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"Since 2001, the Ethiopian government has been committed to building a “developmental state,” one with a strong state-led macro-economic plan, much like that of East Asian countries. After 2005, the developmental agenda took center stage in public discourse. This increasingly dominant discourse frames poverty as an existential threat to Ethiopia’s survival, necessitating its eradication by hastening development at all costs. In recent years, various independent international organizations have agreed that Ethiopia is among the fastest growing economies in the world. As a testament to this trajectory, the Ethiopian government is in the process of planning and implementing various mega-projects for completion within and beyond the “Growth and Transformation Plan” (GTP; 2010/11-2014/15) period. Notable among them are ten sugar industries, which put Ethiopia among the top ten world sugar exporters; the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (the largest in Africa); railroad networks to various parts of the country and light rails in the capital; a fertilizer factory; and the Metal and Engineering Corporation."


For more thoughts by Daniel Kebede, please visit our blog, Africa Up Close, here.

Fana Gebresenbet Erda is Southern Voices African Research Scholar with the Africa Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Fana is currently a PhD Candidate in the joint program in Global and Area Studies offered by the Addis Ababa and Leipzig Universities. Before joining the Addis Ababa University’s Institute for Peace and Security Studies at the rank of lecturer, he worked as a research assistant in the Africa Program of the UN-affiliated University for Peace. He has published on issues relating to development, environmental/climate security, pastoralism, and resource conflicts.

You can access the full pdf below.

This is Research Paper No. 3 of The Southern Voices Network publication series.


About the Author

Fana Gebresenbet Erda

Fana Gebresenbet Erda

Southern Voices African Research Scholar;
Lecturer, Institute for Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
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The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial U.S.-Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, including our Africa Up Close blog, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in U.S.-Africa relations.    Read more