Ethiopia: when the Gadaa democracy rules in a federal state. Bridging indigenous institutions of governance to modern democracy
AuthorSirna, Zelalem Tesfaye
As student of law and later as a teacher, I was questioning whether Gadaa System has something to contribute to democratic values and sustainable institutions of governance in contemporary Ethiopian legal system. In particular, in sub-Saharan African countries where democracy and rule of law are proclaimed but not translated into practice, it appears vital to look into alternatives that can ll governance de cits. It is against this backdrop and after series of research processes; eld work among the Boran and Guji- Oromo, that Ethiopia: When the Gadaa Democracy Rules in a Federal State; Bridging Indigenous Institutions of Governance to Modern Democracy came into focus. The main objective of this research is, therefore, to respond to the search of alternative solution to hurdles democratisation process, Africa as a region as well as Ethiopia as a country faces, through African indigenous knowledge of governance, namely the Gadaa System. Accordingly, institutional and fundamental principles analysed in this thesis clearly indicate that indigenous system of governance such as the Gadaa System embraces archaic democratic values that are useful even today. However, bridging two separate institutions and political systems is not without challenges. This study is committed to discerning tensions and compatibility issues. The incompatibilities arise from both political systems; indigenous as well as modern. However, they bear not only tensions but also solutions. Hence, where the challenges that arise from indigenous political system could be resolved by progressive principles of modern political systems; tensions that arise from modern political system are sought to be addressed by embracing legally viable values of the Gadaa System through the instrumentality of federalism and legal pluralism. In sum, three main reasons support the approach of this study: in Africa no system of governance is perfect divorced from its indigenous institutions of governance; indigenous knowledge of governance as a resource that could enhance democratisation in Ethiopia should not be left at peripheries; and an inclusive policy that accommodates diversity and ensures the advancement of human culture appeals.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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