It is a long-running tradition of Ethiopian Review to select Person of the Year on 31st December of every year. The criteria we use to make the selection is: Who made the most significant contribution to the freedom and well-being of Ethiopia during the past 12 months?
Our choice this year is Ato Gizachew Shiferraw, the recently retired chairman of Unity for Democracy and Justice in Ethiopia (UDJ).
Ato Gizachew has contributed enormously and made huge sacrifices to help bring positive changes in Ethiopia. For over a decade, he has been harassed, vilified as terrorist and arrested by the TPLF ethnic apartheid junta that is looting and plundering our country. There are many other Ethiopians who have made similar contributions and made even greater sacrifices during these past 12 months. Ato Gizachew tipped the scale because he did two things that are special and unusual in Ethiopian and African politics: 1) he kept his promises to promote young Ethiopians to his party’s top leadership, and 2) he transferred his chairmanship to a young leader. In doing so, he helped revitalize a stagnant opposition party and enabled it to give voice to the voiceless people of Ethiopia.
As a result of Ato Gizachew’s courageous and honorable actions, from now on, all other Ethiopian politicians will be held to the standard he has set. For those who hold on to power for decades and turn their organizations and themselves into zombies, he made it harder to continue without persistent demands to step down.
On this occasion, Ethiopian Review calls on all Ethiopian political and civil leaders who have held top positions in their organizations for over 5 years to pass the torch to younger leaders. Ethiopia is engulfed with countless problems, and change of leaderships may be one of the most important steps for putting our country on the path to revival.
Happy New Year, and may the year 2015 doom the blood sucking tyranny in Ethiopia!