AAU stages dialogue on federalism and constitutionalism in Ethiopia

The Addis Ababa University hosted a full day symposium themed federalism and constitutionalism in Ethiopia on 25 May, 2017 at Mandela Hall.

The symposium was focused on evolution of constitution and federalism as well as the challenges in the real implementation of constructional principles in the ethnic based federalism.

Kasa T/Berhan, Minister of Federal and Pastoralist Affairs and Board Chair of the AAU in his opening remarks noted that creating a platform to discuss such topics that are based on current affairs in the country can help inform policies and also avoid individuals and group’s perception based political judgments that sometimes lead to conflicts.

He further noted that such conferences are very uncommon in the experience of Ethiopian higher education institutions.

The symposium featured five paper presentations. Federalism, diversity and development in Ethiopia; the implication of making and unmaking of constitution for the entrenching democracy and good governance and the perils of federalism without constitutionalism were among top agendas.

Presenting his paper entitled ‘Federalism, Democracy and Minorities in Ethiopia,’ Asnake Kefale Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations  at Addis Ababa University stated that federalism helps democratization as it brings government closer to the public and democracy as a key for well functioning of federations.

Genuine federalism is unthinkable, Dr. Asnake noted, without political pluralism.

He further went on saying that political parties are indispensable vehicles for democratic participation in representative democracy.

Questions related to threats of ethnic federalism and the practice of constitutionalism as well the advertisement of ethnicity were addressed by professors who presented papers in areas of federalism.