The Challenges and Prospects of Building A Developmental State In Africa: A Comparative Study of Botswana and Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Like most human institutions – the family, the village, the city, the state, customs, laws, the – nation – developmental state was born long before anybody thought of naming it.However, it is the success of South East Asian countries in the 1970s and 1980s that became its reference point. There has been a wide spread skepticism about the prospect for the emergence of viable develop mental states on Africa. While acknowledging the multi-dimensional capacity weakness of the post-colonial African states as a major source of the continent’s current under development, proponents argue that there is enough reason to adopt a developmental state model. Of those countries outside of Asia that have recorded phenomenal levels of economic growth, it has been the so-called developmental state of Botswana that have performed well. However in the Ethiopian contextthe term is increasingly being used only in recent times. The interest in constructing a developmental state has its own challenges and lack of committed leadership, absence of autono mous and effective bureaucracy, ineffective national development planning and social policy and institutional capacity deficiency are the major ones in Africa. In Ethiopia, there are notable changes brought about by the developmental state model. However, when compared to Botswana; a success story in Africa since the 1970s, the Ethiopian developmental state encounters many challenges and can draw lessons from Botswana. This study explores the challenges and prospects of building a developmental state in Africa by comparing Botswana and Ethiopia



developmental state,Botswana Ethiopia