LDPI Working Paper 2. The role of foreign investment in Ethiopia’s smallholder-focused agricultural development strategy

Abstract

Recent foreign agricultural investment in Africa has generated a great deal of interest and criticism, with western media warning of a neo-colonial ‘land grab’. This paper moves beyond this narrow assessment by examining the political and social dynamics of foreign agricultural investment in Ethiopia, a country that has figured prominently in recent debates. The paper links macro-level analysis regarding the types of projects and their role in the Ethiopian economy to case studies of investments at the micro-level, which examine changing patterns of land use and implications for displacement, employment and technology transfer. The paper concludes that the expansion of foreign investment in Ethiopia is part of a government move towards an export-led development strategy. As such, macro-benefits in terms of increased foreign exchange earnings come at the cost of increased micro-level risks to those living near new investments, in particular, politically marginalised pastoral populations in remote regions.

Citation

Lavers, T. LDPI Working Paper 2. The role of foreign investment in Ethiopia’s smallholder-focused agricultural development strategy. The Land Deal Politics Initiative, (2011) 35 pp.

LDPI Working Paper 2. The role of foreign investment in Ethiopia’s smallholder-focused agricultural development strategy

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