By Amanuel Biedemariam,
As a new nation Eritrea is in a constant state of change and social rearrangements. While most expected the sky to fall over, worked hard to see the demise of the government and ultimately the instability of Eritrea; the unity of the people, their determination, ingenuity, dedication, resilience, selflessness and sacrifices worked as foundation that set Eritrea on solid grounds. Eritrea’s strong mindset foiled all attempts, and stands as a testament to the unshakable foundation Eritrea is founded upon.
Some basic ingredients make nations successful. These include educated public, citizens-determined to defend their nation at any cost, strong nationalism and a nation that respects the tenets of the common rule of law. When this foundation is solidly established it becomes a platform for building a nation because success of any nation is predicated upon this core.
Eritreans have successfully demonstrated that they can defend their nation and ascertain sovereignty while building a nation from ground up by establishing the social, political, legal and physical infrastructures necessary.
The task that Eritreans undertook to build Eritrea after decades of wars was daunting considering the hostilities they faced and keep facing; considering the lack of material, human and financial resources; considering the competitive global environment, technological disadvantages they faced and poor physical and institutional infrastructures they inherited. The lack of experiences and expertise in the service industry also meant that Eritrea’s chances for success were limited.
Developed nations have established-economies based on various sectors that can work together. They have established-manufacturing, technological, agricultural, service and other sectors that can support their economies. The balance of these sectors is what sustains their stable economies. Japan is a great example of this. China has also developed formidable manufacturing as well as technology-based industries to support their economies.
At the current stage Eritrea does not have the technological and manufacturing bases that can serve as anchors to her economy. However, Eritrea possesses great potential in many areas that can enable her to compete at a global stage even at the current economic and developmental stage. These include mining, fisheries, tourism and related service industries.
The steps the government of Eritrea is taking to ensure a system whereby there exists balanced approach to development in a manner that one sector can buttress the other is ingenious, safe and meticulous. It is designed to ensure a sustainable developmental approach to avoid mistakes that many African nations have suffered for decades.
Eritrea’s uniqueness is based on her commitment to ensure that Eritreans own their resources, are enabled to extract and exploit them. This takes commitment, patience, perseverance and hard work. It particularly requires population that understands what is required to propel a nation to the next level. Eritreans have long understood that collective-conscious approach to development will ultimately ensure successes consistent with their national goals and aspirations.
Developing all sectors in a manner which satisfies the national aspirations are very difficult to attain considering the challenges. However, it is attainable in due time and with a pragmatic approach. With this understanding, the people of Eritrea must seize opportunities.
The service industry is one sector that Eritreans can take advantage-of rather quickly and easily. Eritrea requires great service expertise to develop her economy. The service industry must develop at high levels in order to facilitate for the growth of other sectors. For example, the tourism industry needs hotels, restaurants, transportation and developed-service-culture to support and nurture it.
To provide for the services required, Eritreans must honestly assess where they are in terms the service industry, evaluate how they provide services and adjust accordingly. The service industry is key culprit to the development of any nation. Service is the basis to all industries therefore; developing a culture of service or providing good service is a reflection of any organization or nation. How does Eritrea fair?
These are important questions to help evaluate where Eritrea is today. This requires honesty and balanced view in relative terms, relative to the region, the world and based on expertise. Eritreans must ask the questions based on the services they render and receive from the establishments they own and operate. This self-assessment is particularly important in the Diaspora for Eritreans to reevaluate how well or bad they serve each other.
Diaspora Eritreans are important to the development of the service industry of Eritrea for two reasons. Firstly, they are the number one tourists and important consumer-base and secondly, they are the primary recipients and providers of the services Eritrea has to offer.
Service requires heart, caring and dedication. Eritreans must be willing to serve first, each other and then the world in order to compete in this global economy. For decades Eritreans in the Diaspora have primarily focused on safeguarding their nation. That meant, attention, energy and resources the service industry required was set aside. To change that, Eritreans must reengage in this endeavor and make it a success in the same manner that they defend their nation.
When a nation is engaged in national defense as Eritreans where forced to, the focus is always on defending the nation. That meant due attention was not accorded to issues that can nurture the Eritrean communities in the Diaspora. These services are varied and essential to the sustainability of Eritrean communities. When these services are fully developed the communities are strong.
A strong community is a community that can nurture the future of their children at the highest of levels; a community that can ensure stable environment for their families; a community that can educate, develop and grow resources to ensure future successes. It is communities that can help support each other’s businesses, increase wealth and information sharing. It must be a community willing to give service at the highest of levels as well as receive it.
The irony, when a community fails to develop this communally oriented service attitude, it robs children of their future by creating a vacuum. And by default that becomes a victory for the enemies because that is what they wanted for decades. They wanted to see Eritreans disintegrate and forget their nation when they live elsewhere. They wanted to ensure that Eritreans lose a sense of identity by targeting their unity.
Hence, failure to establish a strong community that can withstand these pressures could mean in the long term, Eritreans have failed at the very issue that binds them together, defending their nation. Because absent of the united zeal and vigor their ability to defend their beloved nation can be seriously hampered.
Service is one way to ensure the viability of Eritrean communities. When an establishment, say a restaurant, gives relatively good service that meets the needs of the families in a given community; it has made due contribution for the wellbeing of the community. But if the restaurant fails to meet the needs, then the families will be hurt, the children are robbed from service they deserve and could develop negative impression if that happens to be the trend.
This is significant because these families would be forced to take their kids elsewhere distancing them from their communities. This in turn will force the restaurants to either close or look elsewhere. The spinoff ramifications are great either way, when negative can hurt the communities by helping to disintegrate the fabric and when positive, by building them up.
The true expression of nationalism or citizenry is voluntarily serving a nation. Eritrean kids are very motivated and willing to contribute for the future of Eritrea. In the past they have conducted many campaigns to help Eritrean families in Eritrea. They wash cars and sold many things to raise funds. They have stood-tall along with their parents to ensure the safety of Eritrea. That is honor citizens can give one nation. During tough times they have stood in defense and keep standing. That is what makes Eritrea’s children in the Diaspora is special.
These deeds underscore the importance of nurturing Eritrea’s children in the Diaspora. Eritrea’s children ought to be the priority of Eritreans. When these children are satisfied with the services they receive from their establishments they are more likely to be proud and bring their friends particularly when they grow older. It is also one way to encourage them to engage in businesses that reflect their heritage as Italians have done for centuries. Nurturing children will go a long way in creating pride and continuity.
Therefore, it is important to see service from all angles. Service is a part of every aspect of life no matter how it is rendered and by whom. Eritreans are good servants of their nation. As Eritrea transitions from the war footing into a full-fledged nation-building mode, they need to reassess this issue and partake. Serving each other at the highest of levels will go a long to ensure a bright future.
When service is rendered at the highest levels, expectations rise across the board. Eritreans are very close to their country. They travel to Eritrea by the hundreds of thousands every year. Eritreans are not only the consumers of the products and services they receive in Eritrea. They are in many cases the service providers or contemplating to do business and participate in the development of Eritrea. Therefore, in order to expect high level of services they must first understand it and be able to render the services in countries of their residency. In short, they are responsible as citizens to engage and remain seized in the matter.
Eritreans have gone through many phases in the struggle to free Eritrea and make it a success worthy of the sacrifices made by her heroes. It is therefore an obligation of every Eritrean to ensure that the future of Eritrea repays the payments made in blood. One way to ensure it is by building a nation that reflects their values, a nation they can be proud of and a nation taller than the tallest.
Eritrean stood together to ensure their freedom. That was the most difficult hurdle to overcome. But the collective focus brought a nation from ruins. That legacy, in a sense, is the guide that no challenge can stop Eritreans from fulfilling their dreams of building Eritrea. Eritreans therefore need to RE-FOCUS and bring the same energy and focus on the rebuilding of Eritrea.
Eritrea went through incredibly-tough journey to ascertain sovereignty. Eritrea was also tried by all the powers to be. Eritrea however, cleared the clouds of hell and fresh air is flowing throughout the nation. It is therefore time to go to the next level and, it starts in all of us!
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