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Unintended outcomes of Ethiopia’s state-led development

Neuse, M. (2019) Unintended outcomes of Ethiopia’s state-led development. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Ethiopia’s centralized programmes of economic growth and social development are bringing the nation towards achievement of its goal of becoming “a middle-income country by the year 2025” (MoE, 2015: 11). Significant advances in social programmes have resulted in longer life spans, increased incomes, and a much better educated population. Yet, unexpected outcomes are inadvertently threatening the state. The emergence of a thriving middle class, especially among those employed in service industries in the metropolis of Addis Ababa, has resulted in a demand for better and more comfortable housing. However, residential and other construction has only been possible through the expropriation of land along the periphery of the city and this is displacing hundreds of thousands of smallholders. At the same time, the federal government has considerably increased educational opportunities. Although this has been widely beneficial, it has also resulted in secondary school leavers and university graduates who substantially outnumber current employment opportunities. While issues of developmentally induced ousting and youth unemployment pertain to other areas of Ethiopia, they are occurring particularly rapidly along the periphery of Addis Ababa. Ousted smallholders must quickly adopt new non-farm livelihoods while a better-educated youth cohort must find suitable and proper employment. A sense of groupism has moderated the reactions of smallholders to their ousting even as the frustration of unemployment among youth groups is manifesting in anti-government disturbances. These issues existentially threaten Ethiopia’s political and social order. This thesis explores the reactions of smallholders and students to Ethiopia’s successful social and economic development through a conceptual examination of the role of in situ and ex situ displacement narratives. It finds that different groups have exhibited significantly divergent reactions to their circumstances. It concludes that while Ethiopia’s form of centralized development has undeniably benefitted the nation, those benefits are, themselves, inadvertently resulting in secondary issues which impinge upon stability and individual prosperity.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Osbahr, H.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:84916


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