Topic:Civil Society, Federalism
This report is the outcome of a series of dialogue workshops held in Bishoftu City from July 14–28, 2023, under the theme ‘Deliberating Federalism in Ethiopia’. This series of two-day workshops were attended by a total of ninety carefully selected participants from across Ethiopia, representing federal and regional governments, political parties, civil society organizations, academicians, influential public figures, and governance experts and practitioners. They represented different parts of the country and different viewpoints on the past, current and future of federalism in Ethiopia. The three rounds of workshops were designed by a Working Group (WG) that had been specifically established to provide technical advice on this process and were supported by experienced federal governance experts who had received tailored training in dialogue facilitation and conflict analysis.
The objective of the workshop series was to run an open, inclusive and genuine dialogue on Ethiopia’s federal system, identify key contentious issues, and suggest ways in which the nation could better work together to resolve the impasses. To this end, the dialogue workshops covered eight thematic sessions:
- Contextual factors that led to the adoption of the federal system,
- Conceptual understanding of federalism,
- Legitimacy of the state and the federal system,
- Design and practice of the federal system,
- Federal spirit and political culture,
- Federalism and conflict in Ethiopia, and
- Identification of the major contentious issues of federalism and possible pathways ahead.