Ethiopian Renaissance or How to Turn Dysfunctional into Functional


  • Hanna Rubinkowska-Anioł University of Warsaw



African Renaissance, Ethiopia, functioning state, Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, propaganda


African Renaissance is a term which is used to describe new era in African history and strongly serves propaganda reasons. The aim of the article is to analyse the role of this notion in terms of Ethiopia, i.e. how the term is being employed in Ethiopian politics and propaganda. It is stressed that even though the term itself is a new introduction, the idea of building a strong state on the basis of grand tradition has been used in Ethiopian history on several occasions. Nowadays, the best examples of references to Renaissance by the state’s propaganda are to be found in symbolical meaning of the widely discussed and controversial project of construction the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on Blue Nile. Other aspects of how the term is being employed can be seen in a propaganda film material produced by the Foreign Ministry of Ethiopia in 2015 with the view to advertise the achievements of the government.


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Author Biography

Hanna Rubinkowska-Anioł, University of Warsaw

A researcher in the Department of African Languages and Cultures, University of Warsaw. Within her scholarly interest is history of Ethiopia and symbolism of power in Africa. She authored two books on 20th-century Ethiopian history Etiopia pomiędzy tradycją a nowoczesnością. Symbolika koronacji Cesarza Etiopii Hajle Syllasje I and Ethiopia on the verge of modernity. The transfer of power during Zewditu’s reign 1916-1930.


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How to Cite

Hanna Rubinkowska-Anioł. 2019. “Ethiopian Renaissance or How to Turn Dysfunctional into Functional”. Politeja 15 (5(56):109-21.