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A shared space where we advocate for social transformation through collaboration, engagement and empathy.

LA-DEM-MED Ethiopia, Law, Democratisation and Media, endeavours to strengthen the rule of law, promote democratisation, consolidate civil rights, support policy reform and government performance, and encourage bottom-up public participation and active citizenship in Ethiopia.

The reforms initiated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed since 2018 have made significant strides toward promoting a system of responsive and accountable governance through a series of political reforms aimed at ensuring the rule of law and democratisation. This led to political openings, resulting in the release of political prisoners, the start of an anti-corruption campaign, and relaxation of the relations with neighbouring Eritrea.

Political actors and media are experiencing a transitional phase, but do not seem to be able to seize the opportunities that are being presented easily. Most public media institutions are affiliated with the dominant political elite, and are divided along some interest groups including ethnic lines; and independent media outlets try to survive in a politically and economically volatile climate with decreasing revenues from advertisements.


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The context

In the light of: 

  • significant recent political reforms and transition
  • increased levels of violence and political polarisation because the national elections have been postponed and now rescheduled for June 2021

We propose a multi-faceted approach that simultaneously:

  • supports professionals of state institutions to become more inclusive
  • strengthens independent media
  • strengthens increased public participation in political processes, while reducing the risk of (renewed) tensions.

The country has been undertaking different interventions and political reforms to ensure peace and rule of law, promote human rights, democracy, and good governance by using the media. Nonetheless there are widespread challenges and pressing sectoral capacity needs. In particular, the justice sector needs strengthening in order to ensure the principles of the rule of law.

Legal professionals at all levels lack professional skills, tools and the appropriate work climate to perform their tasks well; many court cases get delayed and do not get finished.

We believe that collaborations with academic institutions, policy makers and independent media channels are necessary to ensure and advance freedom of expression, critical debate, and policy reform, and to promote government performance particularly in the justice sector.

Get involved with us:

  1. Academic staff of law schools, schools of journalism, media and communications and departments of political science at Bahir Dar University, Mekelle University, Oromia State University and Jimma University
  2. Students in law, political science, journalism, media and communications of Bahir Dar University, Mekelle University, Oromia State University and Jimma University
  3. Journalists working in public and private media, and community radio stations, including members of the Association of Ethiopian Broadcasters
  4. Professionals, policy advisors and decision-makers of government institutions, and in particular justice sector organisations at federal and regional level
LA-DEM-MED - Advocating for Social Transformation
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Development of a Training Module on Judicial Independence in Ethiopia

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LA-DEM-MED - Advocating for Social Transformation

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LA-DEM-MED is funded by NUFFIC under the Orange Knowledge Programme.