The Ethiopian developmental state: a view from the inside

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Ethiopia has been one of the world’s fastest-growing economies for the past 15 years, with an average growth rate of almost 11% and a track record of large-scale poverty reduction. Its developmental performance has recently attracted a lot of attention from the international community. Inspired by the East Asian ‘tiger economies’, the Ethiopian government has followed an interventionist economic strategy, which has led to renewed debate on the possibility of African ‘developmental states’.

In June 2018, GLF Biniam Bedasso co-organized a public seminar with Ato Newai Gebre-ab, former Chief Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and one of the chief architects of economic strategy in Ethiopia for the past 25 years. The talk focused on how Ethiopia came to adopt the ‘Developmental State’ model to drive the country’s effort to transform its economy and reduce poverty. As someone who was at the forefront of economic policymaking in Ethiopia for quarter-century, Mr. Newai was able to provide an insider's view of the policy process that has contributed to Ethiopia’s economic growth over the past decade and half.