P. O. Box 5641
Minneapolis, MN 55406-0541
Announcing a Symposium
Understanding Land Transfers and Political Crisis in Ethiopia:
A Multidisciplinary Assessment of the Addis Ababa Integrated
Development Master Plan and Popular Uprising in Oromia
Date: Saturday, January 16, 2016
Venue: Washington Ethical Society
Address: 7750 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20012
Time: 1:30 – 6:30 PM
In mid-November of 2015, widespread protests broke out in the Oromia region of
Ethiopia. Protesters opposed a policy of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary
Democratic Front (EPRDF) to transfer smallholder arable lands to private investors.
Initial protests opposed a decision to lease community land in a small town west of the
federal capital of Addis Ababa to a private investor.
This exercise of civil expression quickly took on a form of resistance against a
federal government scheme known as the Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan. In a few
days, the protests spread to all areas of Oromia, involving tens of thousands of
participants. Government response was swift and brutal, killing many people, arresting
hundreds of protesters, and taking into custody thousands, even Oromo political leaders
not directly involved in the protests.
In light of the need for greater understanding of these events, the Oromo Studies
Association (OSA) has called a symposium in which specialists will examine the various
dimensions of the Master Plan and elucidate the causes of this unprecedented protest
Presenters have been invited to explore the constitutional, political, economic,
cultural and environmental consequences of the Master Plan. All papers will present
substantive, documented arguments based on qualitative and/or quantitative research
and provide in-depth multidisciplinary analysis of the complex factors that led to the
widespread grassroots protests and the ensuing political crisis.
Anyone interested to better understand the Addis Ababa Master Plan and its
relation to the Oromo protests is welcome to attend. Specific invitation is issued to
government representatives, scholars, policy makers, analysts, human rights groups,
international and regional media, and other interested parties.
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org For questions: www.oromostuidies.org Call 571-331-8337