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A Glimpse into African Diplomacy, 1956-1991
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Ethiopia’s place in the Pan-African Movement and independent Africa’s affairs have long been a point of academic debate. Often, the country’s contact with the Movement is downgraded to a simple inspirational role. Its contributions, meanwhile, are dismissed as little more than playing exalted host to inter-state conferences and continental organizations. Intermittent attempts at reconstructing history ascribe the motives of Ethiopian regimes to promoting and sustaining strategic national interests. The absence of an objective and critical treatment of the issue limits understanding of Ethiopia’s position in the process.
Black Ethiopia: a Glimpse into African Diplomacy, 1956-1991 endeavors to remedy this. The book examines what actually happened in Africa’s struggle to create a united front against common adversaries and places Ethiopia at its center. The intricacies in African diplomacy and politics, the nature of regional and continental associations, and the failures and successes of Africa’s struggle on various fronts dominate the book. Archival sources from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs shed new light on the history of inter-African relations.
Black Ethiopia creates a narrative from Ethiopia’s role in Africa’s diplomacy and politics. The nature of the imperial regime’s and military junta’s (Derg) involvement in regional and continental affairs are given special emphasis. The book attempts to paint a balanced portrait, highlighting both achievements and failures of the two governments in African politics.
Ethiopia played a significant role in both the Pan-African Movement and independent Africa politics.Black Ethiopia documents historical events, deciphering them in the context of Africa’s readiness to create a united front.
List of Maps, Tables and Pictures
Chapter I. Ethiopia and the Pan-African Movement to 1963
1.1. Ethiopia and the Evolution of Pan-Africanism
1.2. Development of Pan-African Sentiments in Ethiopia
1.3. The Stabilization of African Policy
Chapter II. Tentative Steps into Continental Pan-Africanism
2.1. All-African Peoples Conferences
2.2. Conferences of Independent African States
Chapter III. Testing the Current
3.1. The Pan-African Freedom Movement of East, Central, and Southern Africa (PAFMECSA) and the Federation of East Africa
3.2. Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD)
3.3. Preferential Trade Area (PTA) to the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
Chapter IV. From Pan-Africanism to OAU: Assessment of Achievements and Failures
4.1. The Organization of African Unity (OAU)
4.2. The Charter of African Unity
4.3. The General Secretariat of the OAU
4.4. Ethiopia and the OAU: Brief Survey of Developments between 1963 and 1991
Chapter V. Ethiopia and the Liberation Movements
5.1. The Liberation Committee
5.2. Support to Liberation Movements.
5.2.1. South Africa: PAC/ANC
Chapter VI. Mediation Efforts: Changing Policy Orientations of Ethiopian Governments
6.1. The Congo (K) Mission
6.2. The Nigerian Civil War
6.3. Libya-Chad Conflict
6.4. Saharawi Republic
“This book tells the remarkable story of how Ethiopia – once the most archaic state in the entire continent – seized the diplomatic leadership of Africa, brought about the creation of the Organisation of African Unity in Addis Ababa, and sustained it through the upheavals that followed. Researched from original sources, it makes essential reading on the diplomatic history of Africa.”
--Christopher Clapham, Ph.D., Cambridge University
“Ethiopia has a long history of leadership in the Pan-African Movement, aiding the continent as it has navigated the complicated mosaic of regional, political and economic associations, liberation movements, and mediation efforts. Thoroughly documenting his findings with archival materials of the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belete skillfully analyzes how the imperial regime and the Derg sought to balance their overarching goal of securing and consolidating their power, while advancing Ethiopia’s own interest in its relations with fellow Africans. Vivid descriptions of the behind-the-scenes negotiations, and of the considerable sacrifices Ethiopians incurred while creating and stabilizing Pan-African institutions, make Black Ethiopia a major contribution to the literature of diplomatic history.”
--Theodore M. Vestal, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University
“Ethiopia, as the representation for continental Africa, as the historic seat of the Nile Valley Civilizations, has occupied a special place of pride and inspiration for Africans at home and in the Diaspora. Such a well researched book as Black Ethiopia offers a much needed scholarly service to help us understand the foundations of this rich legacy of African diplomacy.”
--Alem Hailu, Ph.D., Howard University
Belete Belachew Yihun, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of History in Jimma University, Ethiopia. He specializes in diplomatic history of modern Ethiopia and post-independence Africa. His research interest also includes inter-and intra-state conflicts in the continent, specifically the Horn of Africa.
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