Speeches Shim

OTI Ethiopia Map

To support a peaceful and inclusive reform process that provides a pathway to a more democratic Ethiopia.


After four years of nationwide protests, the election of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in April 2018 initiated substantial and long awaited political, economic, and security reforms, including an end to the 20-year war with Eritrea. This unprecedented democratic opening provides an opportunity to strengthen the U.S. Government relationship with Ethiopia and advance Ethiopia’s role in promoting prosperity and stability in the Horn of Africa. USAID/OTI’s fast and flexible approach to programming capitalizes on windows of opportunity to advance democratic reforms, peaceful dialogue, and the opening of political and civic space in order to enable longer-term change in Ethiopia.  


In 2019, USAID/OTI launched its program in Ethiopia to support a peaceful and inclusive democratic reform process.  USAID/OTI prioritizes flexibility to remain responsive to changes in Ethiopia and programmatic objectives will evolve accordingly. The USAID/OTI program: 

  • Supports key institutions and actors that advance tangible and immediate democratic reform to better address citizen’s needs;

  • Partners with local government and civil society to identify and mitigate potential conflict triggers in key target regions; and,

  • Integrates youth, media, COVID-19 impact, action learning, and gender dynamics throughout its activities. 


The initial geographic focus is the capital, Addis Ababa. USAID/OTI is also working in Oromia regional state and plans to expand to Amhara and Tigray regional states. Activities include:  

  • USAID/OTI produces media products that address current affairs of average citizens as well as programs that fact-check information circulating on social media.

  • USAID/OTI provides key reform institutions the tools to raise awareness on and advocate for human rights. For example, USAID/OTI supports the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the Consortium of Ethiopia Human Rights (CEHRO), the Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia (IRCE), and the Agency for Civil Society Organizations (ACSO) with research, equipment, and technical assistance. 

  • USAID/OTI engages youth in youth-led listening tours in key universities, political dialogues, and youth volunteerism activities to bridge ethnic, religious and ideological divides that are triggering conflict in Ethiopia.

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