On 10 April, 2018 the Forum of Federations held its annual Board of Directors meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The representatives of the member countries among them Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, Nigeria and Switzerland met to review Forum’s work during the previous fiscal year and approve the program of work and budget for the fiscal year 2018-19, as well as Forum’s strategic planning for next five years.
The Forum representatives paid a courtesy visit to the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mulatu Teshome, where they informally exchanged views on the current challenges of federal governance in Ethiopia. The Forum Board members and staff were also hosted by the Government of Ethiopia at a dinner reception to which government representatives, parliamentarians, ambassadors and civil society representatives were invited. The Forum Board members were welcomed by Yalewu Abate, Speaker of the House of Federation. The Forum’s 5-year program entitled “Strengthening Federal Governance and Pluralism in Ethiopia”, funded by the Government of Canada, was officially launched at the reception by the Canadian Ambassador Philip Baker and Forum President Rupak Chattopadhyay.
The Forum has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Meles Zenawi Leadership Academy, whereby the two organizations agreed to cooperate in their respective programs.
On 11 April the Board members and Forum staff participated in three parallel public events providing their countries’ experiences on the three topics:
1. Public lectures on “Fiscal Federalism and Natural Resource Management in Brazil and Canada” provided by Rupak Chattopadhyay, Forum President and Ana Carolina Lorena, board member from Brazil. Postgraduate and PhD students as well as staff members of a number of departments of the Addis Ababa University, including the Institute of Federal Studies, School of Law and Governance, Department of Political Science, Center of Human Rights, Institute for Peace and Security Studies, and School of Business and Economics, attended the lecture.
2. Experience sharing meeting on “Intergovernmental Relations in Germany and Nigeria” was provided by Georg Milbradt, board Chairman representing Germany and Julius O. Ihonvbere, board member from Nigeria. Participants from the House of Federation, Ministry of Federal and Pastoralist Development Affairs, and Oromia Regional Council attended this experience sharing meeting.
3. Experience sharing session on “Constitutional Adjudication in Switzerland and Australia” was provided for Members and staff of the Council of Constitutional Inquiry, staff of the House of Federation, and participants from Oromia Regional Council of Constitutional Inquiry. The board members Hans Altherr from Switzerland and Roger Wilkins from Australia shared their experiences at this event.