On September 17th, 2018 Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung welcomed around 20 representatives from academia, political organizations just as involved citizens at the FES-Office in Addis Ababa to discuss about the chances of recent political reforms and economic development in Ethiopia. The workshop was organized jointly by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
After some opening remarks by Constantin Grund (FES Ethiopia) and Jalal Abdel-Latif (UNECA) the discussion was structured by inspiring presentations by Abdalla Hamdok (UNECA), Prof. Mohamed Salih (ISS/ ECA) and Prof. Ezekiel Gebissa (University of Michigan). They evaluated chances and risks of democratic reforms in Ethiopia in respect to recent political developments and also in perspective of special issues like media, electoral system, gender equality and civil engagement.
It was emphasized that ethnic diversity is a key factor and therefore needs to be paid special attention as well that democratization can only be successful if it is deeply rooted within the civil society. Likewise, democratization is a process and needs to (successfully) pass through different steps on the way to a consolidated democratic system.
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is thankful for a vivid discussion among all participants of the workshop and for the important contributions which had been made.