Contemporary Ethiopia: Revolution and Transformation?

What is the status of Ethiopia, 20 years after famine relief? Why hasn't Ethiopia progressed as predicted? Former Clinton advisor for Africa, Gayle Smith, along with leading Ethiopian scholar, Edmond Keller, lead a panel discussion focusing on the state of Ethiopia. Where were you when "We Are the World" dominated the radio waves? Marcia Thomas of USA for Africa discusses the 1984 famine relief effort and pop culture.

Scholars And Activists Explore Revolution & Transformation In Ethiopia's Recent Past

1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m, Saturday, March 19, 2005
Lenart Auditorium at the Fowler Museum on UCLA's Westwood campus

Scholars and activists discuss the current status of Ethiopia at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History in the Lenart Auditorium on Saturday, March 19, 2005, from 1 - 3:30 PM. The event is being sponsored by the UCLA African Studies Center and the Globalization Research Center-Africa.

Special Forum on Contemporary Ethiopia: Revolution & Transformation?

A panel of experts attempts to answer the question of whether Ethiopia has indeed experienced revolution and transformation over the last 30 years. Panelists will survey Ethiopia's tumultuous recent past with a discussion of significant milestones of the last thirty years. Topics covered will include the revolution of 1974 and the transition from the Derge to the EPRDF coalition. Issues such as ethnic federalism, land tenure, and decentralization will be discussed, as well as the impact and effect of these policies on the nation, society, women's lives, and the environment. Panelists will examine the changing dynamics of famine and famine relief including the highly publicized 1984 famine and subsequent pop aid movement. Discussions will examine if famine in Ethiopia is purely an environmental crisis or a manifestation of social, political, and economic policies. Presentations will cover a variety of issues such as women coping with extreme poverty and insecurity, food security, regime change, and the age-old question of nationalities with panelists offering forecasts and predications for the future.

Topics and Speakers Include:

Governance, Citizenship, and National Identity.

  • Edmond Keller, UCLA professor of political science, director of the UCLA Globalization Research Center-Africa, specializes in comparative politics with an emphasis on Ethiopia. He was an observer of the 1992 Ethiopian elections and the author of Revolutionary Ethiopia: From Empire to People's Republic.

Ethiopia: A Perspective from Here and There.

  • Gayle Smith, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and was special assistant to the president and senior director for African Affairs at the National Security Council during the Clinton adminstiration. Smith negotiated a ceasefire between Uganda and Rwanda as well as peace a agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

The Paradox of Ethiopia's Under-development.

  • Berhanu Abegaz, professor of economics at William and Mary College, specializes in regional economic integration, comparative economics, and development economics. His work encompasses wide-ranging issues including the role of diversified business groups in emerging economies, the challenges facing African industrialization, and poverty traps in Ethiopia's agrarian system.

Popular Culture and the Ethiopian Famine of 1984.

  • Marcia Thomas, executive director of USA for Africa, is a development specialist and has worked for development organizations including Oxfam America. She was at the forefront of the international response to the 1984 Ethiopian famine. In addition to the "We Are the World" project, she has also been associated with other big project events such as Hands Across America, the 1984 Olympic Games and the Jubilee 2000 Debt Relief Campaign.

The Missing Link: Women and Ethiopia's Development.

  • Sosena Demessie, consultant on gender and development, recently concluded a study for Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) on women and coping with poverty. She specializes on agriculture and rural development with focus on gender and development. She was a gender officer with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and is the author of various reports for the UNDP, the World Bank, and other international organizations.

Sheila Breeding; phone 310-825-3686 or e-mail

Event is FREE and OPEN to the public; parking costs $7. Parking will be available in Lot 4 on Westwood off Sunset Boulevard for $7.

For more info please contact:
Sheila Breeding

Published: Thursday, March 10, 2005