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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Momentous changes in the Horn of Africa

The election of a new president in Somalia and the expected inauguration of a new prime minister in Ethiopia have prompted RVI Fellow Sally Healy to reflect on the challenges facing Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Mogadishu and Haile Mariam Desalegn in Addis Ababa. Writing on the New Internationalist website, she contrasts the political trajectories of the two neighbours over the past 20 years. Discussing the ‘complex legacy’ of Meles Zenawi, she writes that his ‘success in making Ethiopia a top development partner has been tempered by a record of intolerance and increasing political repression at home’. In Somalia, however, despite the erosion of state institutions, ‘democratic and participatory political traditions are stronger than those of its powerful neighbour’.

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