This centuries-old, innovative, egalitarian, and meritocratic system of governance has been studied extensively by various scholars. Jalata sees it as “the totality of Oromo civilization” [Jalata2012]. Plowden said “of all republican systems, Gadaa is superior” [Plowden1868]. Donald Levine wrote that Gadaa is “one of the most complex systems of social organization ever devised by the human imagination” [Levine1974]. Asmarom Legesse, a renowned Gadaa scholar, said the system is “one of the most astonishing and instructive turns the evolution of human society has taken” [Legesse1973]. Legesse has applied Claude Lévi-Strauss structuralism to come up with a structural model of the system. In his 1973 bookGadaa: Three Approaches to the Study of African Society, based on his Harvard PhD dissertation, he describes how he succeeded in simulating the evolution of Gadaa on acomputer over a period of 400 years, saying “Perhaps for the first time in the history of anthropology the evolution of a social system has been replicated experimentally“.
BitGadaa is a futuristic African democracy. The study of Gadaa has hitherto been mainly analytical and descriptive. Going beyond this, the BitGadaa project employs new technologies to synthesize Gadaa as a practical system for a 21st century Network Society. The principles and nomenclature of BitGadaa are the same as that of Gadaa. It takes inspiration from the spatio-temporal and peer-to-peer structure of Gadaa. Furthermore, it replicates the open Gadaa assembly known as Gumii toward scalable consensus. In terms of simulation, it aims at being a reconstruction of the Gadaa process in cyberspace in a borderless, voluntary, and distributed setup. BitGadaa emulates Gadaa so as to match and surpass its past functions. The relationship between Gadaa and BitGadaa is theorized using simulacra. Next-generation technologies such as blockchains and smart contracts are used to realize BitGadaa as a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) with its own economy.
Gadaa is a remembrance of the past, BitGadaa is a remembrance of the future.