Institute gets Restructured to Enhance Capacity in Foreign Relations

The former Ethiopian International Institute for Peace and Development (EIIPD) has transformed into a new entity named Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute (EFRSSI) to better handle Ethiopia's international relations.

The Ethiopian Federal Council of Ministers approved its formation under regulation number 347/2015 last October. Being a center of excellence in research is the chief objective of reforming EIIPD, according to Sibhat Nega, General Director of the newly formed EFRSSI.



All Embassies and International Organizations Working in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Establishing Experts’ Forum for Visiting Scholars

The Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute (EFRSSI) is a think tank organization that works closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs focusing on peace, security, development and democracy. Your Embassy/International Organization might be interested to know that EFRSSI has recently established “Experts’ Forum for Visiting Scholars” (EFVS). The purpose is to facilitate experience and thought sharing forum whereby visiting experts and diplomats share their views and reflections on the aforementioned interest areas with curious local audience.



Concept Paper for Establishing Network With Academic Institutions and Other Think Tanks

The Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute (EFRSSI) is established in 1996 to undertake research, training, advocacy and networking. It is an autonomous and non-profit making think-tank and networking organization.

Since its establishment, the EFRSSI has carried out a series of projects and programmes with focus on its pivotal objectives. These include research outputs, advocacy for democratic dialogue, and capacity enhancement for diplomats and civic society at large.

According to the Regulation of the Council of Ministers No 5|1996 that established EFRSSI, the Institute (EFRSSI) has a duty of establishing relations of cooperation with governmental organizations and institutions having similar goals (Art 6:8).

Based on the above mentioned Article the Institute has established relationships with few Institutions and Organizations. This concept paper is prepared to renew the previous contacts with some of them as well as to establish new relationships with potential partners.



EFRSSI and ISS Seminar Report, Addis Ababa: The Contribution of Ethiopian Peacekeeping Mission in Abyei

Jointly presented by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute (EFRSSI)
On 07 December 2011, ACPP-Addis Ababa organized a seminar on the United Nations Interim Security Force (UNISFA) and the current relations between South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan. This was one of the largest diplomatic attendances in an ISS Seminar in Addis Ababa. The Head of the Ethiopian Peacekeeping Mission and the Ambassadors of the South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan were among the most important speakers. They covered the successes achieved, the challenges faced by the United Nations Interim Security Force (UNISFA), the current tensions and contentions between South and North Sudan as well as the political dynamics in North Sudan and the viability of the state of South Sudan. With more than 70 participants, Ambassadors and representatives of Peace and Security Council, Permanent Representatives Committee, the AU Commission, Peace and Security Department, and the AU Border Programme were in attendance. Ambassadors and representative of South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Angola, Morocco, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Togo, Swaziland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Japan, China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Venezuela, Canada, France, USA, Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Austria, Spain, ECOWAS, United Nations Mission to the African Union, European Union Mission to the African Union, UN Women, IPSS, NATO, MSF, Oxfam International, ICRC attended the seminar.



Public Seminar on Independence of South Sudan and the Contribution of the Ethiopian Peacekeeping Mission in Abyei

Mogus T. Michael
D. Executive Director

Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan, Elsading Omer Abdalla. Ambassador of the Republic of South Sudan, Arop Deng Kuol, Government representatives, researchers, academicians, Invited guests, ladies and gentlemen, First of all I would like to welcome you all and express my deepest appreciation to all of you who have taken the time to attend this seminar. The relations between Ethiopia and Sudan were cordial when Ethiopia was given the opportunity to help resolve the conflict between the Khartoum Government and what was known as Anya‐nya movement 2 which culminated in the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972. The agreement was instrumental in maintaining stability in the Sudan. Relations between the two neighborly countries also remained stable until ideological differences strained the relations when the military junta was in power in Ethiopia between 1974 and 1991, and were particularly aggravated when a civil war erupted in the Sudan in 1983. The neighborly relationship between Addis Ababa and Khartoum was put on a positive track in 1991 because of the new foreign policy orientation initiated by the Government of the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)which emphasized a friendly posture with all neighboring countries.



EFRSSI and ICWA Backed Africa-India Summit

Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute (EFRSSI) and the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) jointly organized an academic conference as input to the Second Summit of the India-Africa Forum held in Addis Ababa on 25 May 2011. The academic conference, under the theme, “Africa and India. A Partnership for Development and Growth”, was convened at Addis Ababa Hilton on 11 and 12 May 2011. EFRSSI and ICWA jointly prepared and run the conference in the framework of cooperation that had existed between the two institutions. The African Union (AU) was also a partner to the activity. The profile of the Academic Conference was boosted from the start by keynote addresses delivered by senior Ethiopian Government leaders: Minister of Education Demeke Makonnen and Foreign Affairs State Minister Berhane Gebre-Christos. The ministers underscored the importance of India, which has assumed the status of major global economic and political power, to Africa as a partner for development and growth.



Experiences in Project Execution

Activities of the Institute have in large part focused on the following:-

1. Diplomatic Training;
2. Civic and voter education in collaboration with a consortium of civil society Entities
3. Program of Capacity Building for Journalists;
4. Support to advocacy of federalism and democracy in collaboration with a civil society;
5. Seminars as collaborative program with the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), an African NGO;
6. Networking with Alliance of Civilizations to propagate Opportunities of Diversity;
7. Establishing cooperation with Africa Program of the Committee on American Foreign Policy.


Diplomatic Training

Diplomats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and military attachés of the Ministry of Defence got basic diplomatic training in the Institute at different time. Trainers/resource persons are usually selected from a roster of experts maintained by the EFRSSI. Most of the trainers are practicing diplomats with teaching experience, academics in the fields of international affairs, diplomatic studies, global development researchers, development policy makers and decision makers, specialists in international law, specialists in economic diplomacy, experts in the teaching of diplomatic communication and procedures of diplomatic protocol norms and practices.

» Areas covered in diplomatic training:
» History and Evolution of International Relations
» Concepts and Evolution of Diplomacy
» International Law
» The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
» Bilateral and Multilateral Diplomacy
» International, Regional Organizations
» Non-State Actors in International Relations
» Globalization and Economic Diplomacy
» Conflict Resolution and Conflict Management Instruments, Methodology and Skills.
» Negotiation Skills
» Public Diplomacy
» Diplomatic Communications Procedures
» Norms, Rules, Procedures of Protocol in Diplomatic Practice.


Civic and Voter Education

Civic and voter education was a running program of the EFRSSI since the 2005 Ethiopian Election. It has been a collaborative program in which 15 civil society groups had cooperated with the EFRSSI in designing and running the program by designating target groups and communities among the members of the network. The program was managed by United Kingdom based consultants known as “Election Reform International Service”.

The same consortium continued the training as a network with funding from Norway and Sweden.

In its share of the program, the EFRSSI reached communities, professional associations, youth and women’s associations, grass-roots level of employees in the public sector in informal 220 learning meetings in which the total outreach was 40,000 participation (25,000 female, 15,000 male).

Themes covered in the training meetings were:-
» Concepts of Democracy
» Indicators of Democratic Governance
» International Human Rights Instruments and how they are incorporated in the Ethiopian Constitution
» Participatory Politics, Elections, the Imperative of Voting and Gender Equality in Governance.
Capacity Building Program for Journalists

As a contribution to enhancing the role of independent press in democratic development, the EFRSSI has initiated a program which emphasizes the central importance of professional competence and responsibility to build a vibrant press in Ethiopia. Clarity on the mission to serve the public interest through independent and responsible professionalism is the way to make the role of the press a strong promoter of democracy, good governance and social progress.

The EFRSSI drew up the program in cooperation with the Ethiopian Journalists Association. The funding partner was the German Foundation, FES, (Friedrich- Ebert- Stiftung) for promoting democracy.

The program brought together practitioners from the federal state media, the private press, communications agents in professional organizations and the regional state administrations. In all, 80 journalists took part in two one-week seminars with the aim of developing self-governing rules or code and establishing an independent Media Council that overseas the application of the Code as well as looking after the interests of the men and women who are engaged in serving the public good as independent professionals.

A consultant in the field from South Africa addressed the workshops/ seminars on experiences in the region in the working of independent press in the more advanced southern African region.

Subjects covered in the workshops were:

» Journalism in Ethiopia: Mission and Independence.
» Negative and Positive Indicators of the Media in Ethiopia: Issues of Editorial Principles, Professional Competence and Editorial Policy.
» The Importance of Self-Regulation in the Media: Experiences in Southern Africa.
» Ethiopian Experiences in Self-Regulation.
» Gender Mainstreaming in Media Work.
» The Essence of a Self-Regulating Code in Ethiopian Journalists Association.
» The Need for Creating a Media Council.
» Experience of the Ethiopian Journalists Association.

In the process, the broad outlines of a Self-Regulating Code of Conduct for Ethiopian Media, together with Terms of Reference for a Media Council were drawn up. Stakeholders in the functions of the Media in Ethiopia, including civil societies, adopted the Code and composition of the Media Council.


Support to Forum for Federalism and Democracy

This entity is an advocacy civil society which has been in the process of developing programs on generating awareness of the value of federal dispensation, its relevance to democratic development, its relevance to the Ethiopian context of cultural diversity and its role in promoting unity.

EFRSSI has been facilitating meetings, providing logistical support as well as advice for the Forum to conduct programs.
Networking With Other Institutions

EFRSSI has in recent months worked on articulating procedures of cooperating with institutions with focus of activities that are in harmony with its interest and objectives. Initiatives in this regard consist of the following.

EFRSSI formalized its relation, and executed a program, with Institute for Security Studies (ISS), a South Africa based think-tank which also operates out of Addis Ababa. The EFRSSI and ISS have jointly organized two public dialogue seminars on Climate Change.

Before COP 15, the world summit of climate was held, authoritative and knowledgeable personalities discussed what was expected of the summit. At the second seminar, the promises outlined in COP 15 were evaluated from the perspective of African interests as the most affected and most vulnerable continent.

EFRSSI and ISS have begun working on creating an African Peace Academy (APC), to be followed by a second project on the establishment of an African Diplomatic Academy (ADA).

Contact has been established with the Africa Program of the Committee on American Foreign Policy. EFRSSI has finalized its proposal on the modalities of cooperation with the Program in areas in which the EFRSSI presents itself as a principal stakeholder and owner of the issues that merit attention with regard to the security situation in the Horn of Africa as well as African questions in which Ethiopia has a central role.

Contact has been made with the Alliance of Civilizations. This movement is an antithesis of the concept of “Clash of Civilization” and advocates for celebrating cultural diversity based on beliefs and diversity of viewpoints, promotes widespread awareness with the aim of challenging biased attitudes, stereotyping and manifestations of marginalizing and neglecting minorities, disadvantaged communities wherever they occur. The high representative of the UN Secretary General on the Movement visited the EFRSSI at which time agreement was reached to formally accept the EFRSSI as a member of the Movement. The high representative was given briefings on the Ethiopian Federal System. Understanding was reached on taking the Ethiopian system as a model of celebrating diversity and equal consideration of cultural, linguistic, faith and interest diversity as opportunities to promote peace, harmony and understanding among peoples in future programs of the Movement.


Programs and Projects

EFRSSI intends to draw up programs of research, dissemination and policy discussions clustered under:-

» Thematic issues, such as the intelligentsia in general, with focus on Ethiopia, brain drain, Democracy, federalism and the provisions of the Ethiopian Constitution, fundamentalism and tolerance, regional peace, stability and harmony;

»  International Issues such as climate change, multilateral diplomacy, globalization, establishment of and African pace and Diplomatic Academy, Peace building and development partnership with regional groups and strong economies,

»  Horn of Africa and the Middle East with focus on the region’s politics of harmony and conflicts, internal causes of tensions, actual and potential factors of sub regional peace, IGAD’s activities; conflict early warning systems, cross-border resources (e.g. The Nile and other rivers) and traditional practices as factors of conflict or dynamics of positive relationships.

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Contact us

P.O.Box: 18529, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Telephone: +251 111 553 1955

Fax: +251 111 553 3398