Nationalism is interpreted in various ways and has many different aspects to it. Overall, nationalism is when one is devoted and loyal to their own country. Others would also describe it as a country’s feeling of superiority over other countries. In Zakaria’s book, The Post-American World, the author describes his view on nationalism and its effects. In his opinion, the rise of nationalism is very hazardous for our nation. The United States for a great amount of time has been the leading force of the world, with the most influence on other countries. However, times have changed and it does not appear that the United States will continue to be the prominent power. Zakaria describes how it is not necessarily that the United States is falling, but just that other countries are uprising. He strongly believes that this global growth will cause many problems in the upcoming years. As these other countries, specifically China, India, and Brazil, continue expanding and are in the making of becoming powerhouses themselves, they are building up more confidence and are starting to become big-headed as well. Every country has their own ways and ideas, and each country is trying to influence other ones to follow them. Zakaria explains how crucial it is for countries to work together in order to solve various problems of the world. If every country truly thinks they are superior and they never agree to support one another, this will eventually cause many complications.
I believe that most of Zakaria’s arguments do not directly apply to Ethiopia as of now. It could easily be presumed that Ethiopia is one of the countries with a strong rise of nationalism considering they are Africa’s oldest independent country and are the second largest in terms of population. However, we have to remember that Ethiopia is one of the poorest and most undeveloped countries, and they are still fairly reliant on other countries. However, this could change in time with all the country is trying to instill and their continued development. If Ethiopia continues to expand and becomes more powerful, nationalism cold become a problem, but as of now I do not consider nationalism to be a prominent issue in the area.
Ethiopia has been known to have ethnic conflicts throughout the region. Recently, two of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic groups were involved in a dispute in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. The Oromo and Amhara people caused an uproar across the area, displacing many families and destroying property. Three weeks of protests occurred due to a government plan to integrate the capital, Addis Ababa, with towns in Oromia. Betsate Terefe, executive director of the Addis Ababa-based group, stated in an email, “Real ethnic conflict broke out and is under way. Many houses burned, people killed and wounded.” The ethnic conflicts displayed throughout the country have caused a lot of violence and are detrimental to the growth and stabilization of the region.
Inequality is also a big challenge for Africa, especially income inequality. In Tony Judts book, “Ill Fares the Land”, he emphasizes his ideology on income inequality. He explains how countries with less of an income gap are more prosperous, and more countries should strive to become more equal. He explains that it is not only a problem for poor countries, but for rich countries as well. Tony Judt says in his book, “There has been a collapse in intergenerational mobility: in contrast to their parents and grandparents, children today in the UK and the US have very little expectation of improving upon the condition into which they are born. The poor stay poor.” Although Africa is not mentioned specifically, this mentality of “the poor stay poor” could easily be related. However, Ethiopia is making an attempt at transforming this problem by providing economic and social development opportunities. For the vulnerable and food insecure households, the country has one of the most influential and largest social protection programs the African continent. This program is called the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) and is targeted at the poor to help inequality in the region.
In closing of my discussion, Ethiopia is making many improvements to help them grow globally and within their own country as well. The rise in nationalism seems to be a key problem across the world, but I truly believe that Ethiopia should not be a big matter of concern for this issue quite yet. They still have many fulfillments to achieve before becoming a more influential nation among other countries, but their small step, such as spreading equality throughout Africa, is a significant start.