Rochester, MN, May 15, 2014 (GSN) - I just wanted to extend a huge “Thank You” to Gambella People’s National Regional State Administrative Council for giving me the opportunity to observed development of the state. One may not understand how entirely these people brought the change and peace into Gambella regional state of Ethiopia.
Gambella region is known to have three Zones, thirteen woredas and one special woreda., 14 woredas which divided into 238 Kebeles, and one central administration. The Woredas (districts) is the basic decentralized administrative units and has it administrative council in which composed of elected members. The state and districts has also regional sector bureaus and districts sector offices for management of the sector services include health bureaus, water bureaus, and education bureaus according to their level.
My assignment was given by Gambella People’s National Regional State Administrative Council to visit zones and 14 waredas to discuss with administrative and interviewed about ongoing development of the region and build strong relationship with diasporas; unfortunately due to time constraint I couldn’t have enough time to visit the entirely woredas. My questions which I asked and interviewed every one of zones and woredas administrative were concerning about Diasporas especially for those who would like to establish businesses and job seekers.
As a visitor from diasporas, my mission was to collaborate with Zones and Woredas administrative to engaged in relationship and bridge the gap that broken between the government and its citizen in Diaspora and involve in development. In fact, they were interested encourage Diasporas to involve in development of the region through businesses and invest in education. I was extremely impressed with their answers in which they went above and beyond the call of duty and their knowledge. I appreciated for them to jump into answer a few questions and that I had the opportunity to have open conversation and they all made me feel so welcome. As I continue to interview and questions those government officials, farmers, small business owner, and students; the answers I got were no different from others and they were singing the same song which every one of us might heard it before. “They’re all said we need all of you to come back home and develop our region through businesses and education.
This land has been given to foreign investor and very few citizens but as citizen you will be the first to be given so everyone who is willing to acquired land for investment need to do it now before is too late” I was very happy for I what saw and to say Governor Gatluak Tut and Deputy Governor Eng. Olero Opiew worked so hard to bring those indigenous together and representing the so call Gambella’s unity. They were impressed with the works of Dr. Opiew Omot committed to serve and briefly discussed the need of university with Ethiopian higher education for the first to build university in Gambella region.
As our political environment continues to change, we need to explore ways to redesign our services to the citizen and provide the highest level of the most efficient manner. Over the past years, our political sector was disestablished, especially bring citizen to engage in collaborating services including Diaspora Gambellan, but the current administration felt to change the system. In fact, one must realize that this change cannot come without involvements in the government and there were some individuals who have provided a high level of compassionate and deserve our deep appreciation. While this has not been an easy transition, we are confident that with the changing our political environment, the need for the Diasporas to invest in businesses and education are more welcome in our regional state as I speak.
I also would to thank you the government of Gambella for giving a chances to returnees who are willing to come back home from neighbor countries. At the movement ,the role of the Government now shift to practical matter in which focus on developing model that addresses the past issues specially welcoming our brothers and sisters who were strapped in neighbor countries for 11 years. The current administration is doing as much as it can to accommodate the returnees and gives an opportunity to start their life over. Returnees have been trained to be able to get a job and put their life back together. Now some of these returnees are working and enjoying their life like everyone else, so everyone is welcome home. Even though there are still more than 8000 Gambellan displaced in neighbor countries following political unrest since 2003, some of these displaced have stated that they would like to come home. Home is home and there is no place like home.
Finally, business in Gambella is booming and citizens are waiting for Diasporas to do their part as I have mentioned above: Diasporas can participate as investor, small business owner, and educator, even government office according to your qualification. If anyone willing to involve in one of those sectors and needs information, please don’t be hesitate to contact one of our branch office in Diaspora. Again, I would like to pass my unconditional thanks to Gambella’s government officials for all what they did for such a huge change and being a great team, providing superb service and representing in such an awesome manner!
By Omot Olok, @ firstname.lastname@example.org