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  • on 16.12.2010
  • at 08:00 AM
  • by Staff

Ethiopia hosts 5th Int’l federalism conference 4

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa is hosting the Fifth International Conference on Federalism, being held for the first time in Africa. The opening, held on December 13 brought together Heads of States, politicians, civil servants, academicians, civil society organizations and think-thanks, as well as young professionals working on federalism related issues.

The theme of this year’s conference, which ends on December 16 is ‘Equality and Unity in Diversity for Development’ and aims to tackle five topics: Federalism and the Democratization Process; The Impacts of Regionalization and Globalization on Federations; Unity in Diversity through Federalism; Federalism and Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution Mechanisms; and Fiscal Federalism and Equitable Development.

The Economic Commission for Africa is among other partners supporting the Forum on Federation and the Ethiopian Government. In a speech read on his behalf by Jennifer Kargo, UN under secretary general Abdoulie Janneh said Ethiopia is taking the lead in fostering federalism on the continent by providing a forum to share experiences and best practices of this system of government.

“This year’s conference is special to us in Africa as it will show case the experiences of African countries with federalism and decentralisation, which include Nigeria and Ethiopia with full fledged federal constitutions, and others that practice some aspects of federalism”, said Janneh.

He said the conference will also afford African countries the opportunity to draw lesson from the experiences of federal countries in other continents such as the United States of America, Canada and India.

The UN under secretary general underscored the need for governments to promote participatory and accountable governance strategies for attaining development goals.

“The devolution and decentralization of power and resources to state and local governments represent an important option available to governments to get closer to the people, be more responsive and accountable to their citizens, and increasingly also for citizens to influence policy priorities and participate in their implementation; all of which are integral to the federal system”, Janneh reiterated.

By StaffNews From Africa

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