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Political Transition and State Building in Ethiopia

Addressing peaceful political transition towards democracy in Ethiopia to avoid a regional human and security crisis in the region.

For a quarter century, the Ethiopian state has worked assiduously to establish a dominant party democracy that would remain in power until the country becomes a middle-income economy. This concentration of political and economic power caused a democratic deficit that triggered students protests in 2014 demanding that democratic and human rights be fulfilled. After three years of determined and sustained resistance, the one-party dictatorship imploded. Ethiopia is now amid a political transition but a transfer of power has not taken place. Strong governing institutions and mechanisms for durable peace and preventing an authority void will play an important role in this process.

This discussion will address the importance of fostering constructive relationships and cooperation among civil society, policymakers, and regional and international organizations for a successful political transition in Ethiopia. 


  • Leila Bon-Abajobir, President of the Jifar Association, focused on promoting sustainable agriculture, access to water, youth education and professional training in Ethiopia.
  • Ezekiel Gebissa, Professor, Kettering University, USA (PhD, Michigan State), is Professor of History and African Studies at Kettering University is a prolific writer and expert speaker on the political, economic and human situation in Ethiopia.
  • Jawar Mohammed, Executive Director, Oromia Media Network, USA (MA, Columbia) is a political analyst focused on the transition to democracy in Ethiopia. 

The discussion will be moderated by Mr Adam Koniuszewski, Associate Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science engaged in the Future of Democracy project, and Executive-in-Residence, Global Fellowship Initiative, GCSP.

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GCSP, Maison de la paix, Chemin Eugène Rigot 2D, Geneva

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