Federalism and the Accommodation of Diversity in Ethiopia

Research Paper
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Assefa (2006) emphasizes the purpose of federalism in sustenance of the peaceful coexistence among the people of ethnic diversities. The comparative study reflects on the political viability of the federalism for resource optimization and power sharing between representatives of multicultural federations.


The distribution of power on the basis of legislative, executive, and judicial dimension among the federal government and states assists in creating strategic framework for economic, social, and development policies.
The constituent units of federalism in Ethiopia are the House of Peoples Representatives (HoPR) and the House of Federation (HoF). The HoF acts as the balancing agent on the contentious issues between states represented by HoPR. Although the systematic design of federalism in Ethiopia resembles with the multicultural federation in other countries, the inclusion of the Nations and Nationalities along with people distinguishes it from the traditional standards of including only people. The constitution requires the congruity between all these three elements- nations, nationality, and people. This raises the concern for official recognition of the languages from various section of population at both state and federal level to protect their identity. The 1995 Federal Constitution defines Amharic as the official language of the federal and empowers the members of states to choose their languages to preserve the cultural identity along with maintaining national unity. ...
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