Article from ROAPE Volume 23 Number 70
Ethnicity & Power in Ethiopia

Ethnicity and Power in Ethiopia
Vol.23 No.70 (December 1996), pp531-542
Ethiopia is implementing a radical programme of decentralising state power to ethnic-based regional units, which could be of interest to other countries in Africa faced with demands of ethnic communities for a greater role in the state. This apparent empowerment of ethnicity represents a complete reversal of this country's past practices, and is the joint product of the ethnocratic character of the state until recently and the policies adopted by the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) in its long struggle against the military regime that ruled Ethiopia during 1974-1991. This article examines the processes that brought forth this novel, and for Africa unprecedented, constitutional arrangement.