Eastern Africa

Good Governance Africa-Eastern Africa (GGA-EA) is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the headquarters of the African Union and Economic Commission for Africa are also situated. This GGA regional office is dedicated to working in Eastern Africa and liaising with the African Union.

Where we work

GGA-EA works in 10 countries located in the Horn and East Africa. These are Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Somalia and Burundi. Of them, seven (Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) are members of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD).

GGA-EA works in close collaboration with national, regional continental and international development organisations, including the African Union (AU), Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the East African Community (EAC).

Our vision

Good Governance Africa-Eastern Africa strives to improve the lives of all citizens by promoting enhanced governance on the African continent, with a particular emphasis on eastern Africa.

Our mission

GGA-EA’s mission is to promote fact-based knowledge and good practice through topical research, critical conversations and advocacy.

Our values

Our values include integrity, accountability, transparency, tenacity and moral courage.


GGA-EA has the following key objectives:

  • Improving governance in its areas of operation;
  • Advancing the key governance principles of democracy, accountability and transparency; and
  • Upholding the rule of law and respecting human, civil and political rights.

GGA-EA is a registered civil society organisation under Ethiopia Civil Society Proclamation No. 1113/2019. It is governed by a board and its current board chairperson is Professor Bahru Zewde. The day-to-day activity of the centre is led by Dr Zerihun Mohammed, the Executive Director of GGA-EA.

Our publications

Our activities

GGA-EA implements its thematic programmes through the following activities


Informed public engagement

Knowledge management and dissemination

Capacity building

Advocacy and lobbying


Informed public engagement

Knowledge management and dissemination

Capacity building

Advocacy and lobbying

Good Governance Africa Eastern Africa facilitated a webinar entitled The Ethiopian Election 2021 and Hope for Democratic Transition: Challenges and Prospects on Tuesday 2 June 2021. The 6th edition of Ethiopia’s national elections is set for 21 June 2021. The election takes place in a situation of mixed feelings; hope for the attainment of the promise to transition the country to democracy and fear of what may transpire in the course of the electoral process given the multifaceted problems the country is facing. The aim of the webinar was to initiate an informed debate among the Ethiopian Diaspora, friends of Ethiopia and the wider international community. To achieve this, talking points of the webinar included the following:

  • Making sense of the trajectory leading to the scheduled national election
  • Appraising the current state of affairs pertaining to the election
  • Outlining possible developments going forward and;
  • Envisioning post-poll scenarios

Speakers included:

Professor Jon Abbink: Professor of Politics and Governance in Africa at Leiden University, The Netherlands.
Prof. Kassahun Berhanu: Professor of political Science and International Relations at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Dr. Lovise Aalen: Research Director at Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), Norway.
Moderator: Professor Bahru Zewde: Emeritus Professor of History, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

The effect of COVID-19 in Ethiopia

Below is a video interview on the effect of COVID-19 in Ethiopia featuring an interview with GGA Eastern Africa chair, Professor Behru Zewde.


GGA-WA approaches delivering programmes through research, advocacy, training and publications, and has carefully analysed the developmental pathway of the four countries in which it is implementing its programmes and activities. The following key areas have been identified for its interventions:

Natural Resource Management (NRM)

The livelihoods of the majority of people in the eastern Africa region are based on the use and access to natural resources such as arable land, pasture, water, forest and forest products. Natural resource management is one of GGA-EA’s thematic areas. Under NRM, the regional office puts particular emphasis on land and land tenure, small-scale peasant agriculture and large-scale agricultural investment, pastoralism and trans-boundary relations and the rising industry.

Grassroots Governance

Since bringing about good governance in Africa is central to GGA’s vision, improving grassroots governance is one of the regional centre’s main thematic programmes. The centre gives due attention to local-level governance, where it directly affects the day-to-day lives of citizens.

Ethics and society

Lack of ethics, accountability and the perception of increasing moral ‘decadence’ are often cited as some of the major factors contributing to bad governance and social injustice in Africa. We believe that socially accepted ethical values serve as a fabric to keep societies together and set moral standards that govern the behaviour of citizens. Nurturing these values for common good, justice and development is the primary goal of this thematic area.

Youth development and Migration

In Africa the youth constitutes about 20% of the continent’s fast-growing population. Despite their numbers, however, the youth is disproportionately exposed to various social, political, economic and political challenges, including unemployment / underemployment, social marginalisation, political exclusion, and drug abuse. Migration (both documented and undocumented) is often considered a solution to the various challenges youth face. The GGA-EA countries have become a major source of migrants to different parts of the world, including Europe, North America and the Middle East. Thus, the programme will deal with youth=related challenges, with a particular emphasis on youth migration.

Peace and Security

Ensuring national and regional peace and security in the Eastern Africa is of paramount importance to cultivate stable political institutions and systems, ensure the rule of law and bring about all-round socio-economic development in the countries. This thematic program focuses on identifying the major threats of peace and security, causes and consequences of conflicts and conflict resolution mechanisms.

GGA Eastern Africa

Prof Bahru Zwede

GGA Chairmen

Bahru Zewde, currently Emeritus Professor of History at Addis Ababa University, is Founding Fellow and founding Principal Vice President of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. He was formerly Chair of the Department of History and Director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies at Addis Ababa University and Executive Director of the Forum for Social Studies, a think tank based in Addis Ababa. He has also served as Vice President of the Association of African Historians and Resident Vice President of the sub-regional research network, Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA), and as Editor of its journal, Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review. In addition to serving as Editor of the Journal of Ethiopian Studies for 15 years, he was member of the International Advisory Board of the Journal of African History and founding Editor of the Africa Review of Books. He is the recipient of numerous awards and Fellowships, including ones from the British Academy, Japan Foundation, the Institute of Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Berlin and Humboldt University. His major publications in English include: Bringing Africa Together: The Story of Ethiopian Airlines (1988); A History of Modern Ethiopia 1855-1991 (2001); Pioneers of Change in Ethiopia: The Reformist Intellectuals of the Early Twentieth Century (2002); Society, State and History: Selected Essays (2008); and The Quest for Socialist Utopia: The Ethiopian Student Movement c. 1960-1974 (2014). He has also served as a Consultant for a number of organizations, including Carnegie Corporation of New York, the African Union and African Child Policy Forum.

Dr Zerihun Mohammed

GGA Executive Directors

Zerihun Mohammed holds a PhD from University of Cambridge in Human Geography. He accumulated extensive experience working for more than three decades at various academic, governmental and non-governmental organizations as expert, practitioner and researcher. As a practitioner, Zerihun worked for different local and international NGOs, including SOS-Sahel (UK) and ACORD (UK) in Ethiopia. He also thought at Hawassa University, Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources. Before joining GGA, Zerihun was working at Forum for Social Studies (FSS), a leading Think-tank in Ethiopia, as a Senior Researcher, where he published and edited a number of research works. Currently, Zerihun is serving as an Executive Director of Good Governance Africa-Eastern Africa Regional office at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Bethlhem Zewdu


Bethlhem Zewdu is an Ethiopian young professional. She has been working in different positions as office manager, quality control and executive assistant manager. She obtained her Bachelors and MSc degrees from Addis Ababa University in Management and Quality Management and Organisational Excellence respectively.




Sign-up to our newsletter to get the inside track on Africa