High-level Training on Federalism-Leadership Development

Forum of Federations conducted a 5-day Federalism Leadership workshop, Dec 23-27.

The Forum of Federations conducted a 5-day Federalism Leadership workshop with some of the country’s most senior legislators in Hawassa, Ethiopia (December 23-27) in collaboration with Ethiopia’s House of Federation (the Upper Chamber of the Federal Legislature) and the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL).

This event was the ninth in a series of events that have been delivered by Ethiopian trainers who were recently qualified by the Forum. These new trainers will provide the country with a sustainable resource for continuing these training programs into the future based on the curriculum originally designed by the Forum, CCL and national experts.

The general objective of the Federalism Leadership program is to build the capacity of the senior officials at all levels of government, as well as other stakeholders, to build on the success of Ethiopia’s federal experiment of the past twenty years and to further deepen the contribution of federal governance to key national objectives of development, democracy and peace. This most recent event also aimed at strengthening ownership of the Training of Trainers (TOT) program among top leaders in order to help ensure its sustainability.

Among the 25 participants in Hawassa was HE Kassa Tekleberhan, Speaker of the House of Federation, nine regional state Speakers or Deputy Speakers and other senior officials. Speaker Kassa, in his opening remarks, stressed the importance of training that combines leadership with federalism as critical to further improving governance and achieving the nation’s objectives.

The trainers at this workshop were Belay Wondisha, Aschalew Tekele, Merhatsidk Mekonnen and Yakob Bekele who are all graduates of the Forum’s August TOT program and drawn from House of Federation, regional presidents and council offices.

The curriculum combined leadership skills with key issues of federalism that are now especially relevant to Ethiopia for the short- and longer-term, namely links between federalism and: (i) the developmental state, (ii) rule of law & constitutionalism, (iii) democracy & pluralism, (iv) conflict resolution and (iv) fiscal relations and natural resource management.

At the end of this event participants developed their own personal and organizational leadership development plans, including stating their commitment to continuing the Federalism Leadership program in their own regions and institutions using the TOT graduates provided by the Forum program. Under their leadership the program will move to the next stage, the "rollout” phase, in which federal and regional partners are expected to train thousands of leaders at all levels on their own. This event marks the end of the pilot phase in which 225 higher level leaders have attended nine TOT pilot test programs across the country.

The Forum’s Ethiopia Federalism Leadership Program is funded by the German Federal Foreign Ministry.

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