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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The perils of development from above: land deals in Ethiopia
Author:Rahmato, DessalegnISNI
Year:2014
Periodical:African Identities (ISSN 1472-5851)
Volume:12
Issue:1
Pages:26-44
Language:English
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:investment policy
foreign investments
land acquisition
Link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14725843.2014.886431
Abstract:The paper examines Ethiopia's programme of large-scale land investments with special emphasis on the rapid expansion of these investments between 2008 and 2011 when huge tracts of agricultural land were leased out to foreign and domestic investors over a short period of time. It is estimated that the total land ceded to investors from the mid-1990s to the end of 2011 may be in the order of 3-3.5 million hectares. The author presents a discussion of the programme in the context of the government's grand strategy of State-led development, followed by an examination of the serious difficulties the programme is presently facing. State-led development is characterized by emphasis on large-scale public investment and huge public debt which has damaging implications for people's livelihoods and has led to a non-inclusive and skewed growth path. Land investment, it is argued, is one among a number of public sector initiatives meant to enhance the country's export market and contribute to the growing demand for State accumulation. The real needs of the country, on the other hand, are poverty reduction and food security which the programme does not address to any significant degree. Criticism of the land investment programme must focus not merely on issues of inadequate governance and lack of management capacity, but rather on fundamental issues of policy choice and principles. State-led development enhances the power of the State and exacerbates the vulnerabilities of small producers in the rural areas whose lands are increasingly being threatened by expropriation. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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