Three major challenges face Ethiopia as it endeavours to maintain growth and widen its benefits, improve its international relations, and steady its domestic politics.
"Democracy is an existential issue for Ethiopia. There is no option," says former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, "but multipartyism."
Hailemariam, who had taken over as the Prime Minister from Meles Zenawi on his death in 2012, resigned in February 2018 following a protracted period of violent unrest, states of emergency and mass arrests. In an interview in Harare in July 2018, where he was heading the African Union's election observation mission, he said that "if I had not resigned, we would not be talking now".
Hailemariam Desalegn, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, speaks during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (not seen) after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13 January 2014 (reissued 15 February 2018). EPA-EFE/DAI KUROKAWA
Until this happened, Ethiopia's high rates of economic growth were taken to extol the virtues of authoritarianism or, put more...