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      Funding the Ethiopian state: who pays

      Review of African Political Economy
      Review of African Political Economy


            Two topics have dominated discussion of Ethiopia in recent years. One is the military position in the north and to a lesser extent the east of the country, and the other is the agricultural situation, frequently, but not solely, concerned with famine in Wollo and Tigre. Although these topics are undoubtedly important in any analysis of the current situation, their predominance in discussion has tended to create an imbalance in the overall picture. By 1985 agricultural production contributed only 44% of Gross Domestic Product and yet we hear little of the nature and significance of the remaining 56% consisting principally of industrial production (16%) and services (39%). Among more general economic indicators, occasionally price inflation or the balance of payments is mentioned, but rarely in a context of overall economic performance and usually in connection with the agricultural situation. Of key importance in all such discussions is the role of the state whose influence pervades every aspect of economic and political decision making. Yet it is evident that the Ethiopian state depends in large measure upon the economy as a whole for its support not only in funding the military but also in maintaining the state machinery and in subsidising a number of developmental projects. This article addresses itself to the problem of state financing drawing on these other partly neglected aspects of the economy.


            Author and article information

            Review of African Political Economy
            Review of African Political Economy
            : 16
            : 44
            : 18-26
            8703807 Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 16, No. 44, 1989, pp. 18-26

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            Page count
            Figures: 0, Tables: 0, References: 5, Pages: 9
            Original Articles

            Sociology,Economic development,Political science,Labor & Demographic economics,Political economics,Africa

            Bibliographic note

            1. 1986. . International Financial Statistics and Government Finance Statistics Yearbook . , IMF. .

            2. Griffin K. and Hay R.. 1985. . ‘Problems of Agricultural Development in Socialist Ethiopia: An Overview and a Suggested Strategy’. . The Journal of Peasant Studies . , Vol. 13((1)) October;

            3. Ghose A.K.. 1985. . ‘Transforming Feudal Agriculture: Agrarian Change in Ethiopia since 1974’. . Journal of Development Studies . ,

            4. Saithe A.. 1985. . ‘The Distribution Dimensions of Revolutionary Transition: Ethiopia’. . Journal of Development Studies . ,

            5. Luckham R. and Bekele D.. 1984. . ‘Foreign Powers and Militarism in the Horn of Africa’. . Review of African Political Economy . , September;


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