New Book Interrogates the Reform

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The launching event for a new book dubbed Ethiopia in the Wake of Political Reforms was held today, October 22, 2020, at Ras Mekonnen Hall, Addis Ababa University.

The book that brought together over twenty contributors from a multi-disciplinary team of scholars and practitioners in the areas of political and economic reform, federalism, and nation-building, as well as foreign and security policy, tries to shed light on cross-roads Ethiopia is facing.

The book follows the set of sweeping reforms that took place in Ethiopia following the April 2018 political transition and how they have put the country in a polarized political discourse and highly contrasting views among close observers.  

 “[The country is either ascending to the heights of a free and democratic republic or descending to the depths of autocracy. Where this change leads, only time will tell; but, there is little doubt that that destination is in the hands of the Ethiopian people. Ethiopia in the Wake of Political Reforms is about interrogating, understanding, conceptualizing, and explaining the core components of the reform process]” reads the description of the book posted on the publisher’s site.

The book with a price tag of 60 dollars has 616 pages that are put together in four chapters dedicated to discussing political, economic, federalism and nation-building, and foreign and security policy issues.

Some of the topics included in these chapters are the Gedeo-Guji displacement, Ethio-Eritrea relations, transitional justice and reconciliation, and land policy. 

The three co-editors who put together the publication are Melaku Geboye Desta, professor of international economic law at Leicester De Montfort Law School in England, Mamo Esmelealem Mihretu, senior adviser on policy reforms to the prime minister of Ethiopia and Ethiopia’s chief trade negotiator, and Dereje Feyissa Dori (Ph.D.) author and co-editor of several books. 

While Christopher Clapham, political scientist, William Davison, senior Ethiopia analyst at International Crisis Group, and Sehin Teferra (Ph.D.), cofounder of Setaweet Movement some of the contributors who forwarded their essay.

“This book is a timely collection of thoughtful essays that impacts political reform in Ethiopia and contributes to an understanding of the country’s challenges, said David Shinn, Ph.D., Author of China and Africa: A Century of Engagement, in reviewing the book.

While the renowned Ethiopian history professor Bahru Zewde (Ph.D.) wrote, “the editors of this volume have succeeded beyond expectations in assembling an array of scholars representing various disciplines to explore the political and economic dimensions of the reform as well as its implications for the federal arrangement and the country’s foreign policy.”

Tsehai Publishers, the publishing company behind the book, was founded in 1998 by Elias Wondimu, an Ethiopian exiled journalist. Based in Los Angeles, USA, Tsehai is dedicated to publishing African literature.

Tsehai has published over 100 books and was named one of the leading publishing entities in Los Angeles by LA Weekly newspaper.