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Ethiopia has become one of the most profitable locations in Africa for foreign funded agricultural developments. Hoping for export revenues, the Ethiopian government leases millions of hectares of allegedly unused land to foreign investors. However, the dream of prosperity has a dark side: massive forced evictions, small scale farmers losing their livelihoods, repression and a vicious spiral…

2018-09-07

The importance of remittances to the household economy across Somalia is well-recognized. What is less well understood is the relationship between remittances and the relative vulnerability of certain communities, particularly to drought and food insecurity. This briefing outlines the key features and the marked variations of the remittance landscape in Somalia. It also analyses how…

2018-11-05

For over two decades Ethiopia’s political federation has been organized around the principle of ‘democratic centralism’. This philosophy also lies at the heart of the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition, and its centralized decision-making culture. Until recently, EPRDF policies were formulated through a top-down process rather than on the basis of local…

2019-04-18

In May 2001, Somaliland’s citizens went to the polls to approve an interim constitution in a public referendum coordinated by the Government of Somaliland. The constitution called for multi-party politics and democratic elections. Since then, Somaliland has held a series of contested elections at different levels: local, parliamentary and presidential. Elections have become a familiar…

RVI attended the Hargeysa International Book Fair in Somaliland, showcasing work on customary authorities in South Sudan. 

Since early 2018, Ethiopia’s political context has been in flux, including a deep popular challenge to democratic centralism, and the prevailing political order. In this context, reforms which strengthen constitutionalism and the rule of law in the country are increasingly urgent.

2019-06-14

The legacy of Somali piracy, the threat of terrorists transiting between Yemen and Somalia, and the deepening conflict in Yemen, mean international actors tend to view the Gulf of Aden through a security lens. This report outlines the local social and economic relations that criss-cross the maritime border between Yemen and Somalia, and which, despite being less visible to international policy…

The Institute recently wrapped up its fifteenth year of annual field courses, which were held this year in May and June in Kenya. The one-week intensive courses covered an array of historical and contemporary issues in the Horn of Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, and the Great Lakes regions. They were attended by 83 participants and taught by 32 teachers.

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In June and July, the Rift Valley Institute will hold the 2019 annual field courses in Ethiopia. Now in their sisteenth year, each course examines a different sub-region within eastern and central Africa: Sudan and South Sudan, the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa. They offer a dawn-to-dusk programme of lectures, seminars, panel discussions and debates. Bringing together new research, fresh…

Haji Abdulkarim Hussein Yusuf, known as ‘Haji Abdi Warabe’, died in Hargeysa, Somaliland, on Friday 10 May 2019. His precise age is unknown, but local reports state that he lived to over one hundred. He was buried in a small village known as Toon, close to Hargeysa. Official delegations from Djibouti and the Somali region of Ethiopia, as well as colleagues from the Somaliland Parliament,…