Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights

For over 30 years, the Dullah Omar Institute (originally known as the Community Law Centre) has played a major role in the advancement of democracy and has been a major contributor to policy formulation for South Africa’s Constitutional order as well as for those of other countries in Africa and beyond. Central in the Institute’s work has been its academic leadership and consistently extensive contribution to the development of research and formulation of policies in the area of multilevel governance.

In recognition of this, the Institute was in 2012 awarded a National Research Foundation Chair in Multilevel Government, Law and Development as part of the National Research Foundation’s South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI). The SARChI Chair aims at exploring how development in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa can be advanced through multilevel governance embedded in the rule of law. In this respect, the SARChI Chair focuses on how multilevel governance can be used as a vehicle for peace-making, state-building and development in Africa as well as on locating the South African and African multilevel (decentralised) governance experience within the global discourse.

The above has seen the Institute train leading researchers in the area of multilevel governance at both masters, doctoral and postdoctoral level from within South Africa as well as from a cross-section of African countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia. The Institute has also been part of efforts by other countries such as Somalia and Uganda to implement and/or to design constitutional frameworks for the adoption and implementation of multilevel governance. The Institute, moreover, has produced leading and innovative research projects in the area of multilevel governance in the form of books, chapters in books, articles and reports which have been published both locally and internationally over the years. The Institute has also held and been part of local, national and international conferences, seminars and workshops on multilevel governance.


Centre for Federalism and Governance Studies

The Centre for Federalism and Governance Studies was established in 2007 and is one of the three units within the College of Law and Governance at the University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It serves as a teaching and research centre in the area of federalism and multilevel governance.

The Centre has successfully graduated over 200 master’s students and over ten PhD students since it was established. The students are recruited from Ethiopia and countries of the Horn of Africa including South Sudan and Somalia. It has also provided short term training on federalism and decentralisation for senior officials from Somalia and Yemen. 

Additionally, the Centre has contributed to the strengthening of the federal system in Ethiopia by providing quality research in the fields of federalism, multiculturalism, pluralism and constitutionalism. The members of the Centre are involved in the constitutional and legal reforms taking place in Ethiopia in different capacities. In 2017, the Centre on Federal and Governance Studies was selected as the Centre of Excellence on Governance by the African Research Universities Association which is a consortium of over 15 African universities.

The Centre has also hosted several international seminars and conferences.  Among these are the conference that it organises every year in November/December in collaboration with Dullah Omar Institute, the Institute of Federalism of Fribourg and the Institute for Comparative Federalism.


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