Symposium: Ethiopia in the dawn of the third Millennium

Council for the Celebration of Ethiopian Millennium

Ethiopia in the dawn of the third Millennium: Reflections on our Country’s Past and its Future – Challenges and Opportunities.

As part of the events organized by the Council for Ethiopian Millennium Celebration Council in Washington DC, USA, from September 7 to September 12, 2007, several prominent scholars, professionals, and experts, both Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia — from Europe, Canada, and various states of the US — will gather in Washington DC to participate in a Symposium: “Ethiopia in the dawn of the 3rd Millennium: Reflections on our Country’s Past and its Future.” The Symposium will be held from September 8-9, 2007 at Howard University in Washington, DC.

The closure of the 2nd Ethiopian millennium and the beginning of of the new one is not a mere marker of transition between two epochs in a wall calendar. It goes without saying that it carries the baggage of history, with all its ups and downs of thousands of years, a civilization that has its unique features and a diverse population with a colorful culture and heritage. What is already passing represents a rich mosaic of religious, economic, social and political systems that have fascinated scholars, baffled would be colonialists, thrilled potential trade partners and challenged politicians who wish to lead the nation.

On the dawn of the new millennium, it is incumbent on all Ethiopians to explore ways of building and enhancing our capacity to sustain both our rich heritages and a proud history of an ancient and unique civilisation. Current and future generations of Ethiopians have a huge responsibility to carry-on this golden heritage and proud history, which has been for decades, if not for centuries a hallmark of great contribution, inspiration and a leading star for the entire African continent and for the black people of African descent world-wide.

The symposium has a double-pronged purpose:

  1. To highlight the heritages of an ancient civilization that sustained an exemplary and untarnished independence, and
  2. To explore and formulate the innovative contributions of the contemporary Ethiopian generations to explore a course and set an agenda for brightening our country’s future

These perspectives are complementary: highlighting Ethiopia’s proud legacy will set the stage for the nation’s future in all fields of knowledge, thus enabling the new generation to carry the torch of that legacy to the distant future. Tapping on the great reservoirs of unyielding and renowned Ethiopian spirits of the past generations, we aspire in this Symposium to critically look at ways for re-establishing our country’s great image and prestige in the world platform, by helping her to institute forward-looking policies in all walks of life today and for the coming decades. Themes of the symposium reflect the 2000 years of achievements, frustrations and challenges as well as the new directions of civil and political lives of Ethiopians in the context of our diversity, modernity and globalisation. The invited presenters are expected to highlight the achievements, frustrations and challenges of the current generation of Ethiopians, as they face the future and struggle to recognize their roots in an ancient civilization, lift their heads and spirits high and assert their great potentials, resources and innovative qualities. The symposium also hopes to open a dialogue over innovative approaches to help enable our country, first and foremost be self-reliant as it strives to control its future. The sub-themes will encompass the overwhelming social, economic and political difficulties the country has been undergoing over the centuries, particularly the last century. These will be used for exploring and bringing forth the underlying strategies for overcoming them. Council for the Celebration of Ethiopian Millennium – Washington, DCTHE ETHIOPIAN MILLENNIUM: REFLECTIONS ON THE PAST, PRESENT CHALLENGS, LIGHT INTO THE FUTURE SYMPOSIA – September 8 – 9, 2007
Howard University Washington, DC
A. Ethiopian History, Language, and Culture in the past MillenniumModerator: Speakers: Professor Getatchew Haile, St. Johns University – Ethiopia Ena Yekerew Alem

Ato Assefa Gebremariam Tesema, Author and Poet: Ye Ethiopia Huletegnaw Millennium BeGetami Ayin

Dr. Fikre Tolossa, Writer, Poet & Playwright: Ethiopian History and Literature

Dr. Ayele Bekeri, Cornell University: The Ethiopian Millennium as a Signifier of Long Historical Journey

Dr. Aberra Molla: The Ethiopian Calendar

Dr. Meseret Chekol Reta, University of Wisconsin – River Falls: Hoping for a Free and Vibrant Press in Ethiopia: A Bird’s Eye view of the Development of Modern Media Over the Last One Hundred Years.

B. The State of Education and the Youth in Ethiopia

Moderator: Dr. Mena Aklilu

Speakers: Dr. Paulos Milikias: Modernity, the Ethiopian Youth and the Challenge of the Third Millennium

Dr. Aklilu Habte, Former President of Addis Ababa University: Timhert BeEthiopia: Tinanet Ena Zare

Dr. Abraham Bekele: Ethiopia’s Beleaguered Youth: Can It Meet the Challenges of the New Millennium?

C. Prospects and Challenges of Health and Women issues in EthiopiaModerator: Dr. Abeba FekadeSpeakers: Dr. Kassa Ayalew: Health and Good Governance: The Challenges in the New MillenniumDr. Abeba Fekade: The Health Crisis in Ethiopia: The Challenges in the New MillenniumWro Lemlem Tsegaw: Health and Women In Ethiopia

Dr. Ashenafi Waktola: HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia

D. Ethiopians in the Diaspora: Prospects, Challenges, and opportunities

Moderator: Ato Abdul Aziz Kamus, African Resource Center, Washington DC

Dr. Solomon Addis Getahun, Michigan State University, MI: The History of Ethiopian Immigrants in the US, a Profile –

Ethiopian Musicians at the Diaspora Crossroads

Dr. Kay Kaufman Shelemay, Harvard University

Dr. Gabe Hamda, ICATT Consulting, Inc, Jacksonville, Florida.

Success in Business and Entrepreneurship: Lessons for Ethiopians in Diaspora

Mr. Abdulaziz Kamus, African Resource Center: Standing Up and Speaking Up for your community

E. Ethiopia’s Millennium Challenges: Economic Development and the Environment

Moderator: Dr.Gezhaegen Bekele,


Professor Lemma Wolde Senbet, University of Maryland: Ethiopia’s Command Financial Economy: Measures for Transforming the Financial Sector in Next Millennium.

Dr. Getachew Begashaw, Harper College: The Ethiopian Economy in the New Millennium – A Despoiled Economy in Perspective.

Dr. Sisay Assefa, Western Michigan University: The Challenge of Economic Development – Can Ethiopian Claim the 21st Century or its Coming Millennium

Ato Mersie Ejigu, Partnership for African Environmental Sustainability: Sustainable Development and Peace in Ethiopia: Possibilities of Our Time?

Dr. Brook Lakew, NASA: Global warming – the challenges and business opportunities

Ato Fekade Shewakena, National Institute of Health (NIH): Desertification in Ethiopia: Causes and Consequences.

F. The Quest for Democracy in the New Millennium

Co-organized with Support group for Democracy in Ethiopia

Moderator: Ato Negussie Mengesha (Voice of America, VOA)

Speakers: Dr. Mesfin Araya, City University of New York, NY: The Quest for Democracy under TPLF: Lessons from 2005 Elections

Dr. Messay Kebede, University of Dayton: Millennium Beliefs and Radicalization

Dr. Getachew Metaferia, Morgan State University: Ethiopia and United State Relations – Its Impact on the Quest for Democracy in Ethiopia

Mr. Dima N. Sarbo, University of Tennessee: The Challenges of Balancing Collective and Individual Rights in the New Millennium.

Ato Ephrem Madebo, Systems Engineer, FAA: Democratic Response to National Question in Ethiopia.

G. The Essentials of Peace and Reconciliation in Ethiopia in the New Millennium

Co-Organized by the Ethiopian Women for Peace and Development (EWPD)

Moderator: Dr. Maigenet Shifferraw, (University of the District of Columbia)

Dr. Berhanu Mengistu, Old Dominion University: The Role of Civil Society in the Transformation of Governance and Peace Building in Ethiopia

Dr. Kogila Adam-Moodley, University of British Columbia and Director of Research and Development at the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in Cape Town, South Africa: What Made the South African Reconciliation Possible?

Dr. Heribert Adam, Simon Fraser University and University of Cape Town: Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies: Lessons from South Africa for Ethiopia

Ms Agerie Tefera, Arlington Diocese Office of Migration and Refugee Services: The Role of Women in Peace and Reconciliation: A Case of Women in the Southern Region of Ethiopia

Mr. Elias Wondimu, EINEPS and Tsehai Publishers: Institutional Formation as an Instrument for Conflict Prevention and Positive Changein Ethiopia: The Case of the Ethiopian Institute for Nonviolence Education and Peace Studies (EINEPS)

H. Building Democratic Institutions, and Civil Society

Co-organized with Ethiopian National Congress (ENC)

Dr. Tsehai Berhane-Selassie, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick: Way Out of Seven Deaths: Ethiopian Prospects for the New Millennium.’

Dr. Teshome Tadesse, Michigan State University: Peace and wartime shifts in the behaviours of the state and civil society and socioeconomic and political change in Ethiopia.

Dr. Erqu Yimer, Ethiopian Community Center, Chicago, IL: Building Democratic Institutions of Governance and Civil Institutions

Dr. Berhanu Abegaz, College of William and Mary, VA: Citizens Charter: The Vital Role of a Strong Civic Movement

Ato Derje Demisse, Law Offices of Dereje and Church, Boston, MA: Targeted Legal Reform To Promote Democracy in the New Millennium: Building an independent judiciary and reform in criminal justice

I. The Ethiopian State, Ethno-nationalism, and Security Issues: Past, Present, and Future Challenges

Moderator: Ambassador Ayalew Mandefro, former Ambassador Minister of Defence


Dr. Mamo Muchie, Aalborg University, Denmark: Millennium Hopes for creating a Security Community from the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean: Confronting the Challenges with Courage and Wisdom.

Dr. Negede Gobzie, Author and Political Activist, Belgium: Be Haya Andegnaw Kifele Zemen Be Ethiopia Yetedergu Ye Lewit Mukerawoch: Tahisas, Yekatit Ena Ginbot.

Dr. Shumet Sishagne, University of Newport News, VA: Whither Ethio-Eritrean Relation in the Next Millennium? A Time for Reflection.”

Dr. Assefa Negash, De Geestgronden Institute of Mental Health, Dutch city of Harlem, The Netherlands: Ethno-nationalism as a Hindrance to the Democratization of the Ethiopian State

To contact the Council for the Celebration of Ethiopian Millennium regarding the Symposium you can write to: [email protected]
[email protected]: 202-386-3037 or 301-681-1201