Public lecture-Perspectives on Supporting Ethiopia’s Democratic Reforms

Center for Human Rights, College of Law and Good Governance of Addis Ababa University in partnership with Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa Programme organized public lecture themed ‘Perspectives on Supporting Ethiopia’s Democratic Reforms’ at Eshetu Chole Hall on 02 May, 2019.

The public lecture was offered by Ambassador Patrick Gaspard, President of Open Society Foundations. Ambassador Patrick Gaspard during his lecture highlighted key accomplishment of the last one year, challenges of the transformation process and expectations.

Matewos Ensermu (PhD), Vice President for Administration and Student Services of AAU in his welcome remarks said, “Adddis Ababa University has done a lot for promotion and protection of values of human rights, rule of law, efficiency and accountability through teaching, research and community services.”  “Still there is more to be done to completely challenge use of violence in solving differences; we have yet to address lack of tolerance to views of others and lack of accountability,” said Dr Matewos in statement.   

“The momentous period of transition in Ethiopia has brought significant political changes accompanied by unprecedented new discourse on reconciliation, women empowerment, electoral reforms, optimism and hope across Ethiopia and around the world,” said the ambassador during his lecture.  “Press freedom blossomed in ways never seen before and thousands of prisoners were also freed,” he added.  Ambassador Patrick Gaspard underlined that patience and political dialogue is undoubtedly significant to solve challenges of the transition process.

Various questions, among other, issues of 2020 election, problems related to internal displacement, citizenship and democracy and how Open Society can support the reforms were raised from attendees.