Proceedings of Conference on Constitutionalism & Human Security in the Horn of Africa

Foreword
It is conventionally recognized that historically the significance of constitutions has fluctuated. However, the expansion of democratization and political liberalization has overall renewed the importance and instrumentality of constitutions and constitutionalism.

Democratic governments by and large are measured in terms of their success or failure in adhering to and protecting the principles enshrined in their constitutions. This development has increasingly become a critical issue in the horn of Africa where counties, such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan, have adopted constitutions as instruments to transition to democracy and to power sharing.

In view of this reality, Inter Africa Group (IAG) had organized its first conference on constitutionalism in October 2007, to exchange views and draw lessons from the constitutional experience of the countries In the Horn, with a particular focus on issues critical to peace and human security in the sub-region. The deliberations of this conference resulted in a host of queries that demanded further research and articulation.

  • What are the legal mechanisms that ensure adherence to constitutions and provide protection of them against abuse by elites in power?
  • How can the tension between citizenship and ethnicity are harmonized, or how would a balance between civic and ethnic nationalism be achieved?
  • How could federal constitutional arrangements effectively deter conflicts in the countries of the Horn?

The IAG second conference on Constitutionalism and human security was organized to address the complex issues related to the latter Queries. Accordingly, se trust the proceedings and the paper presented in this publication will provide the reader write valuable insight on the role of constitution as vital instruments to advance democratization and t o ensure equitable power sharing. In closing, I would like to acknowledge and that Oxfam-Novib for funding the search papers and the second Conference on Constitutionalism and Human Security in the Horn of Africa.

Tamerat Kebede
IAG Executive Director

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