Current research

Title: The Politics of ‘’Developmental State’’ in Ethiopia: A View from Gibe III Hydropower Development Project

In this research I look at the issue of developmentalism and exercise of power in contemporary Ethiopia. The project of state building and the quest for political stability have been an evolving concern for the successive Ethiopian regimes since the beginning of the 20th century. These top-down high modernist state building projects, as constitutive feature of the modern Ethiopian state, were carried out under various ideologies and institutional structures with contrasting features-from the monarchical, socialist military dictatorship to the current ‘’democratic’’ regime. However, previous attempts had failed to achieve the wished-for legitimacy and the consequent political stability as well as development. The current Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front-led regime, which came to power in 1991, has taken discourses of ‘’developmental state’’ to center stage since the beginning of 2000s. Against this background, this study seeks to understand the notion of Ethiopian “developmental state” and its practical operations using Gibe III hydropower development project as a case study.


  • Developmental state, high modernism, state formation, hydropower, hydropolitics, political ecology, Ethiopia, Gibe-Omo river valley


  • Advanced Masters of Science in Governance and Development from Institute of development policy and management, University of Antwerp, Belgium (2012-2013)
  • M.A in Geography and Environmental Studies from Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2004-2006)
  • Bachelor Degree in Geography, Alemaya University, Ethiopia (1998-2002)


  • High modernism strikes back?: Insights from the Ethiopian Gibe III hydroelectric Project, Les Annales d’Ethiopie (in progress)
  • A bottom-up look at authoritarian developmentalism in Ethiopia: the case of Gibe III hydropower project, Numéro Ethiopie/Cameroun, Espace Politique (in progress)
  • Edegilign H. Decentralization and Poverty Reduction, VDM Publishing House Ltd, 2011.


  • “The politics of “developmental state” in Ethiopia: A view from the Gibe III hydropower development project” presented at Seminar doctoral de LAVUE, Université Paris Nanterre, May 19, 2017.
  • “Exploring state modernism and large dams in Ethiopia: the case of the Gibe III hydropower project”, a paper presented to Workshop on water, infrastructures and lemat (development) in Ethiopia: State formation and transboundary implications, June 19, 2017, IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, Netherlands.
  • “The politics of hydro-power development in Ethiopia”, a paper presented to European conference on African Studies (ECAS), June 29, 2017 to July 02, 2017, Basel, Switzerland.
  • “The politics of “developmental state” in Ethiopia: A view from the Gibe III hydropower development project” presented to Seminar organized by French center for Ethiopian Studies, November 24, 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Teaching and other activities

  • 2006-2008 Worked as Monitoring and evaluation expert in World Bank funded Public Sector Capacity Building Program.
  • 2008-2012 Worked as lecturer for undergraduate students of Geography and Environmental Studies  in Wolaita Sodo University.
  • 2009-2012 Chaired the department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Wolaita Sodo university.
  • 2013-2015 Worked as Capacity development, monitoring and evaluation specialist, Community led-Accelerated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project Ethiopia


  • Discipline Geography - Political Sciences
  • Status PhD candidate
  • Institution Université Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense - Laboratoire Mosaïques UMR LAVUE
  • Professional address 200 Avenue de la République, bâtiment Max Weber, office 416
  • Professional email address