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August 2014

By Tsegaye R Ararssa*

  1. 1.     Introduction

What is the story of the Ethiopian federal experiment? What stories does it tell? And what stories can be told about it? Feeding from and into the ever polarized and polarizing ‘debate’ on Ethiopia’s politics, Dr Taye Negussie recently argued that the Ethiopian federal arrangement is synonymous with apartheid’s ‘racial federation’. In a similar vein, Dr Asfawossen Asrate also remarked that “ethnic federalism amounts to nothing but apartheid.”[i] In this piece, I seek to explore the tales the Ethiopian federal experiment tells (and masks) with a view to shedding light on whether, by juxtaposing the two systems, there emerges a tale of two federations or two tales of two differently unjust governance systems.

By Eyob Balcha, Special to Addis Standard (@eyobbalcha)

I read two articles written by Merkeb Negash on the Ethiopian developmental state that present the rosy aspect of the current developmental process. I found the following three major points as the main arguments of the writer: that the highly politicized state bureaucracy is fairly on track to deliver development and steady economic growth; that the clientelistic, corrupt and paternalistic political economic system that is apparent in the current Ethiopian political economy is a positive route to a desirable end if it is well-managed. And, in his latest article, the writer focused on the effectiveness and efficiency of the current Ethiopian state in its mission of becoming developmental compared to the East Asian counterparts 30 to 60 years ago.