Sub-national Constitution-making in Ethiopia: Special Emphasis on the Constitutions of Oromia and Southern, Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regions

  • Dagim Wandimu
Keywords: Constitution, Constitution-making, Council of nationalities Sub-national units, Regional states, Oromia, SNNPR, State council


The nine regional states, constituting the Ethiopian federation had their own constitutions starting from the time of transition and have previously been revised multiple times in the last two decades. Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ (SNNPR) regions enacted their first constitution in 1995. As to how the constitutions were made is the question of many researchers. Some writers put that making process as unclear. Some others opine that the constitutions were simply legislated as ordinary legislation without observing the constitution-making principles. This study seeks to explore the making process of the constitutions of Oromia and SNNP regions. It aims to identify the guiding principles and methodology employed in the making process. It also aims to find out the major challenges encountered in the process. In doing so, a qualitative data collections method was employed.
The findings of the study reveal that it is hard to say that the regional states made their own efforts to give themselves home grown constitutions, although they have the right to do so. This paper concludes that the regional state has not employed a special procedure in the making process. The public was not given the chance to give their say on the content and procedure of making. The constitution-making process of the two regions was highly dominated by the federal government. Finally, this piece recommends that the constitutions of Oromia and SNNPR should be revised to make them more adaptable to the socio-economic and cultural situation of the respective regions.


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print ISSN: 2304-8239