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  • Author: Atif Choudhury, Yawei Liu, Ian Pilcher
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: In May 2020, the Carter Center’s China Program partnered with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) to organize a virtual workshop on Africa-U.S.-China cooperation on COVID-19 response. The workshop brought together a range of experts from the U.S, China, Ethiopia, Burundi, Kenya, and South Africa to discuss the public health impact and wider policy implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the African continent. Emory University’s Global Health Institute and The Hunger Project also helped identify speakers and moderate panels.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, United States, China, Asia, South Africa, North America, Ethiopia, Burundi
  • Author: Jason Mosley
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The intersection of two significant trends are affecting the regional dynamics of the Horn of Africa: the political transition underway in Ethiopia since 2018 and evolving Red Sea and Gulf security dynamics. Ethiopia’s transition has affected its relations in the Horn of Africa and the broader Red Sea region. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have taken a much more assertive approach to regional security since 2015, contributing to a major diplomatic rift with Qatar since 2017. Elucidating how states in the Horn of Africa are affected by and responding to external influences largely hinges on understanding the Ethiopian transition. The implications for the future of regional integration in the Horn of Africa must also be considered.
  • Topic: Security, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Indian Ocean, Horn of Africa
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Almost all African countries rolled out significant measure in response to Covid-19. From border closures through to the use of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to restricted gatherings and contact tracing, a combination of diverse public health safety strategies was employed. These same strategies nonetheless would make preparations toward holding smooth and timely elections cumbersome. Ghana’s electoral commissioner announced an indefinite postponement of its voter registration exercise, it is still in consultation with stakeholders on carrying out the exercise with only six months to its presidential and parliamentary elections if the timeline stays the same. Niger also suspended its voter registration exercise; Ethiopia postponed its elections entirely. Other countries that have had some forms of election postponement include Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya.
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, Crisis Management, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana
  • Author: James Barnett
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: A civil war is erupting in Ethiopia—Africa’s second most populous state, a geopolitical fulcrum in the volatile Red Sea arena, and the seat of the African Union (AU). The question now is whether a ceasefire can quickly be brokered that would, in the best case, serve as the basis for a broader national dialogue aimed at stabilizing the country’s political transition; or whether the situation will devolve into a multisided conflict that draws in neighboring states and further destabilizes what is already one of the world’s most fragile regions. As of this writing, the latter unfortunately seems more likely, but there is still hope for a ceasefire, particularly if Ethiopia’s regional and international partners make a concerted push for de-escalation. One should not use the term “civil war” lightly, but this appears to be the course that Ethiopia is on. While in recent years the country has suffered from intercommunal clashes, assassinations, a coup attempt, and a low-level insurgency, this is the first time that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has faced a direct challenge from a well-armed state within the state. The stakes are high. With a population of over 100 million, the United States Institute of Peace’s senior study group on the Red Sea warns that Ethiopia’s disintegration would constitute “the largest state collapse in modern history.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil War, Geopolitics, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Horn of Africa
  • Author: Santiago Cueto, Claudia Felipe, Juan Leon
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE)
  • Abstract: In this paper the authors utilize the five rounds of Young Lives household surveys across four countries (Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam) to study the characteristics of children who had dropped out of school by 22 years of age. While most children in the longitudinal sample go to primary school, they tend to drop out more often and earlier in Ethiopia. In India most children complete the early grades of school but drop out later, particularly in grades 11 and 13. Researchers find that in all countries, except Vietnam, there is a considerable number of children who drop out of school but at some point return to it, either to complete secondary or drop out again. The reasons provided by children for dropping out across the countries are oftentimes related to poverty: for example, the need to work, or care or provide for family. The multivariate analysis shows that indeed in many cases the wealth level of the family at an early age predicts later dropout, as does maternal education level, students’ early skills and residence in certain regions of each country. There are also some variations across countries; for example, boys are more likely to drop out of school in Ethiopia and Vietnam, and children who have repeated a grade are more likely to drop out of school in Peru. However, having high educational aspirations at early ages seems to be a protective factor against dropping out. This suggests that the value that children place on education may be an important preventative factor against dropping out. Overall, these results suggest the need to act early through education and social protection interventions to target young children who are at risk of dropping out, and the follow their trajectories, providing support as needed to specific groups and even individuals, so that all children may fulfill their right to complete at least secondary education.
  • Topic: Education, Children
  • Political Geography: Africa, India, Asia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Peru
  • Author: Getachew Diriba, Christian Man
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been widely hailed for his promises to open political space, usher in economic liberalization, and remake the country’s poor record on human rights. However, to truly transform his country, Dr. Abiy must first transform agriculture, which is the nucleus of the Ethiopian economy and by far the largest employer. Drawing on interviews and focus groups with seventy stakeholders, this report examines the past wins, current endeavors, and future challenges of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), a federal entity established in 2010 to drive fundamental changes for the country’s 15 million smallholder farmers. It highlights the relationship between the ATA and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, the importance of innovation in agricultural transformation, and the role donors like the United States government can play in supporting such-efforts for country-led development.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Asnake Kefale
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: This policy brief explores the prospects of deploying federalism as an instrument of peacebuilding in the context of emerging political reforms in Ethiopia. The ap- pointment of Abiy Ahmed as prime minister in April 2018 by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) marks a watershed moment in Ethiopia’s political history. The agenda of political reform adopted by EPRDF was largely due to two interrelated factors. First, the need to overcome the ap- parent fissures and constant power struggles within the party, especially since the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in 2012. Second, as a response to the youth-led mass anti-government protests which started in 2015, primarily in the two most populous regions of the country, Oromia and Amhara. While the ongoing reforms are generating some optimism, there are also wor- risome developments in parts of the country. More than 1.4 million people have been displaced from their homes. The causes of their displacement are inter- ethnic tensions and identity-based communal conflicts over issues such as the ownership of natural resources linked to people’s livelihoods and the location of territorial borders. Those hit hardest by internal displacement are communities living in Gedeo and West Guji in southern Ethiopia and in the border areas of the Oromia and Somali regions. There are also tensions between the Amhara and Tigray regions over the identity of Wolqait and Raya communities. Similarly, the Sidama ethnic group’s demand for regional status in southern Ethiopia has cre- ated tension in the area. Moreover, there are reports of a breakdown of law and order in parts of the Amhara and Oromia regions. A key issue in Ethiopia’s political reform is the future of federalism, in particu- lar, the strong emphasis placed on ethnicity and whether it will continue to be relevant. On the one hand, there are political forces (centrists) that see ethnic federalism as a root cause of the current crisis, while others contend that theproblems are due to non-adherence to the principles of true federalism. However, it is important to note that the federal system is crucial to Ethiopia’s stability, peace, and develop- ment. With the opening of political space, the future direc- tion of Ethiopian federalism is being hotly contested. There are political forces that aspire to remove the ethnic element from the federal system or change the system altogether from ethnic to geographic federalism. Such a course of ac- tion is fraught with danger. The reactions to the removal of the federal status of Eritrea in 1960 and the autonomy of South Sudan in 1983 demonstrate the inadvisability of re- versing regional or ethnic autonomy. In both countries, the rolling back of autonomous arrangements by central au- thorities was a key factor in the long-running conflicts that culminated in the secession of Eritrea and South Sudan, re- spectively. The government of Ethiopia (GoE) should, there- fore, consider the following policy recommendations.
  • Topic: Development, Reform, Political stability, Peace, Federalism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Trafficking in persons has become a multibillion dollar business in Africa that African governments have been slow to address.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Children, Women, Slavery, Human Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Egypt, Burundi, Eritrea, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Mediterranean
  • Author: Girmachew Alemu Aneme
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 700
  • Abstract: The constitutional recognition of the Sharia justice system in Ethiopia has given rise to normative and judicial plurality. Both state and Sharia justice systems relate to a distinctive basis of legitimacy or justice; the state justice system is based on the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia while the basis for the Sharia justice system is the divine law of Islam as revealed in the Quran. This paper reflects on the incongruences and incompatibilities in the relation between state justice and Sharia justice systems within the Ethiopian legal system. A closer analysis of the landmark case of Kedija Bashir et al. allows some important insight into the issue of constitutional and judicial review of the decisions of Sharia courts. Here, the objective of the paper is to explore the possible common normative grounds that would provide autonomy for each system, while maintaining a minimal normative standard in the sense of ‘ordre public’.
  • Topic: Legitimacy, Justice, Judiciary, Autonomy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Amanda Coffie, Richard Alemdjrodo, Patience Adzande, Jocelyn Perry
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) esti- mates, nearly sixty-six million people had been forced to leave their homes and migrate as a result of conflict, political violence, ethnic and religious tensions, and natural disasters as of 2016.1 These rather high estimates contributed to the UN’s 2016 launch of the New York Declaration for Migrants and Refugees to enshrine global commitments to the challenges posed by high levels of forced displace- ment, and develop concrete plans for their resolution. This policy briefing note addresses the African Union and African govern- ments, as well as African scholars and policymakers regarding Africa’s particular position within global displacement and migration trends. It provides recommen- dations in the lead-up to the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) at a special summit in Morocco in December 2018.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugees, Displacement, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Chad, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo