An Introduction to Ethiopia’s Foreign Policy Its Process and Reflections Pre-1991 by Taye Berhanu (PhD)

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Befekadu Bogale


Dr. Taye Berhanu is an executive director of the Ethiopian National Forum for Rural Transport and Development (ENFRTD), which focuses on safe transport in rural Ethiopia. His academic background is Political Science and Economics. In addition to managerial activities in ENFRTD, he has been engaged in research activities related to rural transport and has served as a part time lecturer at Africa Beza College. Among his research works, An Introduction to Ethiopia’s Foreign Policy: Its Process and Reflections Pre-1991 is the focus of this review. This is an introductory book which is structured in to nine main topics with the general objective of depicting the background, process, instruments and tenets of foreign policy of the pre-1991 Ethiopia (p.ii). The author attempted to discuss ‘ancient’ and ‘modern’ external relations of Ethiopia, foreign policy making and the ideologization and de-ideologization of the foreign policy. Methodologically, the author adopted historical-descriptive approach. As the result, he gave due emphasis to ‘history of the country’ to explicate the basic foreign policy principles from ‘ancient’ times to the demise of the Derg regime (p.5). Accordingly, he gathered data from books, official documents, journal articles and news papers. The historical-descriptive approach goes in line with the stated objectives. But, had attempts been made to compare the foreign policy of the country either thematically or chronologically, the changes and continuities could have been clearly understood. As regards to the methods of data collection, interview with resourceful individuals should have been used concerning the Imperial and the Derg regimes. In terms of the scope, the author stated that the book is a bird’s eye view or concise reflection on foreign policy and relations of Ethiopia (pp.ii-iii, 5). Driven by absence of written materials about the ‘long dating’ foreign relations of the country, the book encourages further studies; yet it can serve as a quick reference (p.5). Though clearly stated, its scope is vast. This in turn has had its own ramifications on the achievement of the stated objectives and on the significance of the book.

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How to Cite
Bogale, B. (2015). An Introduction to Ethiopia’s Foreign Policy. The Ethiopian Journal of Social Sciences and Language Studies (EJSSLS), 2(2), 100-104. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Befekadu Bogale, Jimma University

B.A in Political Science and International Relations and M.A in International Relations both from Addis Ababa
University and currently serving as Lecturer at and chairperson of the Department of Political Science and
International Relations of Dire Dawa University, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. Email: