Building federalism leadership in Ethiopia

About 30 Ethiopian participants and organizers pause for photos at a leadership retreat in Addis Ababa funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Policy makers and senior experts from Ethiopia’s federal and regional government institutions participated in a recent federalism leadership retreat co-organized by the Forum of Federations and Ethiopia’s upper house, the House of Federation.

The event was attended by 30 participants from various Ethiopian government ministries and agencies. It is part of a Forum program on federalism leadership in Ethiopia.

The event was opened by H.E. Daniel Demisse, Secretary of the Standing Committee of Constitutional and Regional Affairs of the House of Federation. The October 18 to 22, 2010 retreat, held in Addis Ababa, was facilitated by Selome Taddese, a transformational leadership expert.

It consisted in a series of leadership exercises, presentations and group exercises on federalism-conflict topics.

Speakers included Dr. Bertus de Villier of Australia and Dr. Asnake Kefale of Ethiopia, who gave presentations on federalism and conflict issues; Shawn Houlihan, the Forum’s director for Africa, who briefed the participants on Forum activities; and Mr. Dassa Nemomissa, Program Director at the Forum’s Addis Ababa Office, who explained the Ethiopia Federalism-Leadership Program.

The retreat enabled participants to appreciate the challenges and opportunities of federalism while learning from the experiences of other federations. Participants represented the:

  • House of Federation,
  • House of People’s Representatives,
  • Ministry of Federal Affairs,
  • Ministry of Justice,
  • Ministry of Women, Children and Youth,
  • Federal Police Commission,
  • Police University College,
  • Federal Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission, and
  • Regional President Offices and Regional Bureau of Administration and Security.

The Forum’s Leadership Retreat Program is aimed at strengthening Ethiopian federalism by enhancing the capacity of leaders and enabling them to manage and mitigate conflicts. The Forum previously conducted two workshops to gather stakeholder input on the design of the retreat program. Eight leadership retreats are planned at both federal and regional levels. The program is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

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