Devolution of Power in Ethiopia

Paper presented by Mehari Taddele Maru to the Political Parties Forum in March 2008

In this paper, I intend to examine the following five major issues:

  1. an overview of the federalist arrangement in Ethiopia since 1991 and how it is related to on-going devolution of power,
  2. the historical, legal and political justifications and economic development considerations forwarded for and against federal arrangement;
  3. the positive and negative aspects after a 17 years of experiment on federalism in Ethiopia in terms of its contribution peace and stability, human rights and justice, and its impact on economic performance;
  4. examine how much, and what kind, of power is formally by law (de jure) decentralized to the regional states and lower tiers of government (District); and
  5. assess if such power devolution indeed has been practically implemented (de facto) and have enhanced economic competition among, and performance of, the regional governments.

Devolution of Power by Mehari Taddele Maru