Federalism: instrument for peacemaking in the Horn of Africa

The Center for Federal Studies of the Addis Ababa University organized a full day seminar under the theme ‘Federalism as peacemaking instrument in the Horn of Africa’ at Jupiter Hotel-Bole on December 2, 2016.

The center for federal studies organized the seminar in collaboration with its research partners from South Africa, Switzerland and Italy.

International and regional high profile personalities spoke on federalism and devolution trends in South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya on the seminar.

The seminar is intended to create platform for stakeholders to share experience and learn from one another about federalism and its impact on peacemaking in countries of the Horn of Africa.

Solomon Fikire (Ph.D.), Dean of College of Law and Good Governance of the AAU, in his opening remarks stated federalism as a solution in mitigating violent conflicts that could lead to civil war in different countries.

Research papers on federalism in the context of Horn of African countries, federalism as peacemaking instrument, power sharing in African States and devolution of powers and peacemaking were discussed following the presentation session.

Professor Nico Steytler, South African research chair for multilevel government, Law and Policy at the Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, governance and Human Rights University of the Western Cape, in his presentation entitled ‘the federal character of federal government: the missing component of shared rules,’ underscored federalism as the recognition of diversity through a constitutional distribution of power which enables self rule of the constituent units in specified areas of jurisdiction.


“It gives minority a real voice in central institutions, helps create inclusive constitution and politics and shared rules of equal importance as self rule,” he said.

The event also featured a deliberation session following the presentation where various questions were raised from those in attendance.