DEMOCRATIC DEVELOPMENTAL STATE AND THE NEED FOR EMPOWERING THE POOR AND THE UNEMPLOYED IN ETHIOPIA: EXPERIENCES FROM AMHARA REGIONAL STATE
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T. Edemealem, M. Behaylu, A. Kidanu
democratic developmental states, Micro and Small Enterprises Agency, poor, unemployment, social protection system
The study focused on developmental state and the practices to empower the poor and unemployed in Ethiopia and experiences from Amhara Regional State with particular focus on Debre Markos, Finote Selam and Enjibara towns. The research employed mixed research method with sequential exploratory research design. It used interview, questionnaires, and document analysis to gather data from primary and secondary sources. Respondents and participants were selected using simple random sampling and purposive sampling techniques respectively. Ethiopia designed a policy to ensure social welfare and to relieve unemployment problems. The state established Micro and Small Enterprise Agency at federal and regional level to encourage and organize enterprises as an engine to reduce and alleviate the widespread unemployment rates in the country. The agency supports the establishment and functioning of enterprise through providing trainings, working place, facilitating loans and technical supports, creating job opportunities and market linkages, and fulfilling infrastructures for the youth. Similarly, the state developed social security or protection systems to help and empower the poor, who are unable to fulfill basic necessity and with inadequate means of livelihoods. Despite the government took various measures to support the poor and the unemployed, finding of the study based on the existing situations showed that the practices are too weak and stumpy compare to the demand and number of unemployed and poor in Debre Markos, Finote Selam and Enjibara towns.