The Legal Framework for Fiscal Decentralization in Ethiopia During the Transition Period

"The political and fiscal model of the TGE is not unfamiliar in the long history of the country. It is more of a relapse into the customary and traditional mode of governance of bygone days. For the major part of the nation's history, the system of governance as well as the fiscal arrangement were closer to the federal structure under which warlords enjoyed complete autonomy over the regions they controlled. The minimum that the emperors required and the maximum the warlords were willing to concede was the payment of tribute and acknowledgement of the supreme political authority. Something of that nature is what is attempted by the current regime. What is significantly different is the flow of resources. Under the traditional regime resources were shared from the bottom to the top; the flow is reversed under the current arrangement. The true measure of regional autonomy is the degree of fiscal independence the regional governments enjoy. The more resources they control, the more autonomous they are and vice versa. This paper evaluates the degree of fiscal independence conferred upon and possessed by the regional governments by focusing on the legal framework providing for fiscal decentralization."