From Arat Kilo to Mesqel Square, October 4, 2021, was a busy day. At the former, Parliament opened its first business of the next five years to form a government, while at the latter, tens of thousands of people gathered for a lavish and ornate event. A few hours after Abiy Ahmed (PhD) was sworn in to continue as the Prime Minister, all eyes were on a Mesqel Square that had recently hosted the Mesqel and Irrecha festivities, in that order. Heads of state from East and West Africa, and nearly every top brass of his administration were in attendance.

The recent redevelopment of the most historic public space in the heart of Addis Abeba shows, as does the amount of work and investment that went into making last Monday’s event metaphorically mirror what the Prosperity Party has dubbed Ethiopia’s Addis Me’raf, a new chapter. Behind an imposing stage where the colour yellow dominated, half a dozen heads of state and Prime Minister Abiy gave speeches to a cheering crowd.

“You're the Prime Minister of those that gave you the vote and even those that didn’t give you the vote,” said Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. “These are all your people.”

The Prime Minister had amplified this sentiment earlier that day.

"I vow to be accountable to the parliament, to carry out the responsibilities bestowed by the country and its people with sincerity, dedication and respect of the laws and regulations," said the Prime Minister after he was sworn-in as the third head of government since the republic was formed in the mid-1990s.

The glamorous celebration in Addis Abeba did not make much mention of the deteriorating political situation in the country, making it one of the most unsafe countries in the world. Abiy’s administration, which formed its cabinet portfolio of 22, is ambitious to see prosperity and peace through, a high order for a country at civil war and rising poverty levels due to escalating cost of living. Even as Ethiopia becomes infamous once again for dislocation, starvation and suffering in the northern part of the country, the Prosperitarians remain confident that their "New Chapter" will be one of hope and plenty.

PUBLISHED ON Oct 09,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1119]

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