Why Paradigmatic Shift ?

By Fesseha Nair

A paradigm is a model where a certain problem is solved. It is the collection of conscious and unconscious rules or norms dominating it, and which control both the large and small scale individual and group thoughts and actions. Why paradigm shift at this time in the struggle from dictatorship to democracy is because the old norms and rules that we have during the past does not solve our current problems. More problems are arising every time in the Eritrean Opposition forces for democratic change and still we don’t have clear methods to solve them. We all want to solve them, but we lack the skills and knowledge. Problems are shelved but this shelving of our problems is now ripe for paradigm shift. The unresolved problems may thus engender a new era and the organization which gets there takes the first lead of leading the struggle. What the Eritrean Opposition need is identifying and defining constraints to our thoughts and consequently our actions, and indicating how to act within these constraints to attain success and solve the challenges and problems. In this article, I will deal with the constraints and our actions to attain success and solve the challenges and problems. I will classify the constraints six parts:


  1. Political
  2. Working relations
  3. Internal problems
  4. Organisational capacities

5.Sources of knowledge and skills of the organization

  1. The role and quality of media



  1. Political constraint


The Eritrean forces for democratic change are facing structural constraints in their internal and external environment. In their internal environment they failed to establish a mutual accommodation and a wilful cooperation. The norm today in the camp of the opposition is marginalizing one another and acquiring hegemony and self-aggrandizement ( in ruthless manner) in your cleavages under certain identities that you never respect them. There is misconception of the democratic values. There is a serious gap between the rhetoric and practicing. Adhesion to such structure is creating confusion and blaming each other accompanied by a litany of attacking others and making yourself free. The external environment was not also conductive in the past to own your case and make your own policies and this has been evidenced in all the meetings of the opposition. What we need is to openly discuss these political constraints internally and externally that weakens our partnerships and co-operations dysfunctional. The demands of this time differ from the demands of the liberation period, therefore, we must search find a political structure where the demand and supply curves meet or are in equilibrium.



  1. Poor working relations

I am not sure what does the tigrinya, ” Smret, Hadnet” mean. In every speech or meeting we all cry for Smret, Hadnet but these has been our daily explanation but we don’ t practice it. I think let us get rid of repetitive mantra of Smere or Hadnet and change it to how can we build working sustainable relations  in order to achieve a peaceful and democratic Eritrea respecting our diversities. The most constraining factor that hamper to develop a good and sustainable working relationship is the unclear or conflicting objectives of the various organizations struggling for democratic change. The trend we have cannot help us to establish working relations based on common interests but domination and power. We must change this trend of domination and inequality a trend of attacks and counter-attacks. Working relations is the way you act and react building a culture and process of work that promotes the common objectives. With the word , ” culture” I mean the values and attitudes that we all share in Eritrea. We need a paradigm shift change the culture of negation and hate politics inside the opposition and build a culture of mutual respect and co-operation.



  1. Internal problems/ hampering attitudes

The main problem of the Eritrean opposition forces for democratic change is the lack of a political clout/ courage that can strike hard the dictatorship and gain legitimacy from both the Eritrean people and international community. Lack of good communication between the various leaders of organizations.  One of the most characteristics of leadership is how the leader communicate with people and issues. But the Eritrean political or civic has been and are still sharp antagonistic with each other, instead of attacking the problems they attack each other. Such culture of  communication never lead to succeed and work together in harmony. One of the internal problems is our way of communication with each other. We must change our way of communication being soft with partners and hard with the issues. What I see and experience in the my resident country is fear of one another with suspicion and the desire to eliminate his/ her presence  in the participation for democratic change. Let us improve the climate of  mutual respect and reception and thus learn the art of negotiation.



  1. Organisational capacities


Thanks to the western democracy and the freedom to organize any movement, today there are hundreds civic organizations of Eritrean origin in each resident cities of the western countries. Most of the civic organizations are composed of 5 or 6 persons with statute but have no members or administrative bodies, program, resources and finances. Any organization strength or weakness is characterized by the following checkpoints:


– Organizational structure

– Organizational administration

– Membership

– Youth and women participation

– Organizational program

– Democracy

– Financial and human resources

– Public relations

– Relations with media


Any organization has level of action. The actions and responsibilities can be divided into three levels. They are the Strategic level, Managerial level and Operative level. These three levels function the same as our bodily blood circulation system. The Strategic level is responsible to plan the vision, mission, program and position of the organization, while the Managerial level is responsible for resources allocation and performance monitoring, and the Operative level’s responsibility is following up day today activities and organizational process of development.

If we see the various opposition political or civic organizations they all lack the above mentioned criteria in order to be functioning organizations.


  1. Sources of knowledge and skills of the organization


The opposition in Diaspora lack the sources of knowledge and skills to challenge the supporters of the dictatorship. This was one the most factor that we still couldn’t give attention. It has been difficult to compete with the dictator’s supporters in the foreign countries while we have more opportunities than the dictator’s supporters. The quality of knowledge and skills is how to gain the public opinion and get more legitimacy and support from your own people and the international community. The opposition must search skills and knowledge that can win the support of the Eritrean people instead of demonizing each other.



  1. The role and quality of media


Media is the main weapon to mobilize and make aware the public on their human and fundamental democratic rights. The role of media in the opposition has been a campaign against each other instead of warring the oppressive regime and its supporters. The media in the opposition has been a main factor of not promoting democracy but in contrary hindering the opposition from coming together.


The quality of the media of the opposition did not facilitate learning, therefore, the opposition must evaluate and change this trend of retardation to a new trend of promoting democracy and human development.


In sum, it is difficult, but not impossible task to paradigm shift but let us look forward and overcome the problems facing us fight the dictatorship in Eritrea.





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Posted by on Feb 8 2016 Filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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