Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

The History of Corruption in Ethiopia: A Timeline of Events

Corruption has been a persistent issue in Ethiopia for decades, with a long history of corrupt practices that have hindered the country’s development and progress. From the imperial era to the present day, corruption has plagued the country, affecting all aspects of society and government. In this article, we will take a closer look at the timeline of events that have shaped the history of corruption in Ethiopia.

Corruption in Ethiopia
Corruption in Ethiopia

The roots of corruption in Ethiopia can be traced back to the imperial era, where the monarchy held absolute power and control over the country’s resources. During this time, corruption was rampant, with the ruling elite using their positions to amass wealth and exploit the common people. The lack of accountability and transparency in the government allowed for corrupt practices to thrive, leading to widespread poverty and inequality.

In 1974, a military coup overthrew the imperial government and established a socialist regime under the Derg. While the new government promised to eradicate corruption, it only led to a different form of corruption, with the ruling party using their power to enrich themselves and their supporters. The lack of a free press and independent judiciary further enabled corrupt practices to continue unchecked.

In 1991, the Derg regime was overthrown, and a new government was established under the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The new government promised to fight corruption and bring about economic and political reforms. However, corruption remained a pervasive issue, with the ruling party using its power to control the economy and suppress dissent.

In 2005, the country held its first multiparty elections, which were marred by allegations of fraud and corruption. The opposition accused the ruling party of rigging the elections and using state resources to influence the outcome. The government responded with a crackdown on opposition leaders and journalists, further cementing its grip on power.

In 2012, the government launched a massive anti-corruption campaign, arresting several high-ranking officials and businessmen. The campaign was seen as a positive step towards fighting corruption, but it was also criticized for targeting only those who were not aligned with the ruling party. Many believed that the campaign was used as a political tool to eliminate dissent and consolidate power.

In 2018, a new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, came into power, promising to bring about sweeping reforms and fight corruption. Under his leadership, several high-profile officials and businessmen were arrested and charged with corruption. The government also introduced new laws and regulations to increase transparency and accountability in the public sector.

However, despite these efforts, corruption remains a significant issue in Ethiopia. The country ranks 113 out of 180 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index, indicating a high level of corruption in the public sector. The lack of independent institutions and a weak legal system have made it challenging to hold corrupt individuals accountable.

In conclusion, corruption has been a persistent issue in Ethiopia, with a long history of corrupt practices that have hindered the country’s development and progress. From the imperial era to the present day, corruption has plagued the country, affecting all aspects of society and government. While there have been efforts to fight corruption, it remains a significant challenge that needs to be addressed for the country to achieve sustainable development and progress.

The Impact of Corruption on Ethiopia’s Economy and Society

Corruption is a pervasive issue that has plagued many countries around the world, and Ethiopia is no exception. In fact, corruption has been a major hindrance to the development and progress of this East African nation. It has not only affected the economy but also the society as a whole. In this article, we will delve into the impact of corruption on Ethiopia’s economy and society.

First and foremost, corruption has had a detrimental effect on Ethiopia’s economy. It has hindered economic growth and development by diverting resources away from productive sectors and into the pockets of corrupt officials. This has resulted in a lack of investment in crucial areas such as infrastructure, education, and healthcare. As a result, the country has struggled to create jobs and improve the standard of living for its citizens.

Moreover, corruption has also led to a decrease in foreign investment. Investors are often deterred by the high levels of corruption in a country as it creates an unstable business environment. This has been the case in Ethiopia, where foreign investors have been hesitant to invest due to the prevalence of corruption. This lack of foreign investment has further hindered the country’s economic growth and development.

Furthermore, corruption has also had a negative impact on the country’s public finances. The misappropriation of public funds by corrupt officials has resulted in a significant loss of revenue for the government. This has not only affected the government’s ability to provide essential services to its citizens but has also led to an increase in the national debt. As a result, the government has had to resort to borrowing money, which has further strained the economy.

In addition to its impact on the economy, corruption has also had a profound effect on Ethiopian society. It has eroded trust in the government and its institutions, leading to a lack of confidence in the country’s leadership. This has resulted in a sense of disillusionment among the citizens, who feel that their government is not working in their best interests. This lack of trust has also led to a decrease in civic participation and a weakening of democratic institutions.

Moreover, corruption has also had a significant impact on the country’s social services. The diversion of funds meant for education and healthcare has resulted in a decline in the quality of these services. This has had a direct impact on the lives of ordinary citizens, who are unable to access quality education and healthcare. As a result, the country has seen a rise in poverty and a widening of the gap between the rich and the poor.

Furthermore, corruption has also had a negative impact on the rule of law in Ethiopia. The prevalence of corruption has undermined the country’s legal system, leading to a lack of accountability and transparency. This has created a culture of impunity, where corrupt officials are rarely held accountable for their actions. As a result, the rule of law has been weakened, and the country’s justice system has become ineffective.

In conclusion, corruption has had a devastating impact on Ethiopia’s economy and society. It has hindered economic growth and development, eroded trust in the government, and weakened the rule of law. It is clear that corruption is a significant obstacle to the country’s progress and must be addressed urgently. The government must take decisive action to tackle corruption and restore the trust of its citizens. Only then can Ethiopia truly reach its full potential and become a prosperous nation.

Government Efforts to Combat Corruption in Ethiopia

Corruption in Ethiopia


Corruption is a pervasive issue that plagues many countries around the world, and Ethiopia is no exception. In fact, according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, Ethiopia ranks 113 out of 180 countries, indicating a high level of corruption within the country. This is a concerning issue that not only affects the economy and development of Ethiopia, but also undermines the trust of its citizens in the government. In response to this problem, the Ethiopian government has implemented various efforts to combat corruption and promote transparency and accountability.

One of the key initiatives taken by the Ethiopian government to address corruption is the establishment of the Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (FEACC) in 2001. This independent body is responsible for investigating and prosecuting corruption cases, as well as promoting ethical conduct in the public sector. The FEACC has the power to investigate any government official, including the Prime Minister, and has successfully prosecuted high-level officials for corruption. This sends a strong message that no one is above the law and serves as a deterrent for corrupt behavior.

In addition to the FEACC, the Ethiopian government has also implemented various laws and regulations to combat corruption. The Anti-Corruption Proclamation of 2001 criminalizes bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power, among other corrupt activities. The Public Procurement and Property Administration Proclamation of 2005 also aims to promote transparency and accountability in government procurement processes. These laws provide a legal framework for addressing corruption and hold individuals and organizations accountable for their actions.

Furthermore, the Ethiopian government has taken steps to increase transparency and reduce opportunities for corruption in the public sector. The introduction of e-government services has reduced the need for face-to-face interactions between citizens and government officials, minimizing the potential for bribery and other forms of corruption. The government has also implemented an electronic tax payment system, reducing the need for physical contact between taxpayers and tax officials. These efforts have not only reduced corruption but have also improved the efficiency and effectiveness of government services.

Another significant effort by the Ethiopian government to combat corruption is the introduction of asset disclosure for public officials. This requires government officials to declare their assets and income, making it easier to detect any discrepancies between their wealth and their official income. This measure has been effective in identifying and prosecuting corrupt officials who have acquired wealth through illegal means. It also serves as a preventive measure, as public officials are less likely to engage in corrupt activities if they know their assets will be scrutinized.

The Ethiopian government has also recognized the importance of involving civil society and the private sector in the fight against corruption. The Civil Society Organizations Proclamation of 2009 allows for the formation of independent organizations to monitor and report on corruption. These organizations play a crucial role in raising awareness about corruption and advocating for transparency and accountability in government. The private sector has also been encouraged to adopt anti-corruption measures, such as implementing codes of conduct and establishing internal control systems.

Despite these efforts, corruption remains a significant challenge in Ethiopia. The lack of resources and capacity of the FEACC and other anti-corruption agencies hinder their effectiveness in combating corruption. There is also a need for more comprehensive and coordinated efforts to address the root causes of corruption, such as poverty and weak governance systems. The government must also ensure that there are consequences for corrupt behavior, as the perception of impunity can undermine the impact of anti-corruption measures.

In conclusion, the Ethiopian government has taken significant steps to combat corruption and promote transparency and accountability. The establishment of the FEACC, implementation of laws and regulations, and involvement of civil society and the private sector are all crucial efforts in this fight. However, there is still much work to be done to eradicate corruption completely. It is essential for the government to continue to prioritize this issue and work towards creating a more transparent and accountable society for the benefit of all Ethiopians.

The Role of International Organizations in Addressing Corruption in Ethiopia

Corruption is a pervasive issue that plagues many countries around the world, and Ethiopia is no exception. In fact, according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, Ethiopia ranks 113 out of 180 countries, indicating a high level of corruption within the country. This is a concerning issue that not only affects the economy and development of Ethiopia, but also the lives of its citizens. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the role that international organizations can play in addressing corruption in Ethiopia.

One of the main reasons why international organizations are crucial in addressing corruption in Ethiopia is their ability to provide financial and technical assistance. Many of these organizations, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, have significant resources and expertise in tackling corruption. They can provide funding for anti-corruption initiatives and offer technical support in developing and implementing effective strategies to combat corruption.

Moreover, international organizations can also act as a watchdog and hold the Ethiopian government accountable for its actions. By providing loans and aid to the country, these organizations have leverage to demand transparency and accountability in the use of funds. This can help prevent corrupt practices, such as embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, by ensuring that the money is used for its intended purposes.

In addition, international organizations can also play a crucial role in promoting good governance and strengthening institutions in Ethiopia. Corruption often thrives in countries with weak institutions and a lack of checks and balances. By working with the Ethiopian government to improve governance and strengthen institutions, international organizations can help create an environment that is less conducive to corrupt practices.

One example of this is the work of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ethiopia. The UNDP has been working closely with the Ethiopian government to strengthen the capacity of its institutions, such as the judiciary and law enforcement agencies, to effectively combat corruption. This includes providing training and technical assistance to these institutions, as well as supporting the development of anti-corruption laws and policies.

Furthermore, international organizations can also play a role in promoting transparency and accountability in the private sector. In many cases, corruption involves collusion between government officials and private companies. By working with businesses and promoting ethical business practices, international organizations can help reduce the opportunities for corrupt practices to occur.

One notable example of this is the work of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Ethiopia. The IFC has been working with the private sector to promote good governance and transparency through initiatives such as the Business Integrity Country Agenda (BICA). This program aims to raise awareness about the negative impact of corruption on businesses and promote ethical business practices.

However, it is important to note that the role of international organizations in addressing corruption in Ethiopia is not without its challenges. One of the main challenges is the issue of sovereignty. Some critics argue that international organizations may be seen as interfering in the internal affairs of a country by demanding transparency and accountability. This can lead to resistance and pushback from the government, hindering the effectiveness of their efforts.

Moreover, there is also the issue of sustainability. While international organizations can provide much-needed support and resources, it is ultimately up to the Ethiopian government to take ownership and responsibility for addressing corruption in the long term. This requires a strong political will and commitment from the government, which may not always be present.

In conclusion, the role of international organizations in addressing corruption in Ethiopia is crucial. They can provide financial and technical assistance, act as a watchdog, promote good governance and transparency, and work with the private sector to combat corruption. However, their efforts must be accompanied by a strong political will from the Ethiopian government to truly make a lasting impact in the fight against corruption. Only through a collaborative effort between international organizations and the Ethiopian government can corruption be effectively addressed and reduced in the country.

Case Studies: High-Profile Corruption Scandals in Ethiopia and Their Consequences

Corruption is a pervasive issue that plagues many countries around the world, and Ethiopia is no exception. In recent years, the country has been rocked by several high-profile corruption scandals that have had far-reaching consequences. These scandals have not only damaged the reputation of the country, but they have also hindered its economic growth and development.

One of the most notorious corruption scandals in Ethiopia involved the state-owned telecommunications company, Ethio Telecom. In 2017, it was revealed that the company had been involved in a massive corruption scheme, with top executives and government officials embezzling millions of dollars. The scandal came to light when a whistleblower leaked documents detailing the corrupt activities of the company.

The consequences of this scandal were severe. The government was forced to launch an investigation, and several high-ranking officials were arrested and charged with corruption. The scandal also had a significant impact on the economy, as it caused a loss of trust in the government and deterred foreign investors from doing business in the country. It also had a negative effect on the telecommunications sector, as customers lost faith in the company and its services.

Another high-profile corruption scandal in Ethiopia involved the sugar industry. In 2018, it was revealed that the state-owned sugar corporation, the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation (ESC), had been involved in a corrupt land deal. The ESC had acquired vast tracts of land from local farmers at a fraction of its market value, and then sold it to investors at a much higher price. This scandal not only highlighted the issue of corruption in the sugar industry but also raised concerns about the displacement of local communities and the exploitation of their resources.

The consequences of this scandal were far-reaching. The government was forced to cancel the land deals and launch an investigation into the corrupt practices of the ESC. The scandal also sparked protests and civil unrest in the affected communities, as they demanded justice and compensation for their land. The negative publicity surrounding the scandal also had a detrimental effect on the country’s image and its ability to attract foreign investment.

In addition to these high-profile scandals, corruption has also been prevalent in the country’s political sphere. In 2019, the former president of the Somali region, Abdi Mohammed Omar, was arrested and charged with corruption and human rights abuses. He was accused of embezzling millions of dollars from the regional government and using it to fund his lavish lifestyle. This scandal not only exposed the corrupt practices of a high-ranking government official but also highlighted the lack of accountability and transparency in the country’s political system.

The consequences of this scandal were significant. The arrest of the former president sparked protests and violence in the Somali region, as his supporters clashed with security forces. It also raised concerns about the widespread corruption in the country’s political system and the need for stronger measures to combat it.

In conclusion, corruption in Ethiopia has had severe consequences, both economically and socially. These high-profile scandals have not only damaged the country’s reputation but have also hindered its progress and development. The government must take decisive action to address the issue of corruption and restore trust in its institutions. This can be achieved through stronger anti-corruption laws, increased transparency, and accountability, and a commitment to punishing those involved in corrupt activities. Only then can Ethiopia move towards a brighter and more prosperous future.

Leave a Reply