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Social Affairs

Taye Negussie (PhD)

“….I could talk forever about the swimming pool, fantastic views, and the morning breakfast. Honestly, though I would expect those things given the price I was paying, what will bring me back to the resort was the impression ‘the unexpected small touches’ left on me.”

By Tsegaye R Ararssa*

  1. 1.     Introduction

What is the story of the Ethiopian federal experiment? What stories does it tell? And what stories can be told about it? Feeding from and into the ever polarized and polarizing ‘debate’ on Ethiopia’s politics, Dr Taye Negussie recently argued that the Ethiopian federal arrangement is synonymous with apartheid’s ‘racial federation’. In a similar vein, Dr Asfawossen Asrate also remarked that “ethnic federalism amounts to nothing but apartheid.”[i] In this piece, I seek to explore the tales the Ethiopian federal experiment tells (and masks) with a view to shedding light on whether, by juxtaposing the two systems, there emerges a tale of two federations or two tales of two differently unjust governance systems.