We Shall Be There! Ambassador Cham Ugala

Addis Ababa, August 21, 2013 (GSN) -It is undeniable fact that Gambella Regional State is one of the regional states of Ethiopia that are endowed with abundant natural resources. But, the mere fact that the region is rich in natural resources doesn't mean that it is an automatic condition for its people to benefit from these resources.

There are many things that should be done and many steps to be followed to gain the required benefit finally. Among other factors, human resource is one of the most important means of production that is needed to change this natural resource in to the forms that are ready to be used by the society. By human resource, I mean a skilled man power. We need skilled man power from lower to higher level of professions. Traditionally, professions like carpentry, masonry, and other technical works are considered as inferior jobs. But, in real term no society can hold strong without these professionals. For example, in Gambella today, if someone wants to build a brick house, he/she can't find a single indigenous person who qualifies in the field of masonry. I am trying to give you this simple example to see the magnitude of the problem in our region. The point is, we need engineers, doctors, lecturers, thinkers and many other professionals of our own in order to be able to utilize the said natural resources.

Unlike the situation in the early 1990s when there were only five persons with college degrees in the region, we have many graduates now who are qualified in various fields of study. The question is “how do these graduates apply their education in respect to the benefit that society should get and how does the leadership in Gambella use this educated force to get the maximum gain from it? ". I am raising this question because we used to experience some disturbing opinions from some quarters of the community. As a people, we have to start thinking as how to sieve out dirt from the normal norms we used to practice. Folks, as long as we are still depending on others to do things for us, we have to know that there is still a long way to go to meet our dream of bringing a real change in our society. To me, this is a real and present challenge that faces educated persons whether they are dwelling in the region or in Diaspora and I think, it needs to be confronted genuinely. 

When we look at the distribution of the Ethiopian Diaspora out there, you would agree with me that the share of Gambella Diaspora is considerably high proportionally vis-a-vis to its population number at nationwide. Even though, this can be taken as a potential for the development process of the region, nothing has materialized yet so far as compared to the cases of other regions in Ethiopia. This is a Gambellan paradox behind the all things at hand. It is true that there are few vocal members of our Diaspora who are intimidating the silent majority not to do the right thing for their region. This attitude has to be changed at all cost. Let's look at the case of the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia. Few years ago, they have the same problem like what is prevailing among the Gambellan Diaspora right now. Along the way, the Somali elites realized that the way they were following was doing a lot of damage to their own region, not other parts of Ethiopia and they came together to deliberate on the issues of common interest by leaving aside the bad politics they been doing for many years. Do you know what has happened to their region then? You can't imagine the number of Somali Diaspora that is flocking to that eastern region of Ethiopia. Many of the Somali Diaspora who was with some of you there in North America have come back to their region and investing in many areas. They are changing the image of their region in any capacity they have and they have started to gain the fruits of their good works.

Likewise, Gambellan elites have to sit down and try to sort out the common issues that may bring them together. We have to maximize our common interests by leaving the political dirt we have been doing all these years. It doesn't help anybody in any way. Ariet Nyigwo in her article which was posted on August 11, 2013 has clearly advised some Gambellan Diaspora to leave their chicken politics. It was really an adorable article which I appreciated a lot and I would like to say here that “please keep up the good work you are doing to your people ". But, there are few members of our Diaspora who are doing wonderful jobs in their own ways which needs to be scaled up, though. I hope, by now, there are many among the Diaspora who is already inspired by the move made by Dr. Opiew Omot Cham. Dr. Opiew has become a good example at any rate. This act has to be emulated by many graduates and come back home to serve our people. Shouting politics day-in and day-out doesn't do any good thing for all of us. On its part, the Regional Government of Gambella has to encourage this in many ways in order to attract many members of our Diaspora to come back home and serve the region in their areas of interest. This activity has to be a sort of two ways traffic. Let's do it together. I am quite sure that if we put our hands together, we shall see the light at the end of the tunnel in a shorter time period than we have thought to be.

May God Bless Gambella!


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