University of Tasmania
Walo_whole_thesis.pdf (2.91 MB)

Rural-urban linkages and local economic development in Nekemte and its surroundings, Oromia, Ethiopia

Download (2.91 MB)
posted on 2023-05-27, 10:33 authored by Walo, MT
The Ethiopian government has been crafting successive development policy frameworks to end poverty since the overthrow of the military rule and establishment of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in 1991. These include Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Programme (SDPRP)- 2002/03-2004/05, Plan for Accelerated and Sustainable Development to End Poverty (PASDEP)- 2005/06-2009/10, and the first (2010/11-2014/15) and the second (2015/16-2019/20) Growth and Transformation Plans (GTP1 and GTP2). SDPRP, in its key sectoral development policies and strategies, underlined the need to exploit the benefits of linking agriculture and manufacturing for economic development. Subsequently, PASDEP adopted the need to strengthen rural-urban linkages as one of the key pillars of development and aimed to enable the linkages for a strong local/regional economic development. This study sought to examine the nature and drivers of local economic development (LED) by analysing the linkages between Nekemte Town and its hinterlands in Guto Gidda district of Oromia region in Ethiopia using an ethnographic case study research method. The literature review focused on LED in the context of the rural-urban interface including an analysis of the aims of LED, the processes of LED, and the enablers of LED. The study used field data related to maize (Zea mays) and niger seed (Guizotia abyssinica) value chains to empirically examine whether or not the Ethiopian government development policy positions have translated into an enabling environment for stronger rural-urban linkages. The data were gathered mainly through in-depth interviews with LED actors including farmers, traders, small-scale manufacturers, and local authorities both in Nekemte and its hinterlands. A total of 51 interviews (30 farmers, nine traders, ten small-scale manufacturers and two agricultural extension workers) were conducted. The audio records were transcribed and uploaded into Nvivo for categorisation into themes. Publicly available secondary data including reports from the district administration, municipal administration, and agricultural office were included to support the primary data. An ethnographic approach was used to gain an understanding of local actors' perspectives on LED and to collect in-depth data on the economic activities of those involved in the production, processing and marketing of the two commodities. The research applied multiple analytical lenses to analyse the field data. Netchain analysis was employed to analyse the flow of resources between Nekemte and its hinterlands, and the implications of the linkages for LED. The study applied institutional analysis (IA) to analyse the influences of local institutions on LED. The results of this study indicate that the attempt of the Ethiopian government to strengthen rural-urban linkages remained on paper as the nature of local economies observed on the ground promote dichotomy between urban and rural areas with little or no coordinated development planning between the two. The flows of people, commodities, finance, and market information between Nekemte and its hinterlands are ad hoc and thus unable to generate effective and strong resource cycles between the two areas. The study further indicates that the majority of the current production of these two commodities are subsistence and is unable to meet the demand of the market (urban areas). Grain marketing is dominated by traders. Poor market information and lack of coordination and trust between value chain actors hamper effective trading. Processing is characterised by traditional and small crushing facilities with inadequate capacity, low hygiene, and lack of safety standards. The result also demonstrated that the preference of local development actors to accept and practise one type of local institution over the other and the weak functional linkages between the institutions challenge the significant contributions of the institutions in LED processes. Most farmers, traders, and small-scale manufacturers practise indigenous institutions in preference to government institutions. The indigenous institutions are culturally embedded and universally accepted practices. The study recommends investments in infrastructure, improved provision of rural microfinance, ensuring affordable agricultural inputs, and providing a practical policy guideline to improve rural-urban linkages and thus help strengthen LED. Mutual and collaborative functional linkages between the government and indigenous institutions to maximise the contributions of both to LED is critical. The policy framework of rural-urban linkages and LED in Ethiopia can be helpful to move forward towards its implementation.


Publication status

  • Unpublished

Rights statement

Copyright 2016 the author Author Posting Copyright Westburn Publishers Ltd, 2016. Chapter 2 appears to be the equivalent of a post-editorial-review, pre-copy-edit version of an article which has been published in its definitive form in The Marketing Review, and has been posted by permission of Westburn Publishers Ltd for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in The Marketing Review, Vol.16, Spring 2016, No.1, pp.47-62 doi:10.1362/146934716X14636478977278 Chapter 3 appears to be the equivalent of an accepted manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International journal of public administration on 7 June 2016, available online: Chapter 4 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Walo, M. T. 2017. Netchain analysis of maize and Niger seed value chains and LED in Nekemte and its hinterlands, Oromia, Ethiopia, International journal of scientific footprints, 5(1), 48- 77. The article is published under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Chapter 5 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Walo, M. T., 2016, Local institutions and local economic development in Guto Gidda District, Oromia Region, Ethiopia, Journal of poverty alleviation and international development, 7(2), 122-158. Copyright 2016 The author. Published by the Institute for Poverty Alleviation and International Development under open access license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0. Chapter 6 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Walo, M. T., 2016, Bridging the rural-urban divide for local economic development in Nekemte and its hinterlands, Oromia, Ethiopia, Journal of agriculture, food systems, and community development, 6(4), 124-143. Copyright Copyright 2016 by New Leaf Associates, Inc. Published under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Usage metrics

    Thesis collection


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager