Ethiopia WIDE publication: Globalisation and Rural Ethiopia

  • 6 February 2020

Ethiopia WIDE, a longitudinal qualitative research tracking change in rural Ethiopia since 1994, obtained funding in early 2018 to carry out further fieldwork in four of the twenty WIDE communities, in partnership with four Ethiopian universities and the Addis Ababa-based Forum for Social Studies.  The WIDE Bridge project, as it was called, produced a number of outputs using print, radio and TV medias (see here). The most recent WIDE Bridge output is now available, in the form of a special issue of the Los Angeles-published International Journal of Ethiopian Studies, focusing on ‘Globalisation and Rural Ethiopia’, and based on draft papers presented at the 20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies held in Mekelle, 1st to 5th October 2018. The International Journal of Ethiopian Studies [XIII:1] is now available here.

In this special issue, the authors have used the qualitative data made in early 2018 through the WIDE Bridge project to question the widespread perception associating globalisation with cities and urban life. Cities are seen as the places where globalisation and modernisation unfold first, foremost and fastest, whilst rural areas remain less affected, sometimes stereotyped as ‘conservative’, with rurality often equated with continuity and limited change. In this issue the authors challenge this view, suggesting that in the four WIDE Bridge communities and likely other similar communities in Ethiopia, ‘rural globalisation’ plays out in complex and differentiated ways, with a number of ‘rurally-relevant globally-linked modernisation processes’ having contributed to the emergence of ‘multiple rural modernities’ in Ethiopia, especially since the early 2000s.

The IJES XIII:1 contains the following articles:

  1. Whither global rural Ethiopia? Alula Pankhurst and Catherine Dom
  2. Youth and globalisation in four WIDE Ethiopia sites. Alula Pankhurst
  3. Diverse involvements in globally-linked modernisation processes. Philippa Bevan
  4. The importance of rural connectedness. Tefera Goshu
  5. Is ICT in education, bridging or exacerbating the digital divide? Agazi Tiumelissan
  6. The impact of globalisation on agriculture in a coffee-producing rural community in Southern Ethiopia since 2011. Shiferaw Fujie, Philippa Bevan, and Agata Frankowska
  7. Climate change and migration in rural eastern Tigray. Catherine Dom
  8. Globalization, smallholder agriculture, and rural livelihoods. Mulugeta Gashaw and Bayissa Abdissa