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The Future of Ethiopian-Eritrean Relations – Third and Final Call for Abstracts and Papers

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As the relation between Ethiopia and Eritrea continues to be agonizing, episodic and eventful, examining the relations from diverse and contemporary domains of knowledge and practical-institutional experience has increasingly become imperative.  Vision Ethiopia, an independent team of Ethiopian scholars and professionals based in the United States, in cooperation with the Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT), is pleased to once again announce that it will be holding a one day public conference on Sunday October 18, 2015 at Washington Marriott Hotel, Georgetown.  We are also happy to report that the responses that we got from the First and Second calls have been encouraging. Respected analysts, former diplomats and members of civil societies have shown interest.  To broaden the participation further, this Third and Final call for abstracts, papers and suggestions is issued.
The theme of the conference is the identification of the similarities and differences between the state and non-state actors in Ethiopia and Eritrea, narrowing the gaps, and building healthy future relations in the context of regional and international relations. The context in which the relation is examined is also important as the Horn of Africa is one of the trouble spots of the world and there are a number of competing global and regional powers with various interests in the region. Independent analysts, scholars and public intellectuals, community and religious leaders, diplomats, former civil servants and government officials and politicians have different, often competing and opposing perspectives about the causes and consequences of past and present actions/inactions of state and non-state actors.  How the actors attempt to bridge the gaps is of critical importance for the effective and enduring healthy relations between the two countries irrespective of who is in power in Addis Ababa and/or in Asmara.  Discussions between Ethiopian, Eritrean and American scholars and public intellectuals, professionals, church and community leaders and broader society are therefore important and timely.  Authors and speakers are expected to answer the following complex questions and related issues in the context of recent local, regional and international developments:-

  • What should be done to build good relation between Eritrea and Ethiopia?
  • What should NOT be done to build good relation between Eritrea and Ethiopia?
  • What should be the roles of community, women, youth and faith organizations in leading the people-to-people relationship?
  • What could men and women of the Arts and Sports do to resurrect the social and cultural relations between the two countries?
  • What are some of the socio-economic–cultural considerations that leaders may have to take in to account to successfully get to the next height?
  • What is/are the superpowers’ and regional powers’ interests in the region?  etc.

The forthcoming conference, therefore, is a continuation of the various earlier initiatives to facilitate a proper forum for dialogue to better understand the issues that unite and divide the polities in the most recent global and regional order/disorder. It is also hoped that the conference will help to start developing workable ideas to build enduring healthy relationship between the nationals of the two countries to cooperate in their struggle to advance peace, prosperity, and democratize the region.
Therefore, we encourage and welcome considered and diverse ideas from all prospective participants.. We are also pleased to announce that ESAT’s management has promised to disseminate all presentations unedited and uncensored to the peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Selection of abstracts, papers and panelists will be made on the merit, quality and fit of the thought to the three/four planned panel sessions. Please, send the abstract of your paper and suggestions to [email protected] by September 30, 2015. Abstracts can be sent in Amharic or English.  Accepted abstracts, papers, panelists and program details will be made on or before October 10, 2015. Speakers at the conference are required to be at the conference venue at least one hour before their schedule. For more information please call (703) 895-4551 or (202) 403-7025