Nicole Beardsworth and Assefa Fiseha
This project put youths and MPs in conversation about the efficacy of the country’s representative institutions, and how they might be reformed to become more inclusive and representative of young people’s concerns.
The scholars trained young Ethiopian researchers to undertake an ethnographic video project in two of the country’s regions (Amhara and Oromia) that were most affected by recent protests. The project worked with MPs at both state and federal levels to train them on learning from and working with youth groups, conducting parliamentary outreach, and the role of legislative bodies. The importance of this project is found in the fact that it provides concrete tools to stakeholders to tackle some of the most serious challenges that accompany the current process of democratisation.
You can watch their videos on YouTube: Oromia 2020 and Youths and parliaments in Sidama
The researchers held focus group discussions in Hawassa to ask young people about their experiences of engaging with zonal councils and parliaments in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), and the involvement of youth in the Sidama independence movement. A workshop with MPs was held at the end of April 2021, where they showed videos made by youth and conducted training sessions with parliamentarians.
Nicole Beardsworth, Assefa Fisera, Henok Kebede and Getachew Disas published an article about the project in the Conversation, 7 June 2021 – Why young Ethiopians in Oromia and Sidama fought for change – which has been included in the Ethiopian EU Delegation’s media list and in UN Office for the Co-ordiantion of Humanitarian Affairs, republished in a Ghanian newspaper and widely shared on Twitter.