Archiv der Kategorie: Event

Video Online-Presentation: Abiy’s religious conception of politics and its implications for domestic and regional governance

Dereje Feyissa Dori

13. June 2024,18:00 CET

The Abiy administration represents a rupture in Ethiopian politics in many ways. This rupture is visible at least in three domains of political life: ideological shifts, ethnic power reconfiguration, and rebalance between ethnicity and the politics of national unity. In this talk I discuss Ideological shifts with an emphasis on Abiy’s religious conception of politics, evident in his messianic self-understanding, and the spiritually-animated political agency connected to that, as well as his obsession with vanity projects, and a legacy-driven big push in his port politics. Turning EPRDF’s assertive secularism upside down, Abiy’s socioeconomic transformational scheme gives the impression that „it is faith, Stupid!“. Much of „the boldness“ or „the delusion“ with which he exercised power in Ethiopia and in the wider region has roots in his religious ideological formation that draws on the tenets of the Prosperity Gospel. An aspect of this is how his political decision making is heavily informed by positive thinking and religious analogical reasoning. As strategic as he is with a background in the security sector, Abiy is also a religious practitioner. Taking the religious Abiy seriously thus provides unique insights to understand his often-unfathomable politics. As the Thomas theorem has it, not objective conditions of situations, but their (culturally grounded) definitions by the actors determines people’s actions. In the case of Abiy one could formulate this as: if he believes something to be the case, then he acts accordingly. The political reality in Ethiopia is thus shaped, to some degree, by the spiritual conceptions of its current leader.

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Dereje Feyissa Dori holds a doctorate in social anthropology from Martin-Luther University/Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany. He is the MIDEQ Co-Investigator for the Ethiopia – South Africa migration corridor and Adjunct Professor at Addis Ababa University. He can be contacted by email.

Video Online-Presentation: Sacred Images of Ethiopia: The Collection of Ethiopian Icons in the Museum „Fünf Kontinente“ in Munich

Carolin Schäfer

16. May 2024,18:00 CET

The dissertation project focuses on the largest collection of Ethiopian icons in Europe and aims to produce both a museum catalogue and a comprehensive guide to this object category. The Ethiopian icons in Munich have never been catalogued in a comprehensive manner before and will thus offer an important reference for those interested in these objects. Furthermore, the collection of 94 icons, produced in all the Christian regions of historic Ethiopia and datable between the 15th century and modern times, provides a vast and varied enough corpus to allow for historical and regional categorisation. Finally, these icons demonstrate an abundance of intercultural and even transreligious influences, which are likely due to the Horn of Africa’s fortunate position for trade and the spread of ideas. 

Accordingly, this PhD project has two main objectives. The first is to build categories of icons based on their places and dates of production, as well as their styles and iconographies, in the end to be able to trace the development of Ethiopians icons as they occur in the Museum Fünf Kontinente and in further museums. Secondly, the project focusses on the intercultural influences, such as by Eastern Christian, Persian, Indian, Asian, Latin, and Islamic cultures, working on the Ethiopian icons and tries to identify their origins.

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„The Oxford Handbook of Ethiopian Languages“ – An online book presentation

Ronny Meyer

27. February 2024,18:00 CET

This book presentation provides a general overview and basic introduction to the recently published collective volume The Oxford Handbook of Ethiopian Languages (OHEL) (

Ethiopia is home to almost one hundred thirty million people who speak about eighty languages belonging to the Cushitic, Omotic and Semitic sub-branches of Afroasiatic and Nilo-Saharan. Their speakers have been in contact for several centuries, resulting in bi- and multilingualism and the establishment of regional and national linguae francae. Moreover, this situation gave rise to the Ethiopian Linguistic Area, in which languages of different genetic origin started to develop similar linguistic features.

Despite this linguistic diversity and ongoing changes, general reference works on Ethiopian languages and linguistics all dating to the 1970s are now outdated. More recent works focus mainly on the Semitic languages and consequently lack information on Cushitic, Omotic and Nilo-Saharan languages. The most recent general reference work on Ethiopia, the Encyclopedia Aethiopica (2003–2014), also contains information on Ethiopian languages, but usually in a very sketchy manner, often neglecting large parts of the morphology and syntax of the languages. Similarly, handbooks on African languages such as Heine et al. (1987), Heine/Nurse (1997), and Vossen/Dimmendaal (2020) deal with various Ethiopian languages but provide only very general information. Most of these works do not deal with sociolinguistic aspects of the languages and language groups.

Thus, there was a need for an up-to-date major reference work. The OHEL provides a comprehensive account of the languages spoken in Ethiopia, examining both their structures and linguistic features, as well as their function and use in society. It provides background and general information on Ethiopian languages, including their demographic distribution and classification, language policy, scripts and writing, and language endangerment. The book also provides an up-to-date overview of the four major language families in Ethiopia. Both major and less documented languages are included, ranging from Amharic and Oromo to Zay, Gawwada, and Yemsa. It also examines the languages that fall outside these four families, namely Ethiopian Sign Language, Ethiopian English, and Arabic in Ethiopia.

OHEL is of particular interest to senior scholars and graduate students with an interest or specialization in Ethiopian languages, and may also attract general linguists, language typologists, African linguists, and Ethiopianists. Furthermore, we, the editors, hope that it will have an impact on Applied Linguistics in Ethiopia, since many of the languages covered in the OHEL have recently been introduced in primary education, although they are still inadequately described. We strongly believe that the OHEL will find a wide national Ethiopian and international readership.

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Panel for Junior Scholars at the ICES20 in Mekelle

WAKHVA will organize a panel during the 20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20) held at Mekelle University, from 1-5 October 2018.

During their phase of academic qualification junior scholars usually do not have sufficient opportunities to build up networks outside their affiliated institution and hardly get access to academic congresses to present their research results and expertise. Especially during the phase of work in progress external feedback and support on the project from peers and professionals as well as getting connected to other researchers is highly valuable. Thus, the German based Horn of Africa Research Association (WAKHVA) offers an organized workshop panel for PhD students with a regional focus on the Horn of Africa. Weiterlesen

Drohnenkrieg in Afrika: Die deutsche Rolle in der Terrorismusbekämpfung und die Auswirkungen dieses Krieges auf Somalia

(Podiumsdiskussion mit Christian Fuchs, Markus Höhne und Ulf Engel am 5 Mai 2014, um 19.00 Uhr im Afrika-Haus, Bochumer Straße 25, 10555 Berlin, Tel:  030 3922010)


In Afrika findet ein Krieg fast unter Ausschluss der Öffentlichkeit statt. Islamistische Milizen kämpfen für ihre Interpretation des Islam und gegen das, was sie als „Diktatur des Westens“ empfinden – und US-Truppen und ihre Verbündeten kämpfen dagegen im „Krieg gegen den Terrorismus“.  Dieser Konflikt ist die zentrale militärische Auseinandersetzung am Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts. Der Konflikt dauert nun schon über ein Jahrzehnt und hat bisher tausende Menschenleben gekostet.

Dieser Krieg wird auch von Deutschland aus geführt: Vom Afrika-Kommando der amerikanischen Streitkräfte in Stuttgart und über die Airbase in Ramstein werden Drohnen in Somalia befehligt und gesteuert. Das haben die Journalisten Christian Fuchs und John Goetz jüngst in ihrem politischen Bestseller „Geheimer Krieg“ aufgedeckt. Darin werden Einsätze in Somalia beschrieben und analysiert.

In Somalia, hat der Krieg gegen den Terrorismus, der vom Westen im Wesentlichen per „Fernsteuerung“ (Raketen und Drohnen) und Sonderkommandos geführt wird, aber auch von afrikanischen Interventionstruppen, die von den USA und der Europäischen Union massiv mitfinanziert werden, ungeahnte Auswirkungen. Der Ethnologe Dr. Markus Höhne, der sich seit vielen Jahren mit dem Land am Horn von Afrika beschäftigt, zeigt auf, wie der Krieg gegen den Terrorismus in Somalia die Gewalt und auch den Terror massiv verschlimmert hat. In seiner Sicht konnte die Terrororganisation Al Schabaab überhaupt erst im Zuge der Terrorbekämpfung, die ohne Rücksicht auf Völkerrecht und Menschenrechte in Somalia stattfindet, zu einer militärisch schlagkräftigen und teilweise politische legitimen Bewegung werden.

Der Afrikaexperte und Berater der Afrikanischen Union, Prof. Dr. Ulf Engel, diskutiert die Sicherheits­interessen afrikanischer Staaten, insbesondere Äthiopiens und Kenias, im Hinblick auf die Lage in Somalia sowie die Position der Afrikanischen Union.

Die Veranstaltung stellt die Frage, inwiefern Deutschland an der Eskalation eines Krieges in Somalia mitbeteiligt ist und welche Schlüsse sich aus der Reflexion über diese Zusammenhänge im Hinblick auf die aktuell diskutierte Ausweitung deutscher Militäreinsätze im Ausland und militärische Interventionen als Mittel der „Friedenspolitik“ insgesamt ziehen lassen. Die Veranstaltung wird als Podiumsdiskussion abgehalten. Die Referenten halten zunächst kurze Impulsreferate. Im Anschluss findet ein moderiertes Gespräch unter ihnen statt, bevor die Debatte für das Publikum geöffnet wird.