U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.


Please provide an overview of corruption and anti-corruption in Ethiopia: the political abuse of anti-corruption efforts, the link to human rights and the situation with political clientelism.


Sustained corruption and human rights violations have caused widespread unrest in Ethiopia since 2015. A change in the country’s leadership in 2018 provided Ethiopians with hope of a change to the status quo. Corruption exists in various forms, including but not limited to clientelism, kleptocracy, rent seeking and state capture. While anti-corruption laws remain strong in principle, they are not implemented adequately. The executive maintains control over the judiciary and legislature.


  1. Background
  2. The Emerging Political Settlement
  3. Overview of corruption in Ethiopia
  4. Legal and institutional anti-corruption framework
  5. References

Main points

  • Ethiopia remains a closed political space, with the ruling coalition retaining all federal and regional parliamentary seats, and silencing any opposing voices.
  • Corruption remains a pervasive issue, and the new prime minister has pledged to make addressing it a priority.
  • Widespread human rights violations and ensuing impunity of the abusers seems to be the norm.
  • Ethiopia’s commitment to anti-corruption needs to be backed up by investing in building the capacity of institutions with anti-corruption mandates.


Kaunain Rahman


Monica Kirya, U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre




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