For years, social and economic development has ranked high on the Ethiopian Government’s agenda. The country has made significant advances towards reducing poverty and accelerating economic development – to an extent that the country today enjoys one of the fastest growing economies of the world. Despite these positive developments, Ethiopia faces rising opposition to its authoritarian-style of governance.
Since 2015, the country has been affected by violent protests which started in the region of Oromia but quickly spread across the country. Protesters demanded administrative changes, fairer distribution of wealth generated by years of economic growth, and an end to human rights abuses, including the release of political prisoners. Earlier this year, Ethiopia’s governing coalition began making concessions to these demands by releasing large numbers of political prisoner and appointing a new prime minister from the Oromia region.
These developments raise a number of questions we would like to discuss: Are these recent political moves a sign for systematic political change? How can long-term stability in the country be reached? And how could external actors support democratic processes?
We look forward to your participation and engagement in an interesting discussion!