Wild Arabica Coffee Populations Under Severe Threat: Farmers’ Perception of Existence, Access to and Conservation Needs in the Montane Rainforests of Ethiopia
Title: Wild Arabica Coffee Populations Under Severe Threat: Farmers’ Perception of Existence, Access to and Conservation Needs in the Montane Rainforests of Ethiopia
Authors: Teklu Tesfaye (University of Bonn, Centre for Development Research (ZEF)) and Bierschenk Thomas (Institute of Ethnology and African studies, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz)
Published: Conference on International Agricultural Research for
Development (Deutscher Tropentag 2004 – Berlin, 5-7 October 2004)
Keywords: Coffea arabica, Montane Rainforests, Yayu, Sheko, Resource Management, Conservation
The aim of this study was to understand framers’ perception of the existence; access to and conservation need of the coffee forest and the wild coffee population in it. The evidence derived from the study revealed that considerable variations were observed among farmers in the same woreda and between farmers in the two woredas. Variations in perception were also observed between farmers and outsiders. Understanding framers’ perception of resource management lays the foundation and is key to improving the transparency and effectiveness of conservation and use concepts besides creating platforms that enhance negotiations between farmers and outsiders. The implication is that any endeavour attempting to develop sustainable and effective conservation policies, rules, regulations, institutions and strategies need to take into account contemporary existing farmers’ perception of resource management and use. Besides, policy makers and development practitioners need to take into account the plurality of resource management views and practices that prevail while designing conservation strategies.
Title: Land grabbing as a human rights violation; Both government and TNC are accountable
Author: Garoma B. Wakessa
Published: Human Rights Due Diligence, April 2013
Keywords: land grabbing, human rights, land, Transnational Corporations, annexation
Prior to the annexation of the southern part of today’s Ethiopia (Oromo, Kambata, Sidama and others) into the Abyssinian heartland, the Abyssinians developed a communal system of landownership known as “rist.” The communal system “rist” applied to all Abyssinian lands. The “rist” system guaranteed an entitlement share to all the Abyssinian descendants (both male and female), and individuals had the right to use a plot of family land known as “rist” (Land). “Rist” was hereditary, inalienable, and inviolable. In all Abyssinian heartlands, such as the provinces of Gojjam, Begemdir, and Semien (Gonder), Tigray and in the highlands of Eritrea, the major form of land ownership was the “rist” system.
When the Abyssinian King Menelik II declared war against the neighboring people of southern nations and nationalities in the early 1880s to control the areas of the southern highlands of Oromo, Kambata, Sidama and Walaita and others, he had two major motives. The first motive was to establish ethno/national/racial hierarchy of Abyssinians over the people who were conquered. The second was to exploit human and natural resources in the conquered regions. After several years of bloody war in which more than five million Oromos and others were killed, Abyssinian forces gained the upper hand in 1889 and then controlled most of the southern highland regions.
With the help of firearms he had received from the European colonial powers, by 1900 Menelik II had succeeded in gaining full control over much of the area of present day Ethiopia. Since then the Abyssinians – the old Christian kingdom – have maintained control over their empire, Ethiopia. After they conquered the southern peoples, Abyssinians introduced a land ownership system which was different from the one they had in their Abyssinian homeland. It was based on the Abyssinian old legal system “Fitehanegest” (Ge’ez word, Law of the Kings) which is derived from an Old Testament land ownership system. One third of the conquered lands were given to the Orthodox/Coptic Church, and one third to the state. As a result, the colonial conquest introduced a private land ownership and tenure system in the southern highlands. In the southern highlands, the Ethiopian government became the only body that granted land to their loyalists in the form of “gult” (grant land) fertile lands to state, church, political authorities, soldiers and collaborators. The introduction of a private land ownership system in the southern highlands made most of the indigenous people’s serfs. According to Lata (1999), in Oromia, seventy percent of lands were owned by Abyssinian institutions and private individuals.
After the death of King Menelik (1913} the landlord-tenant relationship and the “rist” (communal land) system continued in the Abyssinian homelands under Emperor Haile Selassie (1930-1974) until a group of military (Derg) took over power in 1974. The Derg abolished the landlord-tenant relationship and launched a radical land reform program that covered the desolated parts of the country. The March 1975 decree ended both the “rist” and “gult” system. All the rural farm lands were declared to be state property and redistributed to the tillers, primarily based on the size of the family and quality of the land. The distribution of land attempted to create equity and fairness in land acquisition. The same decree also banned all kinds of land transactions and hiring wage laborers in rural areas to ensure that the tillers remained the beneficiaries of the land. The decree prohibited farmers from selling, mortgaging, leasing, and transferring the land allocated to them. The practical effect of this decree was to kill land rental and farm labor markets.
After the fall of the Derg regime in 1991, the EPRDF government reaffirmed what the previous regime had established by constitutionalizing the land ownership. For example, Article 40(3) of the Constitution states,
“The right of ownership of rural land and urban land, as well as of all natural resources, is exclusively vested in the state and the peoples of Ethiopia. Land is a common property of the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia and shall not be subject to sale or to other means of exchange.”
In the constitution adopted in 1995, some changes were made; these allowed temporary leases. The constitution guarantees the rights of peasants and pastoralists to free access to land, and the right of individuals to claim compensation for improvements they make on land, including the right to bequeath, transfer or remove such improvements when the right to use the land expires.
Through the constitution, farmers have the right to use the land indefinitely, lease it out temporarily to other farmers, and transfer it to their children. However, they cannot sell it permanently or mortgage it. Although the constitution has resolved some issues, it seems to have created other ambiguities and does not address some important matters. For example, given the scarcity of land, it is not clear how peasants’ rights of free access to land can be assured in practice, and how much land peasants are entitled to have. Those issues have been left to the regional governments to resolve and there have been, therefore, significant differences across the regions with respect to development of a regional land policy.
Title: Historical Significance of Odaa with Special Reference to Walaabuu
Author: D. Hinew Dehu
Published: Science, Technology & Arts Research (STAR) Journal Volume 1, Issue 2, 2012, pp. 81-90
Keywords: Waaqaa, Odaa, Gadaa, Caffee, Qaalluu, Galma
The aim of this paper is primarily to investigate the significance of Odaa (the holy sycamore tree) in the Gadaa System and to underscore the significance of Madda Walaabuu in the socio-political and religious life of the Oromo. In the history of the Oromo people, the general assemblies for socio-political and religious purposes are held at the Caffee under the shade of the Odaa tree. The whole set of Gadaa political activities, including Gadaa rituals, initiation, the handover of power ceremony, revising and enacting customary laws and judiciary practices, are held under the shade of the Odaa tree. As a result of its significance, the Odaa tree is honored, as symbolically, the most important of all trees. The close examination of people’s oral tradition and the use of available written materials help us to reconstruct the history of such a theme. Written sources related to the theme were gathered and about fifteen elders of different regions in Oromia were interviewed to recollect reliable traditions related to the topic. The sources recorded were analyzed based on the historical research. The minor finding reveals that there is a deep-rooted and wider range of socio-cultural and historical interpretation to Odaa (the sycamore tree). Odaa is customarily believed to be the most respected and the most sacred tree, the shade of which was believed as the source of tranquility. Shade of the Odaa was both the central office of Gadaa government where the Gadaa assembly met, and was a sacred place for ritual practices.
The Benefits of Integrating Traditional Institutions for Sustainable Management of Social Protection Programmes for Older People in Oromia: The Case of Arsi and Karayu Oromo Tribes
Title: The Benefits of Integrating Traditional Institutions for Sustainable Management of Social Protection Programmes for Older People in Oromia: The Case of Arsi and Karayu Oromo Tribes
Author: Denebo Dekeba
Published: Thesis Collection
Keywords: Traditional Institutions, Family Law, Social Policy, Gadaa System
The Oromo nation has established traditional systems and mechanisms for managing its socio-economic problems (Dirribi, 2011). The system has been governed by traditional institutions that were customized to address the socio-economic and cultural problems faced by the people. Besides, the institutions enhance the socio-economic ties among the society through, among others, facilitating community initiatives of caring for vulnerable children, women and older people. These clearly indicate that involving such traditional institutions in the development and emergency humanitarian project/programmes would have paramount contributions towards sustainability of the interventions. However, the traditional institutions have not been involved in the process of managing social protection interventions undertaken in the Oromia National Regional State in spite of their implied strategic contribution for sustainability of those interventions. Besides, neither has the potential of these traditional institutions for enhancing sustainability of social protection interventions for older people been analyzed explicitly. This research is specifically intended to find out the benefits of integrating traditional institutions for sustainable management of social protection programmes for older people in Oromia.
Note: Repost due to server data loss.
Title: Promoting and Developing Oromummaa
Author: Asafa Jalata
Published: Seminar Presentation
Keywords: Oromummaa, national liberation, settler colonialism, social emancipation
As any concept, Oromummaa has different meanings on conventional, theoretical, and political, and ideological levels.
Although the colonizers of the Oromo deny, most Oromos know their linguistic, cultural, historical, political, and behavioral patters that have closely connect together all of their sub-identities to the Oromo nation. There is a clear conventional understanding among all Oromo branches and individuals on these issues. The Oromo national movement has gradually expanded the essence and meaning of Oromummaa. The colonization of the Oromo and the disruption of their collective identity and the repression and exploitation of Oromo society have increased the commitment of some Oromo nationalists for the restoration of the Oromo national identity and the achievement of statehood and sovereignty through developing the intellectual, theoretical, and ideological aspects of Oromummaa. In other words, some Oromo nationalists and their supporters have started to further develop the concept of Oromummaa as a cultural, historical, political, and ideological project for recapturing the best elements of the Oromo tradition, critically assessing the strengths and weaknesses of Oromo society, and for formulating a broad-based program of action to mobilize the nation for social emancipation and national liberation.
In this paper, I argue that the critical and thorough comprehension of all aspects of Oromummaa is necessary to build a more united Oromo national movement. First, the paper introduces the conventional meaning of Oromummaa through identifying and explaining the major cultural and historical markers that differentiate the Oromo from their neighbors and other ethno-national groups. Second, it examines how Ethiopian settler colonialism has slowed the full development of Oromummaa by suppressing the Oromo national identity and culture, by killing real Oromo leaders and creating subservient or collaborative leadership, and by destroying and outlawing Oromo national institutions and organizations. Third, the piece illustrates how Oromo diversity can be recognized and celebrated within a democratic national unity. Fourth, it explores the concept of national and global Oromummaa as history, culture, identity, and nationalism. Fifth, the paper demonstrates how expanded Oromummaa can serve as the central and unifying ideology of the Oromo national movement for social emancipation and national liberation.