Negotiating New Relationships: How the Ethiopian State is Involving China and Brazil in Agriculture and Rural Development
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This article provides an overview of Brazilian and Chinese agricultural development cooperation activities in Ethiopia. In the context of a highly aid-dependent country, the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has developed an effective way of balancing donor inputs, both regionally and sectorally. Development cooperation is carefully managed and coordinated, in line with the national „Growth and Transformation Plan.‟ The government promotes harmonisation and an alignment process of western donor support through the Ethiopian High Level Forum, with five subsidiary sector-specific working groups. Brazil and China are currently not engaged in these coordination platforms working instead on a bilateral basis. Core activities include experience sharing in public governance, technical cooperation, and the attraction of private and public investments. In the case of Brazil, the cooperation focuses on renewable energy sector development mainly related to biofuels derived from sugarcane production, whilst in the case of China, cooperation is more focused on infrastructure, agricultural technology and skill transfer. The approach adopted by Ethiopia reflects a commitment to a „developmental state‟ approach. This seems to be delivering results in the agricultural sector, and beyond.