Press Release

The Ethiopian government recently unveiled an ambitious “Homegrown Economic Reform” agenda, which, as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said, “aims to propel Ethiopia into becoming the African icon of prosperity by 2030.” One of the agenda’s priorities is increasing domestic resource mobilisation to finance sustainable development.

Although the Ethiopian government has undertaken several reforms to improve tax policy and modernise revenue administration in recent years, significant challenges remain. Ethiopia’s tax-to-GDP ratio averaged only 12% between 2010 and 2017, below the 15% generally deemed necessary to fund adequate public services such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure.

Key to addressing these challenges is rigorous research that can inform both policy and practice. To this end, the Ethiopian Tax Research Network (ETRN) was established in 2017. The ETRN is hosted by the Policy Studies Institute (PSI), coordinated by the International Centre for Tax and Development, and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The ETRN is holding its third annual meeting at the Capital Hotel in Addis Ababa on November 18th. The Network brings together stakeholders including the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Revenues, the Addis Ababa University, and the Ethiopian Civil Service University (ECSU).

Dr. Lemma Gudissa, Academic Vice President of the ECSU, will open the meeting. As he says, “Much remains to be done to improve our country’s tax system, including making better use of available data to improve compliance, modernising business processes, rationalising tax incentives, and improving the taxation of multinational businesses. Research has a crucial role to play in supporting policymakers and revenue officials in their reform decisions.”

The keynote address will be delivered by the Commissioner General of the Rwanda Revenue Authority, Mr. Pascal Ruganintwali. The meeting will feature two research and policy panels, with presentations of research conducted by ETRN members. See the full programme here.

All individuals with an interest in taxation in Ethiopia are invited to attend, including members of the press.

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For media enquiries, please contact Rhiannon McCluskey at [email protected] or at +44 747 636 0064.

Notes to editors:

The International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) is a research network improving the quality of tax policy and administration in sub-Saharan Africa. It works with African partners to collaboratively generate policy-relevant research and build African research capacity in the area of taxation. For more, see: and follow @ICTDtax

The Ethiopian Tax Research Network (ETRN) supports the generation and exchange of tax knowledge in Ethiopia by: 1) Providing a platform for knowledge exchange and evidence-based debate on tax issues, through seminars and conferences 2) Facilitating coordination and complementarity between existing projects and actors active in the area of tax in Ethiopia, and 3) Providing funding for high quality, policy-relevant research mainly or wholly led and undertaken by Ethiopian researchers. For more, see: The ETRN hashtag is #ETRNtax

The Policy Studies Institute (PSI) is a semi-autonomous research think-tank engaged in economic research and policy analysis, bridging research and policy capacity, knowledge dissemination and exchange, and consultancy. It was founded by merging two state-owned think tanks in Ethiopia, Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) and Policy Study and Research Centre (PSRC). For more, see: