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Part III Decentralisation, Local Government, and Constitutionalism, 17 Sub-national Constitutional Autonomy, Local Government, and Constitutionalism in Ethiopia

Christophe Van der Beken

From: Decentralisation and Constitutionalism in Africa

Edited By: Charles M. Fombad, Nico Steytler

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 29 November 2020

This chapter outlines how, as in the case of Ethiopia’s regional states, its local governments are also built on ethnic foundations. The Ethiopian federal constitution authorises regional states or regions to draft, adopt, and amend their constitutions; as a result, all nine regions of the federation have used this power to enact their constitutions. Nevertheless, sub-national or regional constitutional autonomy is determined by the federal constitution, given that the latter is supreme. The effect of this is that the federal constitution constitutes the framework within which regions have to exercise their constitutional autonomy. Analysing the overall constitutional framework, the chapter reveals that in many areas it contains only limited provisions, leaving significant autonomy to the regions. One of these areas is in matters concerning sub-regional or local government.

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