Current Projects 

Support to Indigenous School Students

Currently, the institute tries to support indigenous school students through purchasing text books such as Deggwa, Andimta, Sewasewu and other manuscripts. IIEE is being supported by membership contribution. We aim to support about 100 students and 10 teachers each year with the purchase of important manuscripts and the supply of blanket and other traditional cloths appropriate for their education.

Tirguamme: Indigenous Methodology of Knowledge Production in Ethiopia (2017-2019)

Research is being conducted on one of the Ethiopia’s indigenous methods of knowledge production, Tirguamme. Ethiopian scholars of the past used this indigenous methodology to creatively incorporate foreign ideas, concepts and theories into local contexts. The study also analyses the method of producing local knowledge through Qine, Wax and Gold (satirical poetry) and Hatata (philosophical meditation). The research aims to contribute an Ethiopian/African epistemology that could guide the process of education and knowledge production.

For more information, read What is Tirguamme?

Zikre Geez (2017-2020)

Zikre Geez is the study of the legacy of the Geez literature. The Geez language is one of Ethiopia’s vulnerable languages despite its importance in the spiritual life of Ethiopians both past and present. It is one of the ancient languages in which the Bible was first translated and was the lingua franca of the Axumite, Zagwe and Solomonic Dynasties of Ethiopia. According to Harvard Professor Ephraim Isaac, more than one million Geez manuscripts were written in Ethiopia on a variety of philosophical, political, spiritual and secular topics. From teret teret (story telling) to the satire and elegance of Wax and Gold poetry, Ethiopian literature is as vast as it is unstudied. Currently, we are inviting researchers who want to become part of the publication of a series on (An Introduction to Ethiopian Literature) that introduces the rich literary heritage of Ethiopia to researchers and the general public. If you want to be part of this project or know someone who might, please let us know.


Future Projects

The Gada System (Future project)

The Gada tradition is an indigenous worldview on life, society and nature. It embodies the rich legacy of Oromo wisdom in Ethiopia. IIEE supports research, publication and education based on Gada and other Ethiopian indigenous traditions.

Teaching, Training and Advocacy

IIE is a new organisation. Until it establishes its own academic institution with long-term education and training for young and mature students, we plan to provide short-term virtual and one-to-one training for individuals and groups interested in a specialised study of indigenous Ethiopian knowledges from 2018 onwards. We are also developing introductory courses on indigenous issues and challenges, indigenous philosophy and ecology, indigenous life, economy and language. We aim to enhance individuals and groups’ capacities to understand and stand with indigenous people in their struggle for a better future.

IIE will hold conferences and publish literature on indigenous topics. We are preparing to create Tirguamme: A Journal of Indigenous Education to advance knowledge diversity and cognitive justice in the world.

Research collaboration and support

IIEE invites individuals, researchers or organisations to inquire or suggest a research topic relevant to Ethiopian indigenous knowledges. We also encourage networking, research collaboration and knowledge sharing among individuals conducting research. We share limited resources, and offer advice and support to Masters and PhD students who are researching on topics related to Ethiopian indigenous knowledges. If you have any research enquiries, please send us email at the following address: