Urbanization and its Cultural Impacts in the Ethiopian Federation: The Case of Addis Ababa and the Oromo

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The aim of this study is to assess how the rapid urbanization of Addis Ababa affects the culture of Oromo in the Ethiopian federation with particular reference to Addis Ababa and its surrounding. It specifically examines the contribution of federalism for the recognition and development of Oromo culture in and around Addis Ababa. The Thesis not only investigates the role of Oromia National Regional State (ONRS) in retaining Oromo culture but also identifies the challenges of promoting the Oromo Culture in and around Addis Ababa. In order to achieve these objectives, the study mainly relied on qualitative research approach to analyze the data obtained through key informant interview, while those obtained through questionnaire were analyzed through simple statistics. Different primary data collection instruments, including key informant interview and questionnaire were used to obtain primary data sources. It has also utilized different secondary sources including Books, journal Articles and published and non- published sources. The ONRS has tried to revive the Oromo culture in the city through opening Afan Oromo schools, revitalizing Gada system and conducting studies if an efforts made by the ONRS to preserve and to promote Oromo culture in the city are not adequate. The study found out that, at present, there are several undermining factors of Oromo culture including politicization of Oromo culture including identity, language, religion and social organization. The Addis Ababa city administration and the federal government are not concerning and giving credit as much as for the efforts of ONRS. The rapid pace of urbanization of Addis Ababa has been in contradiction with the Oromo culture (including identity, language, and religion/Waaqeffannaa in the city as well as with the interest of the surrounding Oromo inhabitants who also want to use, manifest and maintain its culture stuffs, under the current federal system. In contrast to the federal state set up that give equal recognition to diversified cultures and tradition, the centralized political practice, not cooperation of Addis Ababa city administration and federal government are among the challenges to recognize Oromo culture in the Addis Ababa/Finfinnee city. It is, therefore, an argument of this thesis that a multicultural city of Addis Ababa/Finfinnee can be created when the culture of diversified groups including Oromo culture are recognized, freely manifested and treated equally in the city without favoring a certain group culture.



Federalism, Urbanization, Culture, Addis Ababa, Oromo