Ethiopia’s Economic Growth in the Context of the Africa Rising Debate



This chapter attempts to situate Ethiopia’s economic growth of the past decades in the context of the debate over whether Africa is really rising. It argues that both the narratives of Africa’s development “successes” and “failures” that have put forth to explain Africa’s reality since 2000 could not explain Ethiopia’s reality alone but in combination. Ethiopia has recorded phenomenal economic growth (averaging 10%) over the past decade. This coupled with the government pro-poor policies has enabled it to make significant progress on human development indicators and poverty reduction. Yet‚ Ethiopia remains a poor country grappling with several development challenges.


  1. Adejumobi, S.A. 2007. The History of Ethiopia. Westport: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  2. African Development Bank (AfDB). 2008. Ethiopia: Country Assistance Evaluation, 1996-2007. Addis Ababa: AfDB, Operations Evaluation Department.Google Scholar
  3. AfDB. 2015. Development Effectiveness Review 2015: Ethiopia Country Review. Abidjan: African Development Bank Group (AfDB).Google Scholar
  4. Asayehgn, D. 2016. The Linkage Between Economic Growth and Food Security: An Eclectic Perspective. Ethiopian Observer.Google Scholar
  5. Beegle, K. 2016. Poverty in a Rising Africa. Washington DC: World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beyene, Berhe Mekonnen, and Tsegay Gebrekidan Tekleselassie. 2018. The State, Determinants, and Consequences of Skills Mismatch in the Ethiopian Labour Market. Addis Ababa: Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI), Ethiopia.Google Scholar
  7. Booth, D. 2012. Development as a Collective Action Problem: Addressing the Real Challenges of African Governance. The Africa Power and Politics Programme.
  8. Brooks, A. 2018. Was Africa rising? Narratives of Development Success and Failure Among the Mozambican Middle Class. Territory, Politics, Governance 6 (4): 447–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia. 2018. Statistical Report on the 2018 Urban Employment Unemployment Survey. Statistical Bulletin 586, Addis Ababa.Google Scholar
  10. Cowen, T. 2018. Ethiopia Already Is the ‘China of Africa’.–05-29/ethiopia-already-is-the-china-of-africa. Bloomberg.
  11. Donnenfeld, Zachary, Porter Alexander, Cilliers Jacobus (Jakkie), Moyer Jonathan D., Scott Andrew, Maweni Joel, and Aucoin Ciara 2017. Ethiopia Development Trends Assessment. USAID.
  12. Ellis, G. 1988. In Search of a Development Paradigm: Two Tales of a City. The Journal of Modern African Studies 26 (4): 677–683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gebreeyesus, M. 2013. Industrial Policy and Development in Ethiopia: Evolution and Present Experimentation. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER.Google Scholar
  14. Geda, A. 2008. The Political Economy of Growth in Ethiopia. In The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960–2000: Country Case Studies, ed. S.A.-P. Benno J. Ndulu, 116–142. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.Google Scholar
  15. Geda, A. 2011. Readings on the Ethiopian Economy. Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Henze, P. 1989. Ethiopia’s Economic Prospects for the 1990s. Santa Monica: The RAND Publication.Google Scholar
  17. Hiwet, A. 1975. Ethiopia: From Autocracy to Revolution. Review of African Political Economy.Google Scholar
  18. Kumar, G. 1987. Ethiopian Famines 1973–1985: A Case Study. Oxford: World Institute for Development Economic Research.Google Scholar
  19. Markus, H. 1991. A History of Ethiopia. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  20. Milkias, P. 2011. Africa in Focus: Ethiopia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO LLC.Google Scholar
  21. Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED). 2010. Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), 2010/11-2014/15 (Draft). Addis Ababa: MoFED.Google Scholar
  22. Ministry of Information (MoI). 2002. Foreign Affairs and National Security Policy and Strategy of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: Ministry of Information, Press and Audiovisual Department.Google Scholar
  23. Mukherjee, Shantanu, Angela Lusigi, Eunice Kamwendo, and Astra Bonini. 2017. Inequality, Gender and Human Development in Africa. In Income Inequality Trends in sub-Saharan Africa: Divergence, Determinants and Consequences, ed. G.A. Ayodele Odusola, 245–268. New York: United Nations Development Programme. Google Scholar
  24. NBE. 2013. Annual Report 2012/13. Addis Ababa: National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE).Google Scholar
  25. NBE. 2017. Annual Reports 2016/7. Addis Ababa: National Bank of Ethiopia.Google Scholar
  26. NPC. 2016. Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan II (GTP II), Volume I: Main Text. Addis Ababa: National Planning Commission (NPC).Google Scholar
  27. NPC. 2017. Ethiopia’s Progress Towards Eradicating Poverty: An Interim Report on 2015/16 Poverty Analysis Study. Addis Ababa: National Planning Commission.Google Scholar
  28. Oakland Institute. 2013. Development Aid to Ethiopia: Overlooking Violence, Marginalization, and Political Repression. Oakland: The Oakland Institute.Google Scholar
  29. Obiols, M. 2017. Countries With Highest GDP Growth In 2017. Global Finance Magazine.
  30. OECD. 2018. Africa’s Development Dynamics 2018: Growth, Jobs and Inequalities. Paris: OECD Publishing.Google Scholar
  31. Ofcansky, Thomas P., and Berry LaVerle. 1991. Ethiopia: A Country Study. Montana: Kessinger Publishing LLC.Google Scholar
  32. Pankhurst, R. 1968. Economic History of Ethiopia, 1800–1935. Addis Ababa: Haile Selassie I University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Pillay, D. 2015. The Global Economic Crisis and the Africa Rising Narrative. Africa Development XL (3): 59–75.Google Scholar
  34. Radelet, S. 2010. Emerging Africa: How 17 Countries Are Leading the Way. Washington, DC: The Center for Global Development.Google Scholar
  35. Radelet, S. 2016. Africa’s Rise—Interrupted? Finance & Development 53 (2): 6–11.Google Scholar
  36. Shiferaw, A. 2017. Productive Capacity and Economic Growth in Ethiopia. CDP Background Paper No. 34.Google Scholar
  37. Tesfaye, A. 2017. State and Economic Development in Africa: The Case of Ethiopia. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. The Economist. 2000. The Hopeless Continent. 13 May.
  39. The Economist. 2007. The Dark Continent. 16 August.
  40. The Economist. 2011. A More Hopeful Continent. The Lion Kings?. 6 January.
  41. The Economist. 2013. A Hopeful Continent. 2 March.
  42. Tiruneh, A. 1993. The Ethiopian Revolution 1974–1987: A Transformation From an Aristocratic to a Totalitarian Autocracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. UNCTAD. 2014. The Economic Development in Africa Report 2014. New York: The United Nations.Google Scholar
  44. UNCTAD. 2018. World Investment Report 2018: Investment and New Industrial Policies. New York and Geneva: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development United Nations (UNCTAD).Google Scholar
  45. UNDP. 1996. Human Development Report 1996. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. UNDP. 2015a. Human Development Report 2015: Work for Human Development. New York: UNDP.Google Scholar
  47. UNDP. 2015b. Millennium Development Goals Report 2014 Ethiopia: Assessment of Ethiopia’s Progress Towards the MDGs. Addis Ababa: UNDP.Google Scholar
  48. UNDP. 2018. Ethiopia’s Progress Towards Eradicating Poverty. Addis Ababa: UNDP Ethiopia.Google Scholar
  49. Veen, E. V. 2016. Perpetuating Power: Ethiopia’s Political Settlement and the Organization of Security. The Hague: The Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’.Google Scholar
  50. World Bank. 2015. Africa Gains in Health, Education, but Numbers of Poor Grow. World bank.
  51. World Bank. 2016. Ethiopia’s Great Run: The Growth Acceleration and How to Pace It. Washington, DC: World Bank Group.Google Scholar
  52. Zamfir, L. 2016. Africa’s Economic GROWTH: Taking Off or Slowing Down? European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS).Google Scholar
  53. Zewde, B. 2001. A History of Modern Ethiopia, 1855–1991, 2nd ed. Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FDRE Meles Zenawi Leadership AcademyAddis AbabaEthiopia

Personalised recommendations