Definition. The Gadaa system is an indigenous egalitarian democratic system practiced among the Oromo nation of East Africa for the last six. Oromo society was structured in accordance with this Gada system. The Oromo society was structured into two distinct but cross-cutting system. They also say investigating Oromo society without considering the Gadaa System is merely like a man walking without a skeleton. In fact, many.

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Every eight years power is transferred from one Gadaa class to other without violence or conflicts due to the presences of Qaaluu.

Then, after sons join the Gada System and collectively as a class pass through the five grades daballe, junior game, senior game, kussa, raba dorithe abbaa raagaa oral historians teach the sons argaa- dhageettii eyewitness accounts and oral traditions about history, laws, rituals, time reckoning, cosmology, myth, rules of conduct as well as the function and importance of the Gada System.

The Oromo socio-political structures had been dismantled by the Abyssinian conquerors that came from the north. That is forty years long. There are several inter-generational rules of the Oromo society under the Gada system of which the basic rule is the position of a man on the Gada cycle is always five grades forty years ahead of the grade of his son.

The system rotates every eight years to allow each class assume power in the middle of the life course the sixth grade called Gada Luba.

Asmerom Legesse’s explanation, Gadaa is a system of generation classes that succeed each other every eight years in gzdaa political, military, judicial, legislative and ritual responsibilities. The main duty of this class is military service.

One of the roles of the Yuba semi-retired classes are that they are main protagonists in the election campaigns.

GADAA – Socio-Political & Economic Structure of Oromo People

And ordered the man to teach peoples of Walaabuu. In the Gada political system leaders who are unable to accomplish their duties are uprooted.

Syshem publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. The election of Gadaa councilors at this stage also serves as transition from grade three to grade four.

It was the introduction of fire arms into the region by Europeans that changed the balance.


Ethiopia: Key Background Information On Gadaa System –

On the bright side, however, the enthusiasm and participation of the Oromo youth has been increasing tremendously. The Oromo political institutions and social fabrics have suffered a lot from the Abyssinian cultural and political domination for the last hundred and fifty years.

Gada is organized into five classes with one of these functioning as the ruling class consisting of a chairperson, officials and an assembly. He as well suggested that the systsm nature of the Gadaa System of the Oromo has made the system gadaz appear as a foreign element.

The handover of power is often undertaken every eight years smoothly and peacefully. The Zulu and the Fulani though gadwa had military strength they had no horses and cavalry forces. The Yuba or semi-retired covers 32 of the life cycle years of the life cycle.

Briefing: What is Oromo’s Gada system? | Horn Affairs

Some scholars argue that the social organization of Gadaa System has something to do with the core democratic principles and gives big lesson to the world in various field of study.

Father and son are five grades apart at all times. Unlike other, Western democratic systems, the Gadaa system has five permanent political parties whose members assume leadership once every eight years. The innocent person is called ‘Garraamitichaa’ which literary means an old innocent man of Walabuu. Every individual through age-set enjoys various right and takes obligation in the life of the society in his life time. At a household level, parents transmit orally knowledge about the ethics, practices and rituals of the system and socialize their children into Gada culture.

Though the Gadaa system itself is no longer widely practiced, it remains influential in Oromo society at large. But, they have given information on their reference to African societies that used to live along the Nile Valley and around East African peoples. For the Oromo today, Gada constitutes a dynamic living culture that regulate contemporary Oromo political, social, economic and religious life. Each speaker may support or oppose the view of their predecessor and, in doing so, the views of the minority are eventually swallowed by the majority consensually.

The only thing that gains automatic consensus are ideas that are close to the commonly accepted moral values. Gada assemblies, power transfer ceremonies and transition rites took place at these cultural spaces under Oda sycamore tree which is regarded as the symbol of the Gada System. Time – among the Guji-Oromo the general assembly takes place once in every eight years and mostly for a week, just a week before power transfer.


Following handover of political power the outgoing Gada leaders enter the Yuba grade semi retired.

Gada system, an indigenous democratic socio-political system of the Oromo

Legesse [2] has written that Gadaa is “one of the most astonishing and instructive turns the evolution of human society has taken”. Gada system, an indigenous democratic socio- political system of the Oromo Name of the element in the language and script of the community concerned: The Gadaa system is an indigenous egalitarian democratic system practiced among the Oromo nation of East Africa for the last six hundred years.

The dividing line between the various definitions is shrouded in mystery and indistinct unless contexts or terms are understood. This is because the interpretation of Oromo terms, idiomatic expressions and proverbs related to the Gadaa have extra meaning other than their surface meanings.

The major activity of the Gada Assembly can be described as legislative. All the boys in grade IV formally become members of Gada class at this stage and, with the induction of their leaders, the group becomes institutionalized as a corporate body. The principal responsibilities of the initiates or the? Thus, an understanding of the System by different communities helps for inter-cultural dialogue and encourage mutual respect. The Oromo had all that in the 16 th? In addition to his Harvard PhD dissertation, Legesse has published a book [3] positioning Gadaa as an African democracy that could inform constitutional thinkers.

Gada System of checks and balances such as respecting eight years rule, power sharing and balanced opposition of parties helps avoid subordination, exploitation, corruption and misuse of power.

The investiture of Gada leaders at this stage is distinguished from the induction of Gada councilors during proclamation ceremony in the 24 th? Still among various Oromo groups Qaalluu is believed to be the eldest son of Oromo and therefore given the title of father.

Geographical location and range of the Gada system. What the Gada Assembly decides cannot be revised by any other authority. Consequently, the Gada class incorporates within its ranks people varying in ages.