NCCR North-South Dialogue No. 39

by Rony Emmenegger
Bern, NCCR North-South 2012

Roads, in particular rural roads, play a major role in development. In Ethiopia, where the vast majority of the population depends on agricultural production, this is even more so, and the country’s road network has become a major policy issue with significant consequences for the population. An extensive network of 114,397 km of different roads has been constructed, maintained, and classified to date. Although community roads account for nearly two-thirds of the country’s total road network, virtually no work deals specifically with issues related to their construction. In an attempt to address this lack of information, this paper traces the history of the classified road network and of the governmental sector that has been in charge of its construction, in order to shed light on current policies and practices. The paper provides useful insights about the role of rural roads in the country’s development policy, their relation to the process of decentralisation, and their construction at the local level.

Emmenegger R. 2012. The Roads of Decentralisation: The History of Rural Road Construction in Ethiopia. NCCR North-South Dialogue 39. Bern and Zurich, Switzerland: NCCR North-South.


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