Medemer Way or “Ethiopian Solutions to Ethiopian Problems”

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“Prof. why aren’t you saying something?”

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There is an old saying, “Those who know don’t talk, and those who talk don’t know.”

Many on social media have been asking why I have not said something — anything — on the recent controversy involving the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC).

I addressed the issue directly only once. In a tweet at the onset of the controversy on January 23, 2023, barely four days after an extraordinarily peaceful and joyous Ethiopian Epiphany celebrated in the EOTC.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is a venerated faith institution & legal entity (personality) fully protected by the Ethiopian Civil Code, Arts. 394-402.

Those who politicize faith/religion are playing w/fire & will soon find themselves among the ashes. #Ethiopia #Ethiopian

As a lawyer, I knew the controversy had theological/canonical and secular legal dimensions.

In Mark 12:17 is written, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

On matters theological and canonical, the EOTC Synod has full and exclusive jurisdiction.

But the EOTC is also a legal personality with specific rights secured in the Ethiopian Civil Code.

Article 398 of the Civil Code recognizes one and only one EOTC.

Article 399 of the Civil Code acknowledges the EOTC Synod’s exclusive power to administer its canonical and administrative affairs.

At the onset of the controversy, I knew the YouTube clickbait buzzards (vultures) will be salivating, licking their chops and rubbing their palms to have a field day politicizing, monetizing, merchandising and commercializing the issue.

African vultures are to carrion as Ethiopian YouTube clickbait buzzards are to divisive wedge issues.

But it was not only the clickbait buzzards that were circling overhead.

There were also the demagogues, rabble-rousers, empty barrel noisemakers, agent provocateurs and fanatic extremists and terrorists who were also circling to politicize, anathemize and demonize Church and  government in the futile hope they can sneak their way into power.

I kept my silence because I know certain things about Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

I kept my silence because I knew the Church Fathers were far wiser than I could ever be.

I kept my silence because I knew Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen and the cabinet and President Sahlework Zewde are far wiser than I could ever be.

I kept my silence because I knew the Ethiopian Elders working in the foreground and background to resolve the issues were far wiser than I could ever be.

I knew the Church Fathers, the Prime Minister, cabinet and executive leadership and the Elders, keeping Ethiopia in their hearts and God in their minds and spirits, will sooner than later resolve the issues.

They did resolve it.

They resolved it the Medemer Way.

When they resolved it, “ran a thrill of joy prophetic throughout Ethiopia, trembling on from east to west and north to south.”

I am proud of them. All Ethiopians are proud of them. God bless them all!


I kept my silence because I knew other things too.

I know Ethiopia is not a country but a civilization.

I know Ethiopia is not only the cradle of humanity but also the cradle of Christian civilization in Africa.

I know during the First Hijra, the Prophet Muhammad directed his persecuted followers “to leave Makkah and seek sanctuary in Abyssinia (Ethiopia) ruled by a Christian king, well-known for being a just and God-fearing man.”

I know Ethiopia is the cradle and fountainhead of faith in the Almighty.

James Russell Lowell in the “The Crisis”, a stirring poem about American slavery, wrote:

When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth’s aching breast
Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west…

Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,
Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right,
And the choice goes by forever ‘twixt that darkness and that light…

And, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

The Crises which threatened to engulf the EOTC and rain its blight proved to be a defining moment of bloom and light in our nation’s history.

For two weeks, Ethiopia stood ‘twixt the darkness of hate, sectarianism and communalism and the light of unity, dignity and prosperity.

Ethiopia chose the light.

But unbeknown to many there “Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.”

Ethiopians are exceptional people

Since 2009, I have been preaching my personal gospel of “Ethiopians United Can Never be Defeated.” I have yet to be proven wrong!

For the past two years, I have been preaching “Ethiopian Solutions to Ethiopian Problems” and “African Solutions to African Problems.” I have yet to be proven wrong!

I know Ethiopians are an exceptional people.  I have been preaching “Ethiopian exceptionalism” for years.

I know Ethiopians are tough people.

So tough, they beat one of the great European military powers twice, within a period of 45 years.

So tough, they fought back the proxy war of the Superpowers and won.

When the going gets tough, the tough Ethiopians get going to face the enemy be it domestic or foreign, ideological or political.

We are Ethiopia Tough!

We are Ethiopia Strong!

It breaks my heart that Ethiopians do not know how great they are in human civilization.

It breaks my heart to see Ethiopians wasting time talking nonsense about ethnicity/tribalism and identity politics and stoking the fires of sectarianism and communalism.

It breaks my heart to see the divine call to greatness falling on deaf Ethiopian ears!

I pray Ethiopians will soon wake up to the Great MEGA Call: Make Ethiopia Great Again!

Medemer in action- Why I support PM Abiy Ahmed

There are those who say I am an unquestioning supporter of PM Abiy Ahmed. I never criticize him or condemn him for one thing or another.

In my April 29, 2018 commentary, 27 days after he became prime minister, I noted PM Abiy’s critics were “demanding not only that he walk on water in less than 30 days but also soar in the sky without wings.”

They seek divine perfection of an imperfect man who is elect of the people.

Anything that goes wrong in Ethiopia is the fault of Abiy Ahmed.  Two drunkards fight and shoot each other at a bar, that is Abiy Ahmed’s fault. Terrorists attack a remote village, Abiy Ahmed’s hand must be in it. There is drought in parts of Ethiopia. Of course, that is Abiy Ahmed’s fault. He single-handedly caused climate change!

How many are willing to stand up and publicly give Abiy Ahmed credit for anything? For beautifying Addis Ababa? For fingering corruption in the government and in his own party? For his ambitious and demonstrably practical plans to make Ethiopia food and energy self-sufficient? For his extraordinary diplomacy bringing peace to the Horn region? For negotiating debt relief and preventing debt default for Ethiopia? For making extraordinary efforts to make Ethiopia a global ecotourism destination. And so on.

For the record, I have publicly and proudly given PM Abiy credit, time and again, for his tireless and selfless service to Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people.

I declared my support for PM Abiy six days after he was appointed Prime Minister on April 2, 2017.

My support was principled as I have set out in detail in my April 8, 2018 commentary.

Before April 2, 2018, I had never heard of anyone by the name Abiy Ahmed. In March of 2018, I may have seen two or three short videos of Abiy Ahmed talking about his pride in Ethiopia and Ethiopian unity.

In October 2017, I had written a commentary entitled, “I PROUD ETHIOPIANwhen among many it was a badge of shame to call oneself Ethiopian.

The things Abiy Ahmed said about Ethiopia and Ethiopians in his inauguration speech were music to my ears.

Watching him deliver his speech in parliament was the coming to pass of prophesy for me.

In September 2016, I had given an interview prophesying the rise of Ethiopia’s Cheetah (young) Generation and the imminent resurrection of Ethiopia from the graveyard the TPLF had buried her.

I was sure in that interview a young leader would soon emerge to rescue Ethiopia from the claws of the TPLF.

In my February 3, 2013 commentary, I had predicted the end game of the TPLF with precision.

Scripture teaches that “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.”  Meles and his worshippers have profoundly troubled the Ethiopian house and they shall inherit the wind!

Indeed, the TPLF waged a war for 2 years, caused the deaths of over a million people and inherited the wind!

To me, Abiy Ahmed is and has always been the leader of Ethiopia’s Cheetah (Young) Generation.

I made that clear in my April 8, 2018 (six days after he became prime minster), “Personal Letter to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.”

In that letter, I reminded him, “Above all, I regard you as the leader of Ethiopia’s youth. That said, know that I am in your corner and got your back.”

I made my position doubly clear three weeks after PM Abiy became prime minister :

I am convinced more than ever that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Ethiopians… That generation is PM Abiy’s, not my Hippo (older) generation. Ethiopia’s fate and destiny hangs in the balance of their success and failure. I will do whatever I can to make sure PM Abiy’s generation succeeds because state failure, political failure, economic failure and social failure are not options for Ethiopia!

pledged to support PM Abiy and his generation however long, arduous or difficult the journey may be to get Ethiopia on the road to peace and prosperity.

I pledged my full support because I come from the generation that failed Ethiopia. I carry the shame and guilt of my generation on my head every day as crown of thorns.

I ask those who criticize me for not criticizing PM Abiy one question: How can I criticize PM Abiy Ahmed and his Cheetah generation for their failures in Ethiopia when I and my generation are fully responsible for plunging them into the abyss of political and social failure?

If I were to point an index finger at Abiy Ahmed and his generation for their failure, would three fingers not point back at me and my generation?

Is it not true that today they are fixing the bloody decades-old mess of my generation? Who is responsible for the 97% failure rate on the national schooling leaving exam in 2023?

The criticisms of the sanctimonious, self-righteous,  do-nothing windbags trapped in groupthink and herd mentality testifies only to the bottomless depths of their moral depravity and hypocrisy and the heights of their intellectual bankruptcy.

This is not to say PM Abiy and his generation are above reproach and criticism.

It behooves members of my failed generation to offer them only constructive criticism for we have no moral standing to do otherwise as they do the heavy lifting to rebuild Ethiopia from the ashes of ethnic division and religious bigotry and rescue her from the abyss of poverty.

My position remains the same as I stated with crystal clarity in my April 29, 2018 commentary, “Ask Not What Abiy Ahmed Can Do for Ethiopia, Ask What You Can Do for Your Ethiopia!”

Until I deliver 1/10000 of what Abiy Ahmed has done for Ethiopia, I will keep my shoulders to the wheel and nose to the grindstone and keep plugging away.

In my August 1, 2022 commentary, once again, I made it crystal clear why I support PM Abiy.

I support PM Abiy Ahmed because he breathes Ethiopia, talks Ethiopia, walks Ethiopia, sleeps Ethiopia, dreams Ethiopia, imagines Ethiopia and lives Ethiopia 24/7/365.

Just like me!

I can’t help it.

Neither can he.

I will be glad to accept criticism from anyone who breathes Ethiopia, talks Ethiopia, walks Ethiopia, sleeps Ethiopia, dreams Ethiopia, imagines Ethiopia and lives Ethiopia 24/7/365.

Like it or not, that is just the way it is.

The Medemer Way

There are many who ask me how Abiy Ahmed does the impossible.

Abiy Ahmed withstood the crippling sanctions and pressure of the Superpowers and brought peace to war-torn Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia. How did he do it?

Abiy Ahmed is filling the GERD and turning turbines one by one despite threats of war and bombing of the dam by a leader of a Superpower and his client? How does he do it?

Abiy Ahmed attended the US-Africa Summit 2023 and made fast friends with President Joe Biden. How did he do it?

In the past two weeks, Abiy Ahmed travelled to Italy and France and solidified Ethiopia’s relations and got full support from the leaders of these countries. How did he do it?

Abiy Ahmed shuttles to Sudan and South Sudan and reconciles the opposing and warring factions. How does he do it?

Abiy Ahmed brought conflicting elements of our Muslim brothers and sisters together. How did he do it?

Abiy Ahmed brought the current EOTC controversy to its full resolution with the full support of the Church Fathers. How did he do it?

How does Abiy Ahmed do it? Whatever it is that he does?!

There is nothing magical or supernatural about Abiy Ahmed’s way of doing things.

It is open source.

Abiy Ahmed’s open secret technique is “Medemer Way.”

In his acceptance speech (Nobel Lecture), PM Abiy Ahmed said:

Medemer is a covenant of peace that seeks unity in our common humanity. It pursues peace by practicing the values of love, forgiveness, reconciliation, and inclusion. It takes a few to make war, but it takes a village and a nation to build peace. For me, nurturing peace is like planting and growing trees. Just like trees need water and good soil to grow, peace requires unwavering commitment, infinite patience, and goodwill to cultivate and harvest its dividends. Peace requires good faith to blossom into prosperity, security, and opportunity.

In 2019, PM Abiy wrote a book entitled, “Medemer”.

I had the opportunity to study and review his book.

It is a book that resonates the dual principles of “Ethiopian solutions to Ethiopian problems” and “African solutions to African problems.”

In summary, Medemer asserts the following propositions:

1) Ethiopians (Africans) need to develop a modern Afro-centric philosophy/system of ideas that reflects their history, culture, traditions and challenges;

2) Ethiopians (Africans) have failed miserably in their efforts to indigenize imported ideologies they barely understood and which at best have marginal relevance to their circumstances. Wholesale imported ideologies have done considerable long-term damage to Ethiopian (African) politics, societies and economies.

3) Ethiopians (Africans) should be eclectic and selective in adopting beliefs, ideas and methods from the West and the East and carefully integrate only those ideas that harmonize with the African experience, traditions, practices and realities.

4) Ethiopians (Africans) need to take a fresh look at their deeply seated and longstanding problems, issues and aspirations through an African lens and not through the distorted lens they have chosen or have been forced to use. Their lens should be focused squarely on contemporary African realities including poverty, disease, ignorance, one-man, one-party rule, widespread human rights violations, abuse of power and disregard for the rule of law, corruption and so on.[11]

5) Ethiopians (Africans) can use “Medemer” as their own homegrown forward-looking philosophy/system of ideas to overcome the burdens of the past and to find a pathway to lasting peace and prosperity in their country and in the continent.

In October 2018, I created an equation for “Medemer”:

(where Sc is social capital defined as the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society; and Ac is defined as the number of active citizens involved in sustained engagement in their communities (at all levels: grassroots, civil society, villages, town, cities, nationwide activity).

This equation resonates an old Ethiopian saying. “If the silk in spiders’ web could be made into twine, it could tie up a lion.”

In Medemer, PM Abiy argues those who have fear or anxiety about “Medemer” avoid efforts aimed at building national consensus on a common destiny and shared national goals. They would rather foment dissensus and cause ethnic, communal and sectarian strife.

He argues Ethiopians need national unity. They cannot exist as geographical fragments.

Nations, nationalities and peoples in Ethiopia share a common destiny emanating from historical, cultural and social ties. But those afflicted by “Medemer-phobia” will spread fear and loathing to keep the population in a state of alarm and uncertainty hoping it will open an opportunity for them to grab power.

In bringing peace in the dastardly TPLF war, PM Abiy was practicing Medemer as he was in helping resolve the present EOTC crisis.

In everything he does, Abiy Ahmed does it the “Medemer Way.” He believes Ethiopia’s problems can and should be solved by Ethiopians alone  through civil dialogue, informed and wisdom-filled discussion and constructive debate. Let he best ideas win the hearts and minds of the Ethiopian people!

That is the secret to his method!

Those who are perplexed as well as those who have left no stones unturned to destroy Ethiopia should read, understand and join the Medemer movement.

Let’s make Medemer our banner
And make Ethiopia better.
Let’s Make Ethiopia Great Again
And sip from Prosperity Fountain.

Let us always remember. We must all hang together (Medemer) or our enemies, domestic and foreign, will hang us separately.

Medemer is a surefire antidote to the poison of sectarianism, communalism, terrorism, murderous barbarism, divisive factionalism, ethnocentric triumphalism, narrow ethnonationalism, militaristic adventurism and individual egocentrism.

On a personal note… a confession

Truth be told, I support Abiy Ahmed for a very selfish reason.

I have dreams.

My dream is Ethiopia at peace and her enemies in pieces.

My dream is to see democracy flourish in Ethiopia.

My dream is to see the rule of law and human rights take deep root in Ethiopia.

My dream is to see Ethiopia prosperous and rich. I want to see Ethiopia exporting wheat and all sorts of agricultural commodities.

My dream is to see the GERD’s 13 turbines turning out 6,450 MW of hydropower and sharing it with all of Ethiopia’s neighbors including our brothers and sisters in Egypt where there are 10 million Orthodox Copts.

My dream is to see hunger and poverty banished forever from the cradle of humanity.

My dream is to see Ethiopia as the “City Upon the Hill,” that beacon of hope, freedom and independence for Africa, as she has always been.

My dream is to see Ethiopia Great Again and all Ethiopians become champions of MEGA (Make Ethiopia Great Again).

My ultimate, ultimate dream is to see 97 percent of all Ethiopian young people pass the national school leaving exam every year.

I do not know anyone, other than Abiy Ahmed, in Ethiopia today who can make my dreams come true.

I challenge anyone, Ethiopian or non-Ethiopian, to identify a single person who can do that for me and I will gladly support him/her.

Until such time, I urge all Ethiopians to practice Medemer and catapult Ethiopia out of poverty into prosperity.

Let us all be crystal clear about one thing: It is not at all about Abiy Ahmed.

It is all about Ethiopia.

It is all about breathing Ethiopia, talking Ethiopia, walking Ethiopia, sleeping Ethiopia, dreaming Ethiopia, imagining Ethiopia and living  Ethiopia 24/7/365.

After retirement, I have come to face the greatest challenge of my life.

Ethiopia is facing the greatest existential threat in its modern history, LOSS OF A GENERATION TO EDUCATIONAL FAILURE.

So, I got work to do. Dreams to follow. Promises to keep.

In the words of Carl Sandburg’s verse:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Indeed, Ethiopia is lovely and dark, a land of mystery, a dreamland for me.

And I have made her many promises to keep.

That is why I have miles and miles and miles to go before I sleep!

That is why I am on a mission: Mission S.O.E.Y. (Save Our Ethiopian Youth).

Let us practice the Medemer Way and S.O.E.Y.

Join me in Mission Medemer S.O.E.Y.


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