Spotlight: Two Timely U.S. Conferences on Ethiopia That You May Have Missed

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. (Photo via @fanatelevision/Twitter)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: May 24th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – Last month two timely conferences were held in Washington, D.C. reflecting on current Ethiopian affairs and the marathon political and economic reforms being undertaken under the new administration of PM Abiy Ahmed, which should have received more media attention.

The first conference titled “Ethiopia’s Democratic opening One Year Later: Looking Back and Looking Ahead” was organized by The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a private nonprofit foundation that has played a valuable role during the long years of struggle for democracy in Ethiopia including awarding fellowships to former opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa — who is now the head of Ethiopia’s Election Board — as well as academic scholar and former prisoner of conscience Dr. Merera Gudina, among others.

Participants of the recent NED gathering included Seife Ayalew, Executive Director of the African Civic Leadership Program, Ltd; Yoseph Badwaza, Senior Program Officer for Ethiopia at Freedom House; Kassahun Follo, Executive Director of the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU); and Obang Metho, Founder and Executive Director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia. The panel “examined the success, opportunities, and challenges of Ethiopia’s democratic transformation” in this past year.

Watch: Ethiopia’s Democratic Opening One Year Later: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

The second program titled “Building a Big Tent for Agricultural Transformation in Ethiopia” was held on April 24th and hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a bipartisan and nonprofit policy research organization exploring “current endeavors, and future challenges” of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA).

According to CSIS, the keynote delivered by ATA CEO Khalid Bomba was followed by a panel discussion that included Getachew Diriba, Independent Consultant on Agricultural Development; Beth Dunford, Assistant to the Administrator at USAID; and Sara Boettiger, Senior Advisor at Center for Agricultural Transformation, McKinsey & Company, which compared and contrasted “Ethiopia’s experience in agricultural transformation to that of other countries” and explored “the role that donors like the United States government can play to support such efforts for country-led development.”

Listen to Audio: Building a Big Tent for Agricultural Transformation in Ethiopia

In Pictures: DC Event on Ethiopia’s Digital Economy

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