Can Ethiopia be a ‘goad’ for democratic change in East Africa?


Ethiopia can be a goad to change, if its economic growth rate and its continuing democratic movement are both maintained, says Freedom House analyst Jon Temin.

The April 2018 election of Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed has been seen as a turning point for Ethiopia, the International Republican Institute adds. Against a backdrop of both economic growth and civil unrest the past decade, Ethiopians at home and abroad are cautiously optimistic about the change Dr. Abiy represents. Will the country be able to sustain this momentum to improve in areas like human rights, ethnically-driven politics, and opportunities for youth? IRI asks:

Our hosts speak to Dr. Menna Demessie, Vice President for Research & Policy Analysis, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and National Youth Coordinator at Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora; former political prisoner and Secretary General of the Oromo Federalist Congress opposition party Bekele Gerba; and civic activist and survivor of torture Fekade Ancho who currently works with the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition.

At a recent National Endowment for Democracy forum (above), Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Scott Busby spoke about U.S. policy and engagement to promote human rights in Ethiopia. In a panel discussion, Yoseph Badwaza, Sarah Margon, and Ameha Mekonnen will examine opportunities for democratic reform in Ethiopia.


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