Christophe Van der Beken obtained a PhD degree in law from Ghent University, Belgium, in 2006. His PhD thesis focused on decentralization and ethnic diversity in Africa with a case study of Ethiopia. He has been working as an Academic Assistant and Postdoctoral Academic Assistant at the Ghent University Faculty of Law (2000-2010) and as an Associate Professor at the Ethiopian Civil Service University (2010-2017) and Addis Ababa University (from 2017 onwards). His areas of expertise and research interests include, but are not limited to, comparative constitutional law, federalism, minority rights, local government and good governance. He has an extensive teaching experience, educating and advising students on topics related to his areas of expertise. In this regard, he has also acted as promoter and examiner of various PhD theses, in Ethiopia and abroad. He has furthermore been a reviewer of manuscripts for reputable academic journals and publishing houses. He has authored, and edited various books and articles, several of which have been published in international peer reviewed journals. He has organised and provided several research seminars and short-term academic trainings and has initiated and managed a number of projects (including “Staff Capacity Building for Mekelle University, Faculty of Law,” funded by EU; and “cooperation in research and teaching between the Institute of Federalism and Legal Studies (Ethiopian Civil Service University) and the Ghent University Human Rights Centre,” funded by Flemish development cooperation).
Over the past twenty years, Christophe has furthermore advised various international and national organisations and institutions (such as Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopian Government, World Bank, DFID, EU and many other diplomatic and development actors) on political, legal and institutional matters in Ethiopia. His twenty years’ professional engagement with Ethiopia and the Horn as an educator, researcher and consultant has provided him with the knowledge, skills and attitude to provide high quality, research based and contextualized services such as trainings, policy advice, research papers, and briefings.