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Vision Ethiopia Eighth Conference,in Collaboration withthe Ministry of Culture and Tourism

Vision Ethiopia LogoVision Ethiopia Eighth Conference,
in Collaboration with
the Ministry of Culture and Tourism
the Ministry of Science and Higher Education
Bahir Dar, June 12-14, 2019
Colloquium on the interface between
culture, heritage, conflict resolution, democratic governance & national unity Second and Final Call for Papers

Following the successful conclusion of Vision Ethiopia’s Seventh Conference that was held in Addis Ababa in collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Board of Directors of Vision Ethiopia is pleased to announce that the Eighth Conference will be held in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, between June 12 and 14, 2019. It will be followed by an optional post-conference tour of historical sights and scenes.

Consistent with Vision Ethiopia’s mission, the primary aim of the Eighth Conference is to create an independent forum for scholars, policymakers and other professionals to present their well thought out policy-related work on contemporary issues that affect all Ethiopians. As the country goes through a difficult transition, the need for an independent forum is becoming increasingly important. In this second and final call for papers, we have tweaked the theme of the conference to reflect the rapidly changing situation in the country. It is against this backdrop that the Eighth Conference intends to address Ethiopia’s collective cultural and natural heritage, crossing multiple disciplines.

Authors are expected to explore a wide range of issues, including competing ontological and epistemic factors interfacing culture and heritage, in building peace, democracy and national unity. The link between culture, ethnicity, faith, economics and governance system remains a delicate issue for many developed and developing countries. Notwithstanding the Ethiopian exceptionalism, many observers agree that competing narratives, agencies and structures are challenging the rare window of opportunity for transitioning the country into a post conflict political, economic and social order. Papers that interface these topics are particularly welcome.

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While there is remarkable evidence of human ancestry, heritage buildings, obelisks, fascinating landscapes, rituals, writing systems, arts, manuscripts, inscriptions and other priceless heritage, Ethiopia’s diverse and rich cultural and natural treasures remain unprotected, unrestored, under-researched; they are underrepresented globally; poorly taught at schools and universities; and inadequately managed, marketed and resourced. The forthcoming conference is, therefore, intended to serve not only as a forum for the sharing of knowledge, skills, and experience that would be useful for policy makers and practitioners, but also for examining the role of culture in fostering transition to peace and democracy. The building of local capacity in the preservation, management and prudent development and marketing of the country’s cultural and natural heritage are important. Understanding the behavior, value, aspirations and vulnerability of Ethiopia’s millennials is relevant for creating awareness of the richness and common threads of Ethiopia’s diverse cultures.

Presenters could explore, inter alia, the relevant features of the colloquium: understanding of Ethiopia’s indigenous knowledge; protection of intellectual property rights for indigenous knowledge; regulatory reforms with regard to trade in and preservation of indigenous knowledge and other cultural heritage, including artifacts, religious relics, historical buildings, and ways and means of preserving manuscripts and other priceless objects. Other aspects of the conference may include ways and means of accelerating the return of stolen and ransacked national heritage. Papers may explore avenues of cooperation within Africa for the preservation of African footprints in the rest of the world.

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We particularly invite experts and other professionals from diverse disciplines, such as sociology, constitutional law, political science; heritage building and artifact engineering, anthropology, archaeology, ethnography, museology, musicology, and philology of Ethiopian languages. Innovations in fighting water hyacinth weed (emboch), and the economics, management and accounting for cultural and natural assets are welcome. Papers on the ways and means of administering successful free and fair election, regulating the behavior of political actors, human displacement, illicit financial flows, and food insufficiency are contemporary issues affecting the livelihood of millions of Ethiopians.

Papers must have theoretical depth and be supported by reliable evidence. They must be cross-disciplinary, grounded in the pertinent literature, and have policy (solution) orientation. While we acknowledge the work done by contributors to conferences on Ethiopian studies over the years, pure theoretical papers that are appropriate for an academic audience may not be of interest for this colloquium. Instead, manuscripts that have interfacing characteristics and policy implications are in consonance with the rapidly changing politics, economics and technology in the country. In addition, papers must be dispassionate, forward-looking, innovative, objective, non-parochial and independent. Their conclusions should be triangulated before the manuscripts are submitted. Authors are advised to avoid using anecdotal evidence, political posturing, and case experiences need to be put together in a coherent manner geared towards providing useful policy options. Finally, authors are encouraged to articulate why their paper is important for the type of transition that Ethiopia is undergoing. We encourage academics and professionals in Ethiopia to share their research findings and experience, with a view to influencing pragmatic decision-making that benefit all Ethiopians.

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All papers and proposals will go through a normal review process. The decision about the format, venue or date of presentation of an accepted paper is at the discretion of Vision Ethiopia. Papers may be written in either Amharic or in English. However, speakers are encouraged to consider reaching a wider Ethiopian audience, as the primary mission of Vision Ethiopia’s conferences is the creation of public awareness of issues of national importance. Completed papers not exceeding 5000 words in length along with an abstract and a conclusion must reach Visionethiopia18@gmail.com on or before May 15 2019.

Consistent with our past practice, we aim to transmit the proceedings of the conference live, and to make open space available for the media. The copyright of the videos is the property of Vision Ethiopia. Travel and hospitality industries, hotels and transport companies, as well as exhibitors and heritage institutions in Ethiopia that might be interested to be part of the conference must send their requests to the same email address (above) before May 15, 2019. For more information about Vision Ethiopia, please visit http://visionethiopia.org/

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