Gada is a traditional system of governance used by the Oromo people in Ethiopia developed from knowledge gained by community experience over generations. It serves as a mechanism for enforcing moral conduct, building social cohesion, and expressing forms of community culture. Gada is organized into five classes with one of these functioning as the ruling class consisting of a chairperson, officials and an assembly. Each class progresses through a series of grades before it can function in authority with the leadership changing on a rotational basis every eight years.
|Published (Last):||7 March 2009|
|PDF File Size:||3.16 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||19.70 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Gadaa older spelling: Gada ; literally: era is the indigenous democratic system of governance used by the Oromos in Ethiopia and northern Kenya.
The system regulates political, economic, social and religious activities of the community. The Oromo governed themselves in accordance with Gadaa system long before the 16th century, when major three party wars commenced between them and the Christian kingdom to their north and Islamic sultanates to their east and south. The result is that Oromo absorbs of the Christian and Islam religions. In 19th century, the Gadaa Center at Odaa Hullee was replaced by monarchy and at the end of the 19th century, Gadaa together with Oromo language was banned.
The Borana and Guji groups near the Ethiopian-Kenyan border able to practice Gadaa without interruption. With the creation of the regional state of Oromia under the new system of ethnic federalism in Ethiopia, the Gadaa System across Oromia started renaissance.
Luba is the Gadaa grade in which the society was structured into the peer group based on chronological age or genealogical generation.
Each luba consists of all of the sons in another particular class. The entire grade progresses through eleven different grades, each based on an eight-year cycle, and each with its own set of rights and responsibilities. Baallii is a process of transferring power from one Gadaa party to the next. There are five Gadaa parties known as shanan Gadaa Oromoo. These parties follow the five world views of the Oromo people. The five Gadaa parties orderly come to power. A party come to power once every forty years.
Hence, there would not be direct competition among the five Gadaa parties, rather the competition would be among individuals within a party. A number of scholars have studied Gadaa. Legesse  has written that Gadaa is "one of the most astonishing and instructive turns the evolution of human society has taken". In addition to his Harvard PhD dissertation, Legesse has published a book  positioning Gadaa as an African democracy that could inform constitutional thinkers.
The late Donald Levine has said  that Gadaa is "one of the most complex systems of social organization ever devised by the human imagination". For Jalata, Gadaa represents "the totality of Oromo civilization". Considering the symbolic significance of Gadaa for the Oromo, as well as its structural innovations, researchers in law, indigenous studies, and pan-Africanism are exploring how the system could be utilized in the 21st century.
For example, a thesis by Z. Sirna  entitled "Ethiopia: When the Gadaa Democracy Rules in a Federal State" explores how the system could be integrated with the contemporary federal structure of Ethiopia, serving as a governance mechanism for the Oromia Regional National State.
Sirna has analysed the Gadaa system in relation to deliberative forms of political participation used in Western contexts. He concludes that the Gadaa systems' technique of 'consensus through dialogue' is unique but firmly rooted in Western democratic norms, and thus well suited to adoption within Ethiopia's federally structured democracy.
A futuristic, governance 2. The sixteenth century migration of the Oromo people has been known for capturing indigenous people and making them slaves. Part of the Gadaa system, Mogassa, has been criticized for erasing the culture and language of these indigenous people. Gadaa has also been criticized for being patriarchal, as it excludes women from political affairs.
This, according to Legesse,  is the main shortcoming of Oromo Democracy. Other shortcomings include rigidity of rules, and the question of scaling Gadaa to millions of people. Historically, Gadaa has been seen as a better method of governing than other forms in the region. In regions where the Oromo invaded and conquered, including around the Sidama and Somali, the Gadaa system was oppressive in practice, though proclaimed as democratic and just in Oromo oral tradition.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. Lapidus A History of Islamic Societies. Cambridge University Press.
Retrieved 29 January Gadaa journal : 15— Archived from the original on Retrieved Categories : Ethiopian culture Ethiopian society Kenyan culture Kenyan society Ethnic groups in Ethiopia African traditional governments.
Dynamic modal content
Your browser is not supported by this application. Inscribed in Gada is a traditional system of governance used by the Oromo people in Ethiopia developed from knowledge gained by community experience over generations. It serves as a mechanism for enforcing moral conduct, building social cohesion, and expressing forms of community culture. Gada is organized into five classes with one of these functioning as the ruling class consisting of a chairperson, officials and an assembly.
GADAA – Socio-Political & Economic Structure of Oromo People
The purpose of this study is to add to recent calls to develop indigenous knowledge of peace system and culture development to promote culture of peace in Africa. It assesses the indigenous Gadaa system peace concept and culture, identify its peace related values, philosophies, traditions, institutions, etc for nurturing and sustaining peace in the Oromo society, with the neighboring ethnic group, and its relevance to creating peace culture in Africa and beyond. It relates Gadaa peace system with the UN peace system initiative and framework in demonstrating the relevance of Gada peace system to peace building in multi-ethnic conflicts transformation in the Horn of Africa and beyond. Oromo people were traditionally a culturally homogeneous society with genealogical ties living in Ethiopia, Kenya, and other neighboring east African countries. The Gada system is an indigenous institution that pervades every aspect of an Oromo life including personal, interpersonal, social, economic and political life.