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Overview of corruption and anti-corruption in Ethiopia

Sustained corruption and human rights violations have caused widespread unrest in Ethiopia since 2015. A change in the country’s leadership in 2018 provided Ethiopians with hope of a change to the status quo. Corruption exists in various forms, including but not limited to clientelism, kleptocracy, rent seeking and state capture. While anti-corruption laws remain strong in principle, they are not implemented adequately. The executive maintains control over the judiciary and legislature.

22 October 2018
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Overview of corruption and anti-corruption in Ethiopia

Main points

  • Ethiopia remains a closed political space, with the ruling coalition retaining all federal and regional parliamentary seats, and silencing any opposing voices.
  • Corruption remains a pervasive issue, and the new prime minister has pledged to make addressing it a priority.
  • Widespread human rights violations and ensuing impunity of the abusers seems to be the norm.
  • The government of Ethiopia’s commitment to anti-corruption needs to be backed up by investing in building the capacity of institutions with anti-corruption mandates.

Cite this publication

Rahman, K.; (2018) Overview of corruption and anti-corruption in Ethiopia. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Helpdesk Answer 2018:24)

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About the author

Kaunain Rahman

Kaunain received her Master's in Corruption and Governance from The Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex in the UK where her focus area of research was corruption in international business. She works as Research Coordinator at Transparency International (TI), and her main responsibilities lie with the Anti-Corruption Helpdesk.


All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)