In this introductory section, the blueprint of the study such as background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, scope of the study, and significance of the study will be discussed.
1.1. Background of the Study
Ethiopia was in an unremitting chaos and unstoppable ethnic conflicts. Because of the mob protest, many of the protesters lost their lives, injured and arrested by different criminal cases. The government has tried many things to solve such public unrests and constitutional violation. As a result, many people lost their precious life and their assets has damaged, largely from the people of Oromia, The Amharas and Konso society from Southern Nation Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia Region; since 2014 but not limited.
As Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (2017), hereafter (ACLED) reported, initially Addis Ababa University Students, who are from the Oromo ethnic group protested by opposing the Addis Ababa Master Plan aimed to expand Addis Ababa, the capital, in June 2014. Later, this type of protests started on secondary school students, farmers and the entire population of the Oromo and expanded to the other regions stated above. ACLEd reported that “The government ultimately declared an unprecedented state of emergency on 8 October 2016, imposing tight restrictions that have since successfully curbed the protests” (p.1).
The state of emergency postponed for four month and lifted up. However, within a short period of time grievances has stated. The second state of emergency avowed. Despite the fact the country continues under the state of emergency, the protest was unstoppable because of the government’s limited response to calls for deep structural reforms by protesters show its lack of interest in solving protesters’ grievances or addressing the democratic deficit in the county (Africa Confidential, 20 January 2017). Three consecutive state of emergency has declared as a solution but problems related with unequal resource allocation, lack of good governance and the violation of human rights catalyzed the people for further destructions. However, the government declared these state of emergency the country was hardly peaceful.
When the problem becomes unresolved, the ruling party obliged to change the Prime Minister, the former Prime Mister Haiemariam Dessalegn resigns from power voluntarily. Then Dr. Abiy Ahimed (PhD) becomes the leader of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia since 30 March 2018 and the chairperson of EPRDF, who is the first Oromo leader since 1991 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-43567007). Later on, though it was better if this statement supported with literatures, the country seems to the way of Peaceful, the peoples are on the move of unity, love and democracy relatively. Abiy Ahimed (PhD) seems getting public support and he will be the engine of the Ethiopia’s renaissance and the sustainability of his part Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). He is from the ruling party (EPRDF), no more policy has changed; rather there are some modifications of directives related with democracy, freedom of expression, terrorism laws and foreign relationships. The aforementioned issues were done after the coming of Abiy. Most of the prisoners arrested by different political and criminal cases has released including opposition party leaders and people grouped as terrorist.
The newly elected Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahimed (PhD), discussed with the publics of all regions in search of solutions. As a result, the people of the country give his support to the newly elected leader without any visible economic or political change. Reasonably, the change might be a result of his communication ability to persuade the audience artfully.
Communication is a tool that creates understanding and cooperation. However, communication is a vague term to define; school of thoughts defines it from different perspectives. Fiske (1990) define the meaning of communication from two basic schools; first from social science like sociology and psychology focus on the process and transfer of message, while the Semitics schools see communications as the final art work communication. How different schools and fields interpreted communication, what is common is the construction, transfer, and understandings between the parties. Whatever the case communication is available everywhere, every circumstance, and the quote by Watzlawick, Beavin, and Jackson (1967) “cannot not communicate” (Cited in Eadie, 2009 P.3) what a person do or do not do is communication.
Among other types, political communication emphasizes the creation of mutual understanding between the politicians and the public.
As Graber (2005), political communication is the transmission of message from sender to receiver through channels with the aim of political goal. According to Graber (1993), the message that conveyed to the audience changes the attitude of individuals, groups and society in general. Public speaking is the one that politicians do to persuade their audience by using sppech as a channel.
1.2. Statement of Research Problem
Like that of communication, the meaning of politics varied from contexts and purposes as (Chilton, 2004). “Politics is viewed as a struggle for power, between those who seek to assert and maintain their power and those who seek to resist it. Some states are conspicuously based on struggles for power; whether democracies are essentially so constituted is disputable. On the other hand, politics is viewed as cooperation, as the practices and institutions that a society has for resolving clashes of interest over money, influence, liberty, and the like” (p. 3). Politics is the art of government in which the main purpose of political communication is persuasion (Demirdö?en, 2010). It is often claimed that until conflict and disagreements are is available in human life, politics is exciting. Miller defines politics as “a process whereby a group of people, whose opinions or interests are initially divergent, reach collective decisions which are generally accepted as binding on the group and enforced as common policy” (Miller, 1991 p. 390 cited in Demirdö?en*, 2010). Thus, the political process typically involves elements of persuasion in order to reach a final decision.
As mentioned in the background of this study, conflicts between people with people and the the government was a visible phenomenon, every person could be a witness in Ethiopia and international societies too. To solve the continuous instabilities the government has made changes, positional arrangements from prime minister to the lower level administrative system and the Prime Minister Abiy Ahimed (PhD) started making speeches to the public aimed persuading the public towards national unity, peace and stability with a metaphor ‘Medemer’ literary mean teaming up.
Public speaking plays a role as a form of communication not only as a message delivery tool; it affects decision depending on its goal, even if the ultimate purpose is persuasion through persuasion but teaching and entertainment are the other goals (Eadie, 2009).
Public speaking has a strong linkage with the neo-classic Aristotle’s theory of rhetoric. This rhetoric has three central goals related to the different contexts for public speaking.
” To persuade judges to support your position in a court of law known as forensic discourse …, decision makers to support your position about what action should be taken by the community or state (known as deliberative discourse, …) and people with arguments that a person or event is worthy of either praise or blame (known as epideictic discourse) (Ibid, P.195).
Today the majority of public speaking text books concentrate on the same three central goals of public speaking to inform, to entertain and to persuade an audience. Persuasive speaking is the most complex of the goals and remains an umbrella term for diverse discourses such as those aiming to change belief, to move to action, to inspire, to sell, to convert, and to motivate. In response to recent critiques of the fundamentally coercive nature of these kinds of persuasive speeches, whose aim is to change listeners, some theorists are exploring a new genre called “invitational speaking.” This alternative goal for public speakers aims to initiate dialogues with listeners about issues and aims to share perspectives. The goal is to invite consideration of change rather than speaking with the intention of changing audience members (Foss & Griffin,1995; Griffin, 2009).
These goals were related by their common goal or outcome: the persuasion of a listener and are the three cannons of rhetoric logos, pathos and ethos.
When Aristotle stated in his Politics that ‘man is by nature a political animal’ and described politics as the ‘master science’, he meant that politics is, above all, a social activity, at the center of which lies a dialogue searching the ways and means of finding solutions to subjects of disagreement. Persuasion lies at the core of this activity.
And Graber (2005) argued on political communication which is backed from 350 B.C. and it is the creation, conveyance, reception, and processing of messages for a certain purpose, might affect or galvanize the political atmosphere of a given group, small family member to the national and international level, no matter the communicators could be a politician, journalist, or any layman. Political communication has the power to persuade the governor, without any forceful action. The Ethiopian case is similar with what we are discussing.
1.3. Objective of the Research
The study has the following general and specific objectives.
1.3.1. General Objective
The objective of this study is to analyze the rhetoric of Ethiopia’s Prime Minster Dr. Abiy Ahimed (PhD) public speeches held on the House of Peoples Representative and different locations of the country.
1.3.2. Specific Objectives
• To find out the construction and use of rhetorical cannons on the Prime Minister speeches;
• To identify the rhetoric elements used in the Prime Minister speeches;
• To find out the major ideologies observed in the speeches.
1.4. Research Questions
This study aims to answer the following research questions.
• How did the Prime Minister construct and develop rhetoric cannon in his speeches?
• Which rhetorical elements are available within the Prime Ministers Speeches?
• What types of ideologies are there in the Prime Minister rhetorical speeches?
1.5. Significance of the Study