Round Table Talk “Field Work in Ethiopia”

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On March 12, 2022, the “Roundtable Talk – ‘Field Work in Ethiopia’” was streamed live on YouTube as the final event of the “AY2021 IAfP Short-term online exchange programs – Addis Ababa University/AY2021 Online lecture series on lifelong sciences.” This talk was also held as a start-up event for the “Innovative Africa Channel, Kyoto” which will be regularly streamed hereafter.

During the first half of the talk, guest speakers Prof. Jan Abink from Leiden University and Prof. Masayoshi Shigeta from Kyoto University held a discussion. They described the political instability in Ethiopia in recent years and the political regime changes that have taken place over the years, based upon their 30 years of research experience in Ethiopia.

In the latter half of the session, Mr. Shunsuke Matsukuma and Dr. Eunji Choi asked Prof. Abink and Prof. Shigeta about the recent situation in Ethiopia from the perspective of young researchers in the country. With regard to their own fieldwork experience in Ethiopia, Mr. Matsukuma and Dr. Choi asked the following questions: 1) their roles and responsibilities as researchers in relation to the spread of information and misinformation that the mainstream media has failed to convey; 2) nationalism in Africa and Prime Minister Abiy’s assertion about ethnic federalism in Ethiopia; 3) the impact of the diaspora upon the nature and operation of the Ethiopian state; and 4) the impact of this conflict upon the social ties that have been developing among the Ethiopian people.

After the talk, we received high praise from viewers for impartially voicing our opinions after gathering appropriate information regarding the positions of both sides (the Ethiopian government and the TPLF) and related situations. We also received expectant messages from viewers who look forward to the channel’s continued coverage of a variety of issues related to Africa.

Starting in the new academic year, the Innovative Africa Channel will regularly broadcast a range of news stories concerning Africa.

Innovative Africa Channel, Kyoto