The Ethiopian Developmental State and Its Challenges

26 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2014

Date Written: June 1, 2014


Though Ethiopia officially claims to be a developmental state, the issue remains divisive among its politicians and scholars alike. In the past few years polarized opinions have been reflected on: whether or not the developmental state paradigm is a right choice for Ethiopia considering its political and socio-economic circumstances; whether Ethiopia is a developmental state; and if yes, whether it is on the right track in its policies and strategies, and so on. While the debate has been highly fueled by political differences, the lack of clear and common understanding on the concept and major characteristics of developmental state itself has made the discussions and debates even more difficult. This paper, therefore, attempts to lay down some foundations on the concept and features of developmental state and then tries to shade a light on the Ethiopian developmental state and its challenges.

Keywords: developmental state, Ethiopia, development-oriented leadership, state-led development

JEL Classification: H1

Suggested Citation

Woldegiyorgis, Ayenachew, The Ethiopian Developmental State and Its Challenges (June 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Ayenachew Woldegiyorgis (Contact Author)

Tampere University ( email )

Tampere, FIN-33101

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