education as the gateway into higher bureaucratic services expanded education, vocational training and colleges enhancing human capital. The government was politically willing to endure reform and introduce merit-based civil services seeking professionalized bureaucracy. Worked on technical characteristics of a modern bureaucratic systems by familiarizing Job classification, examination requirements, and promotion ladders. Lead to the creation of a centralized national bureaucracy which is the primary source of government. The Eritrean government works on industrial policy of self-reliance and state intervention to promote economic growth. The government is actively engaged in the economy by providing subsidized credits and infrastructural support to industries free from corruption and rent seeking. To ensure the success of the economic growth the bureaucracies are forced to respond to social needs that promote long term goals that serves the spacious public interest.
South Korea, Taiwan and China rapid modernization was overseen by authoritarian governments. These leaders were able to satisfy popular expectations for jobs and economic growth and stability. In Asia economic growth drove social changes by expanding commerce, industrialization, urbanization that led to new forms of social mobilization.
Eritrea has strong tradition of state and nation hood with national identities and shared culture that was embedded in the thirty year war of independence. These long state tradition and national identities have been the foundation that afforded Eritrea its independence, retain its sovereignty and political stability. With a population cultured with work ethic and thrift; governance with centralized system will shortly realize success in economic development and social mobilization.