Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute (EFRSSI)
19 January 2017
DISCOURSE, a quarterly journal debating African issues, has been launched on 19 January 2017 at the National Museum in Addis Ababa.
Published under the auspices of the Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute, DISCOURSE is run by a team of professionals who enjoy full editorial independence.
Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, on the occasion said that the just launched publication was ‘missing in this political hub of our continent’.
He added that the advent of Discourse is a welcome exercise that would help fill this gap.
DISCOURSE strives to strike open conversation on political, historical, diplomatic and socio-economic trends. It endeavors to reflect on matters of peace and security and regional integration as well as on Africa’s partnership with the rest of the world. Discourse intends to help stimulate the spirit of Pan-Africanism.
“These are issues of considerable currency and significance in Africa,” the Minister stressed.
He noted that the maiden issue has focused on the Horn of Africa, a region arguably the most volatile part of the continent, and one that is fast evolving as much by its internal dynamics as by external involvement. “Though this is just proper for a start, I recommend that you reach out to cover all sub-regions of the continent,” Dr. Gebeyehu said.
Minister Gebeyehu expressed conviction that Discourse will be as inclusive as possible and promote plurality of views. “It is precisely for this purpose that we supported the formation of this team,” Gebeyehu said, adding that he also hoped the editorial team will live up to its motto of providing genuine forum for debating African issues.
Executive Director of the Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute, Sebhat Nega, on his part said DISCOURSE is expected to play a pivotal role in promoting Pan-Africanism and economic integration of the continent.
Nega added that the journal should highlight Agenda 2063, the flagship project of the African Union for the coming 50 years, and map out the prospects and the challenges.
The Executive Director urged the Editorial Team to work more on defining DISCOURSE’s objectives.
DISCOURSE Editor, Dade Desta, detailed the conception and genesis of the journal, which, after three years, culminated in the realization of the maiden edition. The Editor noted that while the will to support the project was there as hoped, resources were not readily available. “At last, thanks to the personal intervention of the Executive Director of the EFRSSI and with the support of the Netherlands Embassy, here we are…the journal has seen the light of day,” Desta said.
17 prominent scholars, writers and journalists from the Horn of Africa and the US have contributed to this 174-page maiden edition of DISCOURSE.
Several high profile writers have given various perspectives on what they see as gradual encirclement of Ethiopia, which is in the making as a result of the ongoing shifting alliances in the immediate neighborhood and beyond.
Other topics include a reflection on Ethiopia’s federal system, a look into Ethiopia’s foreign policy document, a diagnosis of Ethiopia’s nation building, prospects of US-Africa relations with the advent of Donald Trump, China’s revival of the Old Silk Road as the new wave of globalization, to mention but a few.
DISCOURSE will also have an Amharic version that will come out interspersed with the English one every three months.