Protest in Ethiopia:

Examining Process-Based Leadership as a Way Forward

  • Zekarias Abebe African Leadership Centre, King's College London


Ethiopia has been plunged into one of the worst crises in the recent history of the country with waves of protest and violence erupting in some parts of the country since 2014. The announcement of a draft integrated developmental plan for Addis Ababa and neighbouring towns and villages of Oromia regional state, referred to as the ‘master plan’, sparked protest in April 2014 that engulfed many towns and cities of Oromia - the largest among the nine regional states formed along ethno-lingual basis.[1]Another wave of protest erupted again around mid-November 2015, this time with a far more political repercussion. Protest, which came to be known as the ‘Oromo protest’, erupted across the Oromia region and continues to reverberate to this date despite the heavy-crackdown by the government. The episode raised eyebrows among many scholars and politicians to comprehend what went wrong with the country that received wide accolades for its impressive economic growth. This commentary will unpack the discontents that precipitated the protest and suggest the way forward. The commentary argues that implementation of national developmental policy has caused discontent and disenfranchisement among the wider public; and underpinning national development policies with the ideals of process-based leadership would mitigate the discontents and offer sustainable, peaceful development.   [1]Ethiopia has been restructured along with ethnic federalism since the advent of the incumbent ruling party, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, since 1991.

Author Biography

Zekarias Abebe, African Leadership Centre, King's College London
Mr Zekarias Beshah Abebe has earned his first degree in law from Jimma University (2008) and Master’s degree in Public International Law from Addis Ababa University (2011), Ethiopia. Since his graduation in 2011, Zekarias has joined Dilla University first and then Debre Berhan University, College of Law as a lecturer of law where he has been delivering international law courses namely- Public International Law, African Union Law, Law of International organizations and others. In addition to his position as a lecturer, he has also held number of administrative positions including, Curriculum and Quality Assurance Coordinator, Summer Program Coordinator and Research and Community Service Coordinator. Zekarias has research experience on variety of topics. He has conducted research studies on the areas of Peace and Security Council of the African Union, Environmental Impact Assessment, prisoner’s right and Accessibility of Buildings for Persons with Disabilities. Zekarias has also organized successful trainings and seminars on wide range of topics that focused on the enforcement of human rights in Ethiopia. Furthermore, he has also been a volunteer at the free legal aid center of Debre Berhan University which provides legal service for vulnerable groups like women, children, and persons with disability free of any charge. Research Interests Peace and Security Council of the African Union Human Rights
How to Cite
Abebe, Z. (2018). Protest in Ethiopia:. Leadership & Developing Societies, 2(1). Retrieved from