Reconstructing Policy Decision-Making in the Ethiopian Seed Sector: Actors and Arenas Influencing Policymaking Process

Mohammed Hassena, Otto Hospes, Bram De Jonge


In Ethiopia, new policy actors and new policy arenas have emerged as a result of major changes that took place in the political and economic system in the early 1990’s: the separation of state powers between the legislature and the executive, and the decision to move towards a market-oriented economic system. These are important changes that clear ground for better policymaking processes. However, the mere separation of power and emergency of new actors do not necessarily guarantee effectiveness of the established system, and thus need analysis. Considering policymaking as a process involving multiple actors, arenas and interactions between policy actors, this article sheds a new light on policymaking processes in Ethiopia. Focusing on the four years of discussions on developing seed law, we question whether and how the emergence of new actors and new policy arenas have influenced the process and outcome of policymaking in the Ethiopian seed sector. Our analysis reveals that the new policy arenas provided opportunities for actors to place their preferred policy options on the agenda and to get them incorporated into the draft seed law. However, decision-making ultimately remains firmly in the hands of the executive, mainly because of a blurred separation of power between the executive and the legislature.

Keywords: public policy, arena, actor, legislative, executive, seed policy

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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