The Institute of Federalism was very pleased to host a delegation of Ethiopian researchers from Addis Ababa University. Addis Ababa University, its Center for Federalism and its Centre of Excellence in Good Governance (CoE) have been long-term partners of the Institute: they have worked on many different joint projects and regularly organised teaching exchanges. One of the IFF’s Co-Directors, Prof. Eva Maria Belser, will for instance be teaching at the African School on Decentralisation starting in Addis Ababa on 4 September 2023. The delegation from Ethiopia comprised Prof. Assefa Fiseha, Dr. Zemelak Ayitenew Ayele and Dr. Ketema Wakjira Debela, from the CoE in Good Governance.
Prof. Fiseha is a leading expert in comparative constitutional law and federalism in Africa and has been engaged in teaching and research in higher education since 1996. He has published numerous articles, book chapters and a book related to these fields. He has also been engaged in constitution making processes and dialogues in several countries (Sudan, South Sudan, Malawi, Ethiopia, Yemen, etc.). His research and presentation at the IFF delved into the state of federalism in Ethiopia, explaining the different phases of the federation, its origin, performance and the genesis to the current crises, and suggested possible ways out.
Dr. Ketema is Assistant Professor at Addis Ababa University. His teaching and publications cover areas like comparative federalism, intergovernmental relations and institutional federal design. At the IFF, his research and presentation focussed on federalism and management of conflict-induced displacement in Ethiopia, explaining the causes of displacement, who the key players are, and how the policy and regulatory frameworks can help manage the situation.
Dr. Zemelak is Associate Professor and has widely published in the area of decentralisation and federalism in Ethiopia and Africa, including a book on “Local Government in Ethiopia: Advancing development and accommodating ethnic minorities”. His research at the Institute of Federalism is titled “Demarcating the jurisdictional boundaries between courts and constitutional courts in countries with centralised systems of constitutional review: The case of Ethiopia”.
The presentation of their research was followed by an interesting exchange with the Institute staff on the current multi-level crises in Ethiopia and the state of federalism in the country.