The project supports Ethiopian-led and -owned dialogue efforts on multiple, interconnected tracks, including on the national and sub-national level, and with specific stakeholder groups.
Timeframe: 2022 - 2023
With the overarching aim to contribute to the creation of a conducive environment in Ethiopia, within which conflicts can be transformed through consensus-oriented cooperation, this project supports Ethiopian-led and -owned dialogue efforts on multiple, interconnected tracks. In its multi-track dialogue support strategy, the project builds on its sustained collaboration with a multi-partial group of influential Ethiopian insiders from across the political and civic spectrum.
On the national level, the project aims at strengthening an inclusive and legitimate National Dialogue as an overarching mechanism to address deep-rooted fault lines and create consensus on a future vision for Ethiopia. Simultaneously, the project aims at initiating, sustaining and strengthening dialogue processes within and between ethnic communities, for example in the framework of the preparation of an intra-Oromo dialogue among different sectors of the Oromo community, while strengthening synergies with national-level processes. Finally, the project works with specific stakeholder groups to foster their meaningful inclusion in Ethiopian dialogue processes.
The project engagement includes strategic coaching and advice, tailored and on-demand substantive and capacity-building support, as well as the facilitation of consultative and dialogue space within and between different groups.
Since 2018, Ethiopia finds itself at a critical juncture. On the one hand, the transition and reform process initiated by Ethiopian Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed was accompanied by a widening of the political and democratic space and increasing hopes for a genuine transformation towards a more just, inclusive and democratic political order. On the other hand, the transition unveiled the complexity of the formation of the Ethiopian state and nation, and brought to the fore deep-seated divisions and fault lines along political, ethnic, territorial and economic lines. It has set the stage for the resurgence and surfacing of different forms of political and inter-ethnic violence, and general instability in parts of the country.
In this complex and dynamic environment, a consensus has emerged among a vast range of Ethiopian stakeholders that addressing these historically entrenched fault lines and grievances requires the initiation and implementation of nationally-owned and -led, inclusive dialogue efforts. In this sense, many argue that National Dialogue is an important avenue to create a new framework for constructive and consensus-oriented cooperation to decide on the future of the country in an inclusive manner. Since 2019, the Berghof Foundation has been working to contribute to this emerging consensus on National Dialogue as a mechanism to address Ethiopia’s deep-rooted fault lines, which it aims to continue within the framework of this project.
Partners and Funding
The project is funded by and implemented in close collaboration with the German Federal Foreign Office. Our partner organisation is the Center for Dialogue, Research and Cooperation.
Head of Unit Ethiopia
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