Be like bees - the politics of mobilizing farmers for development in Tigray, Ethiopia

Kaatje Segers, Joost Dessein, Sten Hagberg, Patrick Develtere, Mitiku Haile, Jozef Deckers

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    Based on long-term ethnographic research, this article analyses the relations
    between local politics and farmers’ participation in rural development
    in Tigray (Ethiopia). It takes an actor-oriented approach and focuses on local
    government officials and farmer representatives, who mediate between
    the government agencies that undertake rural development programmes
    and the farmers whom they address. To reach the target numbers of programme
    beneficiaries, these local development brokers ‘mobilize’ farmers
    to participate. They capitalize upon the historical legitimacy of the 1975–
    91 revolution against the military Derg dictatorship in which the Tigray
    People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), now heading the national government,
    and Tigray’s rural population successfully joined forces. They revitalize
    farmers’ collective memory of this alliance and reinvent the revolutionary
    grassroots institutions through which it was realized. The effects of mobilization
    on participation in development are most evident among farmers
    who are members of the TPLF. A TPLF-development nexus arises, structuring
    local political career opportunities along the lines of development.
    The case study attempts to contribute to an empirical understanding of
    the entanglement of local politics and local development brokerage in rural
    African societies.
    TijdschriftAfrican Affairs
    Pagina's (van-tot)91-109
    Aantal pagina's19
    StatusGepubliceerd - 1-jan-2009

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