By Bereket Kidane
A black swan is an event, positive or negative, that is deemed too improbable and leads to massive prediction errors.
They have been at it for more than a decade now. If we go back in time to 1998, Weyane and the experts advising it thought that if they started a war under the pretext of border dispute, expelled tens of thousands of Eritreans from Ethiopia and dumped them at Eritrea’s feet in order to pressure the Eritrean economy, stopped using Eritrea’s ports in order to deny Eritrea crucial funds by diverting Ethiopia’s trade to Djibouti, cut-off Eritrea’s access to the outside world by stopping Ethiopian Airlines flights to Asmara (that one was laughable) then the pressure would be too great to withstand and Eritrea’s economy, thought to be too weak and too dependent on trade with Ethiopia at the time, would crumble within six months.
Once the 6 months went by and Eritrea’s economy didn’t collapse, the estimate was revised to a year. Then two years. Then five years. Finally, they stopped making predictions.
Fast forward some 14 years later, not only did Eritrea and its economy prove to be resilient, the situation is actually reversed now. It is Weyane that is sitting on a barrel of dynamite, with rampant inflation and vulnerable to an Arab Spring type of explosion.
The character of the Eritrean people turned out to be the black swan leading to prediction errors by the so-called experts advising Weyane. A black swan is an event that is deemed too improbable and leads to massive prediction errors. How do you capture a people’s resilience, fortitude, capacity for suffering and overcoming adversity and a generally high threshold for pain in your model? You can’t!!! So it is really not their skills that are to blame, it is just that they didn’t understand the Eritrean society. Their model probably would have worked in any other country.
To be sure, it was a close call. For a time, Eritrea’s sovereignty was seriously put at risk. Some of the measures that were taken by the Government of Eritrea in order to save Eritrea’s sovereignty and take control of the situation are still being indicted by naive souls today. But Eritrea and its people did survive the tremendous economic pressure and the ensuing psychological warfare. In many ways, Weyane’s miscalculation turned out to be a positive for Eritrea. As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” In the process, Eritrea – as a young country and economy – learned a lot about itself and its ability to overcome adversity. Serendipitous findings if you will.
Today, Eritrea’s economy is humming along nicely, posting double digit annual growths. Eritrea, with very little sovereign debt, is proving to be a master of its own destiny. The Great Powers can’t handle this because this story was not supposed to happen in Africa! African countries are not allowed to think for themselves or be masters of their own destiny. How dare Eritrea tries to be different! How dare she! Of course, they have found a useful idiot in Weyane that is more than willing to do their bidding.
This explains the mad dash and the wild swings that are being taken at Eritrea in the United Nations, trying to hit Eritrea with anything and everything, believing that if you throw enough crap on the wall some of it will eventually stick.
If the past is prologue, this latest mad dash at the UN will also end up in defeat. Eritrea’s resilient economy and people will continue to find ways to survive and thrive. However, the cumulative effect of this unholy effort is bound to shave 2 or 3 points off Eritrea’s projected double digit economic growth for the next several years. All their sandbagging efforts at the UN can be explained by the fact that they are trying to damage Eritrea’s image and raise its risk profile to investors. They have had some success with this but not total success. So Eritrea will continue to grow at 5 to 7 percent rather than 10 to 12 percent like it is capable of. It is worth paying the price if you ask me as long as Eritrea continues to develop in its own chosen way – with special attention to preserving national unity and harmony first and foremost – and at its own chosen timeline. Too bad for the neighbors that have chosen to be useful idiots.