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The CAADP and the emerging economies: The case of Ethiopia

Discussion Paper 160

March 2014

Lui, D. 2014. The CAADP and the emerging economies: The case of Ethiopia. (ECDPM Discussion Paper 160 ). Maastricht: ECDPM.

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Over the last two decades Ethiopia has experienced strong and increasing growth in its agricultural sector, which has played a major role in reducing poverty and improving food security. Ethiopia’s approach to agricultural change is closely aligned to the one adopted in the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP).

While increased aid, public investment and reform debates that have been the hallmark of the CAADP approach have played their role in recent agricultural growth, the key emphasis going forward is on private sector growth and investment. Foreign investment in agriculture has been encouraged by government and has increased in recent years. Notably, it is not only investors from the main traditional donor supporters of agriculture that have been investing in Ethiopia, but also firms from new emerging economy players such as India and Saudi Arabia.

Objective of the study

Against this backdrop, this paper examines the complex relationships between ‘traditional’ developed country partners (such as the EU and US), newer emerging economies (including Brazil, China and India) and government policies and institutions in Ethiopia.  These relationships are examined in terms of cooperation to reach the development goals espoused in the CAADP, notably through provision of increased levels of assistance to support agriculture with accompanying public investment and reform on the part of African governments. They are also examined in terms of private investment, and how well policies in this area are integrated into the holistic approach to agricultural development that is promoted under the CAADP.

Key findings

  • Ethiopia’s agricultural growth is supported by policies and assistance aligned to CAADP and increased foreign investment, but traditional and emerging economy partners have engaged in different ways in the sector.

  • Despite the adoption of CAADP as the main cooperation framework, and the high importance placed on agriculture by the government, assistance remains dominated by traditional development partners.

  • Policies and practices regarding aid, private investment and related areas such as land are treated separately from each other, which has weakened the intended linkages between CAADP-related assistance, reforms and the drive for greater investment.

  • Promoting the CAADP vision of a more holistic and ‘development friendly’ approach to agriculture will require African governments in particular to seek more active involvement from emerging economies alongside traditional partners.

Read Discussion Paper 160: The CAADP and the Emerging Economies: The Case of Ethiopia

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Cross-cutting TopicsFood SecurityContinental and Regional CAADPEmerging Players in AfricaDiscussion Papers (series)ResearchAgriculturePrivate sectorAfricaEthiopia