Ethiopians embrace federalism but are split over whether it should be ethnic or geographic, Afrobarometer survey shows

A majority of Ethiopians view federalism with independent regional governments as the best form of government for the country, a new Afrobarometer survey shows.

But citizens are evenly divided as to whether Ethiopia’s federalism should continue to be based on regions defined by ethnicity or should change to a system based on geographic features of the country.

The fate of federalism has been intensely debated since the country launched a reform agenda two years ago. Both private and public media have been hosting debates by politicians, scholars, and civil society representatives on whether the country should maintain the ethnic/multinational federalism that has been in place since the federal Constitution was ratified in 1995, modify it, or shift to a unitary form of government.