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Visions of ZionEthiopians and Rastafari in the Search for the Promised Land$
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Erin C. MacLeod

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479882243

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479882243.001.0001

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Development and Cultural Citizenship

Development and Cultural Citizenship

(p.191) 6 Development and Cultural Citizenship
Visions of Zion

Erin C. MacLeod

NYU Press

This chapter considers how the Rastafari deal with their lack of integration, in particular their lack of political recognition and right to citizenship. Rastafari have harnessed the potential of grassroots development initiatives. Acting as development workers within Ethiopia, Rastafari demonstrate how further integration into Ethiopian society may be achieved. They have founded NGOs in Shashemene, established development initiatives, and opened hotels and businesses. The chapter confronts the fundamental obstacle confronting the Rastafari population, namely, their nonrecognition as citizens regardless of how long they have been living in Ethiopia. At present, Ethiopian laws do not allow for such recognition; there is simply no official policy on Rastafari and citizenship in Ethiopia. The challenge, therefore, is not only to find a way to negotiate such recognition, but also to recognize diverse conceptions of national identity.

Keywords:   Ethiopia, Rastafari, integration, citizenship, Ethiopian society

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