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THE SOCIO-POLITICAL STRUCTURE AND ROLE OF TRADITIONAL GOVERNANCE: THE CASE OF OGET AMONG THE QEBENA, SOUTH ETHIOPIA [Abstract ID: 1209-02]
In recent years, indigenous institutions have been attracting the attention of development researchers, policy makers and practitioners for their role in the face of ever increasing crisis situations. Even though there are a number of indigenous institutions in Ethiopia, their contribution to socio-cultural and economic development as part of the larger agenda of rebuilding their communities and the nation has not been adequately studied. This study was aimed at assessing the socio-political structure and role of traditional governance; the case of Oget among the Qebena, South Ethiopia. Qualitative research methodology was applied to describe its structure and role. The findings reveal that the Qebena use their indigenous institution of governance (which has a power structure of three authorities: general assembly which is known as Oget, clan assembly and village assembly) for claiming their rights, for mobilizing the community for development projects, especially in the expansion of public service delivery, participating in policy implementation and the settlement of conflict and adjudication of disputes through institutional arrangements outside formal legal structures. In general, the study attested that the indigenous institution of Qebena has a great role and potential in maintaining social order and enhancing the local economic, social, political and cultural lives of the people.