In East Africa, current socio-political events are primarily characterized by the war in Ethiopia, in the Tigray region. A federated state since 1991, located in the Horn of Africa, the country of Sahle-Work Zewde (president since October 25, 2018, the first woman to hold this position) is the second most populous country in Africa after Nigeria (201 million inhabitants), with a population estimated at 113 million, distributed over a total area of 1,172,127 sq. km, in 10 administrative regions or states.
The Horn of Africa is not always defined in the same way; it depends on whether one is French-speaking or English-speaking. “When discussing the Horn of Africa, the first question is to define its limits – a problem that divides geographers and political scientists. For francophone researchers, the Horn of Africa includes Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti. Anglo-Saxons also add Kenya, Uganda and Sudan.” In this article we have opted for Anglo-Saxon usage for geostrategic and humanitarian reasons, especially since this war “has ramifications in neighboring countries.”
Ethiopia: the paradox of a country in time of pandemic
Ethiopia has the peculiarity of being a state that is at the same time dependent and independent, young and old, powerful and fragile, modern and archaic. All these paradoxes have taken on a disturbing dimension with the Covid-19 pandemic, which not only divided ordinary citizens into believers and non-believers, scientists and non-scientists, but also confused Ethiopian politicians. In the pandemic atmosphere, there are countries whose calendars have announced the organization of general and/or presidential elections: Central African Republic, Malawi, Seychelles, Ghana, and others. In Ethiopia, elections were initially scheduled for May 2020, then for August 29, 2020, then postponed sine die, and finally confirmed for June 5, 2021. These ongoing postponements were motivated by the effects of the pandemic.