Federation in Africa: case studies of Ethiopia and Nigeria
Federalism has been defined as a state in which two levels of government rule the same land and people, whereby each level has at least one area of action in which it is independent and there is some constitutional guarantee of the autonomy of each government in its own sphere. The study sought to investigate the modes to federation and the role it has played in conflict management in Nigeria and Ethiopia state. The specific objectives of the study were: to establish the structures of federation in Nigeria and Ethiopia, to investigate the role of federation in managing the ethno-linguistic diversity and conflicts in Nigeria and Ethiopia, to find out the role of the constitution in intergovernmental relations and service delivery to communities in Nigeria and Ethiopian federal arrangements. This study used secondary data in analyzing the variables. The findings from these secondary data were analyzed through content analysis. Ethiopia has been following federalism for the last two decades. It has provided peace and security for the great majority of the population following a violent civil war and laid down, for the first time in the history of Ethiopia, the legal foundation for a fully-fledged democracy. Nigeria has been a federation ever since independence and federalism has apparently served a number of purposes. In Nigeria federation has served as a guideline for a presumably fairer and equitable distribution of the country’s resources, based on the size of population, than might otherwise have resulted.