Political parties debate at Addis Ababa University

Addis Ababa University, as part of its effort to enhance the advancement of democracy in Ethiopia has hosted a debate session for legally registered political parties on February 28, 2015 at Eshetu Chole hall, College of Business and Economics.

Aimed at promoting the culture of dialogue among parties of different ideology and manifest, the debate forum was organized by the University’s School of Journalism and Communication in collaboration with the Office of the President.

Debate was held on three ideologies represented by political parties espousing them: Ato Abay Tsahaye, representing developmental democracy; Prof. Beyene Petros, representing social democracy and Dr. Chane kebede, representing liberal democracy. Each had a 30 minutes presentation on the basics of the ideologies followed by a series of questions from the moderator before session was open for questions from the public.

Admasu Tsegaye (PhD), President of Addis Ababa University in his keynote address noted that besides the teaching -learning and research activities, the University is additionally obliged to be directly engaged in the country’s economic and social development endeavors. Hoping to contribute its share for the democratization process in the country, he explained, the university has organized this debate forum where political parties debate on the political ideologies they espouse in a civilized manner.

Debate inside page

“The basic reason why only three political ideologies are selected for the debate is that the ideologies espoused by the majority of political parties in Ethiopia fall under these three ideologies: social democracy, developmental democracy and liberal democracy” said Abdissa Zerai (PhD), Head, School of Journalism and Communications, Organizing Committee’s Chair and moderator of the session. He has further noted that the majority of the people are not well aware of the various political ideologies political parties espouse for reasons of lack of similar forms for political parties to inform their respective followers on their economic and social policies. Hence, he stressed, organizing the forum in such a manner is believed to better enhance the democratization process in the country.

The debate forum has further entertained questions raised by political parties in attendance. The University community, civil society representatives, political party representatives, and the media were in attendance.

In addition to the previously organized events on ‘Hate Speech’, and ‘Mass Media and Developmental State’, the School has further designed to run two similar forums on Mass Media, Democracy and Election (scheduled for March 7, 2015) followed by ‘Online Speech and Election in Ethiopia (on March 11 and 12,2015).