Piggybacking the Traditional Coffee Ceremony as a Participatory Communication Strategy to Resolve Social Problems: an Assessment of Practices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Anteneh Mekuria Tesfaye 1 *

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This study explores how the Ethiopian traditional coffee ceremony serves women around Merkato, Addis Ababa as a forum for participatory communication to resolve child abuse and exploitation and other problems. In-depth interviews, focus group discussions(FGDs) and observations were used to gather data from participants, facilitators and the coordinator of the programme, run by Children Aid Ethiopia (CHAD-ET). Although the initiative gave chance for some women to discuss about some major problems of their area, the overall procedure did not seem to be in a position to give frolicsome atmosphere for all participants to take part in the discussions mainly because of the formal nature of communications, limited skills of facilitators and large group size. The agenda for discussions were set by CHAD-ET. As a result, the sessions were usually held to meet predetermined objectives. The fact that participants often prioritised other issues over what the sponsor organisation set shows that the target groups were not included in the programme planning and designing stage.


Development communication coffee ceremony traditional communication systems participatory communication social problems


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article


Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp. 121-149

Published Online: 24 Oct 2011

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