The Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA) in collaboration with USAID/OTI organized a Two-Day Policy Dialogue Forum at Ellily International Hotel, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Policy Dialogue forum took place from the 2nd -3rd of September 2022. The dialogue forum focused on four thematic areas: Political Economy of Ethiopia, Land Policy and Related Issues, Conflicts and Post-Conflict Economic Recovery Options, and National Dialogue in Ethiopia. The participants of the dialogue forum were invited from different walks of lives including from the Ethiopian House of Peoples Representatives (HoPR), representatives of the federal and regional government officials, selected university presidents/vice presidents across the country, CSOs, and development partners.
The forum was organized in eight sessions. Professor Mengistu Ketema, the CEO of the Ethiopian Economics Association, delivered a welcome speech. Following the welcome speech, Ms. Britanny Gleixner-Hayat, country representative of USAD/OTI, Ethiopia in her context delivered a brief message to the participants. In her message, Ms. Britanny focused on the importance of the topics of the policy forum on peace building and inclusive dialogue, creating space for debate and diverse platform in the country.
H.E Dr. Yohannes Ayalew, President of Development bank of Ethiopia, the guest of honor, conveyed an opening remark of the dialogue forum. Dr. Lemma Gudissa, Vice-President of the EEA, began his closing remarks by recalling the number of participants in the forum who came almost from all corners of professions.
The forum centered on recent scientific studies undertaken by senior researchers of the fields. The main objectives of the forum were to create a space for dialogue and bring stakeholders together and discuss on the four issues stipulated above. The outcome of the dialogue is believed to be used as an input for the policy makers. It is our hope that such a forum would play a paramount importance to identify the root causes of the problems and suggest realistic solutions to the policy makers. Indeed, it was believed that such a dialogue would give green light to policy makers to produce pragmatic solutions to the current socio-economic challenges.
Ten invited speakers drawn from various corners of the country presented their research findings. A total of over 200 participants from an assortment of stakeholders and concerned government officials around the country attended the forum. The topics discussed in the forum were macroeconomic instability in Ethiopia, costs and drivers of inflation in Ethiopia. The other points that were highly emphasized include the question of land ownership rights in Ethiopia, the evolving question of land tenure for sustainability in Ethiopia, land certification and tenure security in Ethiopia, and the removal of fuel subsidy reduction in Ethiopian economy. The speakers presented a reviewed work of the effect of the Russia-Ukraine war on the Ethiopian economy and the effect of internal conflict on the Ethiopian economy. Two more topics were presented by researchers of the field which include the role of national dialogue for peace building and political stability in Ethiopia, and the role of civic society for inclusive national dialogue in Ethiopia.