Ethiopian paper condemns African leaders declaring themselves Caesars for life

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Africa needs to cultivate a new breed of political leadership and put to an end to the current trend of regimes perpetuating a semblance of a personality cult, Ethiopia’s Sub-Saharan Informer suggested.

Apparently irked by the fact that there are very few young national leaders in the continent while a continuous stream of the usual players continue to wield their influence in politics, the weekly tabloid said in its editorial this week that there was no shortage of good leaders in Africa.

Arguing whether Africa can really gauge the qualities of its leadership or not, the paper went on: “The problem is that the accommodations within the state houses are very often too good for them to leave.

“Because of this, we see manipulations of constitutions and legislation as leaders attempt to declare themselves Caesars for life.

“This trend persists where one-time opposition figures, who used to carry the burden of abuse, find themselves at the helm of power and dish out the same abuse on the next round of opposition figures — the tactics remain, just the roles change.”

Sub-Saharan Informer applauds the work done by the independent Mo Ibrahim Foundation to assess the performance of leaders in African countries and reward those who excel in delivery of their people’s basic needs such as public security, health, education and economic development, and democratically transfer power to their successors.

Critics of the Foundation, according to the paper, would say that leaders should not be awarded for doing what they were supposed to do when they come to power.

But, the paper said that few would fail to note that the annual Mo Ibrahim Index not only shows where African governments and leaders stand in regard to their performance, but also the Index itself is an African perspective on how governance fares on the continent.

“It is our hope that moves by independent bodies towards shining light on the status of our leaders and governments continue to the extent that leaders, present and future, know what is expected of them; and that the people’s voice finally reaches the ears of our rulers,” it added.

Meanwhile, the government-owned daily, The Ethiopian Herald, has cautioned that as Ethiopia continues registering economic growth, new challenges are likely to evolve as a result of the soaring inflation.

Noting that the country was under transformation, the daily stated that strengthening the gains made so far is imperative. “It is indeed prudent that the government will be prepared to make interventions not only to control inflation and protect the consumers, but, if necessary, producers in case of falling prices.”

On the government’s stated determination to further political and socio-economic endeavours, the paper urged political parties, legislators and the entire public to have a wider participation and sense of responsibility for the desired targets and aspirations of the nation. Panapress.

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