Enhancing Federalism Scholarship in Ethiopia

Participants that attended the workshop- Adama, Ethiopia. Feb 21-25, 2011

A five day workshop on enhancing Ethiopian federalism scholarship was held in Adama, Ethiopia, from 21-25 February 2011. Its specific aim was to facilitate better integration of federalism and conflict issues into the curriculum of higher education for relevant undergraduate programs. Hon.Daniel Demisse, Member of the House of Federation and Secretary of the House’s Constitutional and Regional Affairs’ Standing Committee and Dr Asnake Kefale, Director of School of Governance Studies at Addis Ababa University made opening remarks on the occasion and commented on the relevance and importance of such events for strengthening the teaching and research of federalism in Ethiopia. Mr. Shawn Houlihan, African Director of the Forum of Federations, also welcomed participants to the workshop and explained Forum’s activities in Ethiopia and across the globe.
Participants were drawn from public and private universities/colleges from across the country. A total of 37 academics representing about 20 institutions from seven regional states and two federal cities took part on the workshop. The workshop involved presentations and discussion sessions by a team of renowned international and national scholars. Prof.Sandeep Shastri of Jain University, India, was the lead international subject matter expert and presented on theoretical foundations and philosophical rationales of federalism. He spoke on the practice of teaching and research of federalism in universities around the world.

Enhancing Federalism Scholarship in Ethiopia
From right to Left: Molla Reda, Tesfanesh Taddesse, Hilina Ambachew, Dr Sandeep Shastri (Standing), Dr Asnake Kefale and Shawn Houlihan

Dr. Asnake Kefale of Addis Ababa University was the lead national subject matter expert and spoke on federalism and conflict management in Ethiopia. He also discussed the experience of Ethiopian higher education institutions on the teaching and research of federalism. Other Ethiopian national experts included Dr. Assefa Fiseha and Dr. Solomon Negussie, both from the Ethiopian Civil Service College. Dr Assefa spoke on Settlement of Constitutional Disputes in Federations and examined Ethiopian constitutional dispute settlement mechanisms. Dr Solomon, in his presentation, outlined two important topical issues of Ethiopian federalism: Fiscal Federalism and Economic Development, and Intergovernmental Relations. All presentations were followed by plenary discussions and group work on case studies. On the last day of the workshop, participants were divided into four groups to work on enriching existing or on developing new federalism course syllabi for undergraduate study.
This workshop was the first of its kind to be conducted in Ethiopia. The event gave Ethiopian academics, many of them young, the opportunity to explore international experiences on the teaching and research of federalism and to evaluate the limitations and strengths of Ethiopian higher education institutions.

Enhancing Federalism Scholarship in Ethiopia
Tigist Yeshwas, Seble Mulugeta and Abadir Umar

The academic workshop is one component of the Forum’s Ethiopia Program on federal governance, conflict management and leadership. The workshop was organized by Forum of Federations in collaboration with the Ethiopian House of Federation and Addis Ababa University’s Institute of Federal Studies and is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

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