Negotiating New Relationships: How the Ethiopian State is Involving China and Brazil in Agriculture and Rural Development

Abstract

This article provides an overview of Brazilian and Chinese agricultural development cooperation activities in Ethiopia. Development cooperation is carefully managed and coordinated in Ethiopia, a highly aid-dependent country, in line with the national ‘Growth and Transformation Plan’. The government promotes harmonisation and an alignment process of Western donor support through the Ethiopian High Level Forum. Brazil and China are currently not engaged in these coordination platforms, working instead on a bilateral basis. Core activities include experience-sharing in public governance, technical cooperation, and the attraction of private and public investments. In the case of Brazil, the cooperation focuses on renewable energy sector development mainly related to biofuels derived from sugar cane production, whilst in the case of China, cooperation is more focused on infrastructure, agricultural technology and skill transfer. The approach adopted by Ethiopia reflects a commitment to a ‘developmental state’ approach. This seems to be delivering results in the agricultural sector, and beyond.

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Citation

Alemu, D.; Scoones, I. Negotiating New Relationships: How the Ethiopian State is Involving China and Brazil in Agriculture and Rural Development. IDS Bulletin (2013) 44 (4) 91-100. [Special Issue: China and Brazil in African Agriculture, edited by I. Scoones, L. Cabral and H. Tugendhat] [DOI: 10.1111/1759-5436.12045]

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