In the week during which President Isaias Afwerki arrived New York to participate at the 66th Session of the U.N. General Assembly, the warm welcome thousands of Eritreans accorded to him flocking from a number of U.S. and Canadian states, as well as the patriotic spirit that prevailed throughout the public seminar did not only add force to Eritrea’s admirable national unity, but the remarkable event was also heartwarming to friends of Eritrea and a slough to enemy quarters.
The strong bond between the Government and the people is an Eritrean political culture nurtured in an exceptional reality of the country, which other states are not blessed with. Indeed, peoples and leaderships are being mired in persistent polarization as a result of the existing political state of affairs in many countries. What makes the political culture of Eritrea under such regional and international environment particularly significant is that it was nurtured in a background peculiar to the country.
The Eritrean people has gleaned rich experience on national unity from the protracted, bitter liberation struggle; And, leadership is among the building blocks for unity. Eritrea was able to perform unequaled miracles with limited national capacity in the days of armed struggle under the aegis of a modeled and staunch leadership. Yet, as the country’s scarce resources has in the wake of independence been marshaled with maximum organizational capacity and devoted leadership towards the national development drive, Eritrea has, in the face of all regional and international challenges, now climbed the ladder whereupon it could descry the prospects of prosperity, thereby prevailing over insurmountable odds. Eritrea’s decent political culture, which sensibly cherishes the outcome of unity, is founded upon the aforesaid rich experience.
Modest patterns cultivated during the days of armed struggle also demonstrate manifestly added grandeur. The life of a leader in Eritrea is but more commitment than the grassroots and yet devoid of individual privileges and rewards, and thus, reap the benefits on equal footing. The reward of a leadership in Eritrea is not a tremendous remuneration or other form of inducement, but rather the development of the people and country. In Eritrea, a leader lives equal to, if not, below the life of ordinary people. Despite this bequest of Eritrea’s liberation struggle has in the post-independence years been cherished as a culture by nationals at all levels of helm, there are few who would by no means qualify the aforementioned definition.