The discussion with participants mostly focused on the current situation in Ethiopia and the upcoming national elections in May 2020.
On 1 October 2019, IPSS hosted the launch of “The Puzzle of Ethiopian Politics”, a book authored by Dr. Terrence Lyons, Associate Professor of Political Science at George Mason University, United States. The book centers on the evolution of Ethiopian politics with a particular focus on elections, transnational politics, the mutual security system in the Horn of Africa, and US foreign policy towards the Horn.
Following a welcome address by IPSS Director Dr. Yonas Adaye Adeto, Dr. Lyons presented an overview of the book, and explained in detail about the origins of a small Marxist-Leninist insurgency in northern Ethiopia which transformed into a party (the EPRDF) with eight million members. He further spoke of the EPRDF hierarchy that links even the smallest Ethiopian village to the centre; the legacies of protracted civil war and rebel victory over the brutal Derg regime and its effect on contemporary Ethiopian politics; and the widespread protests and transformation under the new leadership to meet popular demands for reforms.
After his presentation, the discussion with participants mostly focused on the current situation in Ethiopia and the upcoming national elections in May 2020. Dr. Lyons noted that the political power and influence of EPRDF, even if weakened, would likely be positively reflected in the electoral results. He also emphasized the importance of Ethiopian ownership over the process, with no external roles playing a major role.
In conclusion, Dr. Lyons recommended the government invest and commit more to conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and dialogues on sensitive matters. His book is available for sale on Amazon.
Click here to view photos from the event