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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Understanding Contemporary Ethiopia

On Friday 15 January 2016, the Rift Valley Forum hosted Gérard Prunier for the Nairobi launch of the book Understanding Contemporary Ethiopia: Monarchy, Revolution and the Legacy of Meles Zenawi, co-edited by Prunier and Éloi Ficquet.

This anthology of essays by noted scholars of Ethiopia’s culture, history, politics, and society seeks to transcend the clichés of suffering and visions of a past empire that often colour perspectives on the country. This book presents a measured, detailed and systematic analysis of the powerful forces that have rapidly transformed Ethiopia into a regional power. 

RVI Fellow Gérard Prunier is a historian and author of The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide and of Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide.


Kifle Wansamo
Hekima Institute of Peace Studies


Gérard Prunier

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