Debates Conférences
Ifri Paris
from 14:00 to 18:30
This event is public
Abiy Ahmed

Political and economic reconfigurations under Abiy Ahmed in Ethiopia

Since taking over as head of the Ethiopian government in April 2018, Abiy Ahmed has increased his openness: the lifting of the state of emergency, the release of political prisoners, the announcements of economic openness and privatization of national enterprises. Regarding foreign policy, Abiy Ahmed surprisingly initiated a historic rapprochement with Eritrea.

As Ethiopia was stranded in a severely repressed wave of protests with unprecedented scale and duration, the new government seems to break the circle of violence and raises tremendous hopes. Regarding the economic situation, the international media portrays an "African tiger" with spectacular growth rates, engaged in a promising privatization process. But what is really going on behind these signs of openness? To what extent do they promise a profound change? In which direction is the State of Ethiopia heading? The situation is all the more uncertain as inequalities and tensions persist in the country. This conference questions the current period of reorientations of the Ethiopian state, in political and economic terms.


14h-16h What political openness?

René Lefort, Journalist and Independent Researcher

Merera Gudina, Associate Professor, University of Addis Ababa and Chairman, Oromo Federalist Congress

Mehdi Labzaé, Researcher, University Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne


16h15-18h30 Towards neoliberal Ethiopia?

Olivier Poujade, President of EAGate Holdings SAS and co-founder of East Africa Gate, Vice President of the French Business Club in Ethiopia

Edegilign Hailu Woldegebrael, Researcher, Paris-Nanterre University

Sabine Planel, Researcher, Institute of Research for Development, Institute of African Worlds

Chair: Clélie Nallet, Researcher, Ifri


The conference will be in French and in English with a translation from French into English


27 rue de la Procession, 75015 Paris
Contact the organizers: 

For more details, please contact Clélie Nallet (nallet@ifri.org)