Soldiers in business: the pitfalls of METEC’s projects in the context of Ethiopia’s civil-military relations

This article critically chronicles the ascendancy and apparent decline of a business conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC), in post-1991 Ethiopia. Informed by ‘developmental state’ ideology, the political elites managed to create METEC, entrusting it to the military for their use in leading the industrialisation of the country. With a sober analysis of the conglomerate’s engagement in mega-projects in the context of civil-military relations, this article shows that the ‘developmental role’ of METEC has been characterised by extreme delays in projects, with symptoms of financial embezzlement which have led the party-state to reconsider the military’s role in the economy. The article relies primarily on documents, informal discussions and media content analysis.

Title: Soldiers in business: the pitfalls of METEC’s projects in the context of Ethiopia’s civil-military relations
Author: Gebregziabher, Tefera Negash
Year: 2019
Periodical: Review of African Political Economy (ISSN 0305-6244)
Volume: 46
Issue: 160
Pages: 261-278
Language: English
Geographic term: Ethiopia
External link: https://doi.org/10.1080/03056244.2019.1613222
Abstract: This article critically chronicles the ascendancy and apparent decline of a business conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC), in post-1991 Ethiopia. Informed by ‘developmental state’ ideology, the political elites managed to create METEC, entrusting it to the military for their use in leading the industrialisation of the country. With a sober analysis of the conglomerate’s engagement in mega-projects in the context of civil-military relations, this article shows that the ‘developmental role’ of METEC has been characterised by extreme delays in projects, with symptoms of financial embezzlement which have led the party-state to reconsider the military’s role in the economy. The article relies primarily on documents, informal discussions and media content analysis.