Get to know Jala Connect

''Jala'' is a normative social practice that establishes a solid friendship across ethnic boundaries. It is widely used among the Omotic and Cushitic speaking people of South and South-Western Ethiopia. This bond of friendship is initiated and entered into by individual men, kept and strengthened through mutual visits and assistance. The visits and assistances are the manifestations of gratefulness to the Jala relation by showing the other person one’s own hand or seeing the hands of the Jala when the other party is in need. The Jala relation generates cross-boundary relations, reduces tensions, permits individuals to have a safe journey in different territories and establishes a collaborative forum to foster interdependence (Zikargie, 2022).  

"Jala Connect" is a digital platform, inspired by the socio-cultural practice of Jala. This website encapsulates the essence of Jala, fostering relationships, building understandings, and enabling the crossing of borders not just ethnically, but in terms of academic disciplines, research and views. It is a collaborative space for scholars, researchers, and thinkers keen to appreciate, explore, and delve into Ethiopia and Africa's rich and diverse histories, cultures, knowledge, and moral and legal philosophies.

Embracing the ethos of Jala, the website encourages a supportive academic community, allowing members to freely exchange ideas, challenge traditional boundaries, and facilitate insightful discussions. Here, academia merges with the profound wisdom of the Jala tradition, bridging institutional structures and communities, and creating new understandings and interpretations.

As the Jala bond secures safe passage, so does this platform, bridging the boundaries of various disciplines and identities, and building understanding. "Jala Connect" goes beyond being just a website – it’s a cultural and intellectual bridge, a testament to the power of Jala relationships in nurturing collaboration and engendering deeper insights into Ethiopia and Africa and nurturing the way we can see a better future.

People and culture

The "Jala Connect" platform attracts a diverse community of scholars, researchers, and thinkers who have a common interest in Ethiopia and Africa's rich histories, cultures, knowledge, economy and moral and legal philosophies. These members, hailing from various academic disciplines, bring a wealth of knowledge and perspectives to the table, sparking enlightening discussions and building upon collective understanding. The culture on the website is one that resonates deeply with the principles of Jala, an ethos of forming friendships that transcend ethnic and lineage boundaries. Contributors engage with an open mind, respecting diverse viewpoints, challenging traditional norms, and fostering intellectual growth. This synergy between academia and the profound wisdom of the Jala tradition fosters a unique environment, one where knowledge is not just shared but co-created.

Yidneckachew Ayele Zikargie

Founder / Web Admin