As the only country in Sub Sahara Africa to escape colonisation in the 19th and 20th century, Ethiopia has maintained a reputation as a leading African state. In the context of the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative, Ethiopia has been referred to as Africa’s fastest growing economy. However, since 2015 two major developments in Ethiopia have dominated the news: droughts have forced the state to request international aid, and protests spread across Oromia, the country’s largest federal state and region. Narratives of ‘success’ have been contested and this talk will highlight some of the major changes in Ethiopia, as well as discussing some of the unresolved and newly emerging tensions within an extraordinarily rapidly changing society.
Christopher Cramer is Professor of Political Economy of Development at SOAS, University of London and has also taught at University of Cambridge and Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique. He has worked in South Africa as well as delivered public lectures on economics in the Seychelles and short-course training programmes in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Namibia. He has done consultancy work for the the European Commission, the World Bank as well as various international organizations such as the ILO, UNDP, UNCTAD, FAO, IFAD and the South African government.
His book “Civil War is Not a Stupid Thing: Accounting for Violence in Developing Countries” was a joint winner of the 2009 Edgar Graham Memorial Book Prize. Professor Cramer participates in the Africa Task Force set up by Joseph Stiglitz and is a Vice-Chair of the Royal African Society.