Ethiopia

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Supporting the transition from a historically autocratic system to a multi-voiced, multi-party democracy.


WHY USAID/OTI IS IN ETHIOPIA

After four years of street protests and increased ethnic tensions, Abiy Ahmed was appointed Prime Minister in April 2018, pledging to bring unprecedented democratic reform, stability, and unity to Ethiopia, and end the 20-year war with Eritrea. This unprecedented democratic opening in Ethiopia provides an opportunity to strengthen the U.S. Government relationship with the country and the region. USAID/OTI’s fast and flexible approach to programming capitalizes on windows of opportunity to advance the democratic transition, peaceful dialogue, and opening of political and civic space in order to enable longer-term change in the lead up to the national elections and subsequent outcomes. 

USAID/OTI’S ROLE IN ETHIOPIA

In September 2019, USAID/OTI launched its program in Ethiopia to support the transition from a historically autocratic system to a multi-voiced, multi-party democracy. USAID/OTI will prioritize flexibility to remain responsive to changes in Ethiopia and programmatic objectives will evolve accordingly. The USAID/OTI program will initially focus on supporting the consolidation of Ethiopia’s democratic transformation by:

  • Assisting national and regional governments to better address the needs of their citizens;
  • Empowering citizens through coordinated technical support, outreach programs, and public media campaigns; and
  • Supporting civil society leaders and media actors to amplify positive community voices.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

    The initial geographic focus of this program is the capital, Addis Ababa. USAID/OTI plans to expand to other regions, potentially, Oromo, Amhara, and Tigray, when the COVID-19 situation allows for the resumption of travel. Examples of activities under implementation are:

    • Creation of a new weekly 30-minute television program addressing current affairs and concerns of average citizens leading up to national elections;
    • Training of regional government communication bureaus on writing press releases and communicating messages via social media outlets; and
    • Strengthening civic engagement by supporting new civil society.
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    Last updated: May 28, 2020

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