Transformative Collaboration in Ethiopia

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IFPRI/Jake Naughton

Ethiopia is one of the poorest, most populous, and largest countries in Africa. It has suffered challenging conditions over the past several decades such as the 1984 drought combined with civil war that resulted in a catastrophic famine, and the current worsening draught with approximately 10.1 million people needing food assistance according to UN estimates. IFPRI has been collaborating with the Government of Ethiopia since the 1980s through its influential work on famine and food insecurity.

In 2004, working closely with the government, IFPRI established the Ethiopia Strategy Support Program (ESSP), with generous funding from the United States Agency for International Development and UK’s Department for International Development, to provide direct support to the Government of Ethiopia in the development and implementation of its national agricultural development strategy. IFPRI based several staff members in Ethiopia to work with the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) and other agencies on policy analysis, capacity development, and communications. This partnership has generated a steady stream of high-quality research outputs while increasing human capital in EDRI and other local organizations. In addition, IFPRI’s research contributed substantially to Ethiopia’s agenda-setting for agricultural development. Ethiopia has suffered no recurrence of major famine, and sustained growth in the agricultural sector in the 1990s and 2000s contributed to the country’s overall economic development.

“For the past 11 years, we, at the Ethiopian Development Research Institute, have benefited from the opportunity to work closely with IFPRI through a program of research activities on agricultural development in Ethiopia known as the Ethiopian Strategy Support Program.”

- Newai Gebre-ab, Chief Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, and Executive Director, Ethiopian Development Institute

More on Newai Gebre-ab’s presentation on IFPRI and the Government of Ethiopia's partnership during IFPRI’s 40th Anniversary celebration can be viewed below. For more information of IFPRI's work in Ethiopia, go to this booklet.