Ethiopia is undergoing a transition set off by the 2018 appointment of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who came to power after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned the face of mass protests at which demonstrators demanded greater political rights. Abiy has pledged to reform Ethiopia’s authoritarian state, ruled by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) since 1991, and is in the process of rewriting the country’s repressive electoral, terrorism, media, and other laws. However, Ethiopia remains beset by political factionalism and intercommunal violence, abuses by security forces and violations of due process are still common, and many restrictive laws remain in force. A major reorganization of the ruling party, growing conflict between ethnic communities, and new claims for self-determination have created a fluid political situation as the country prepares for elections in 2020.
Our Work in Ethiopia
Freedom House has worked on Ethiopia since 2008, assisting human rights organizations in the development of coordinated advocacy and public outreach campaigns, and supporting the next generation of human rights defenders and democratic governance champions. Current programming seeks to protect civic space through mentorship initiatives, including a human rights internship programs and civil society capacity building. Freedom House also supports civil society to advance the recent political opening in Ethiopia by helping civil society organizations to develop strategies for the upcoming elections and outreach to citizens.
Freedom in the World — Ethiopia Country Report
Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2020, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.
Freedom on the Net — Ethiopia Country Report
Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom on the Net, Freedom House's comprehensive study of internet freedom around the globe.
Special Report: Reform in Ethiopia - Turning Promise into Progress
Ethiopia has seen dramatic political changes this year, but significant challenges remain. The United States should seize this opportunity to support a genuine democratic transition in a pivotal country.
Statement from the Ethiopia Working Group opens in new tab
February 6, 2020
An Explainer for When the Internet Goes Down: What, Who, and Why? opens in new tab
July 29, 2019
Ethiopia: Repressive Measures Threaten Democratic Progress opens in new tab
July 16, 2019
Ethiopia: Civil Society Proclamation Advances Essential Freedoms opens in new tab
February 8, 2019
Ethiopia: MCC Recognizes Opportunity for Democratic Reform opens in new tab
December 12, 2018
Testimony on Ethiopia: Turning Promise into Progress opens in new tab
Testimony and remarks
September 28, 2018