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Urban food retail in Africa: The case of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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  • Woldu, Thomas
  • Abebe, Girum
  • Lamoot, Indra
  • Minten, Bart

Abstract

We study food retail in Addis Ababa, one of the biggest cities in Africa. Based on a primary survey of food retail outlets selling cereals, fruits and vegetables, and processed foods, we note high variation in quality and prices in the city and an increasing differentiation in food retail markets in recent years. On the high-end, we see the emergence of domestic (as foreign direct investment in retail is not allowed) private modern retail outlets that deliver high quality products at high prices and that focus mostly on wealthier areas and consumers. At the other side, we see cooperative retail that delivers food at controlled and subsidized prices. The latter shops are characterized by typical price control policy problems, reflected in regular lack of supplies and queuing. It seems that food retail markets would be improved by stimulating the emergence of a competitive private retail sector, the abolishment of price controls, and targeted subsidies or safety nets for the poor.

Suggested Citation

  • Woldu, Thomas & Abebe, Girum & Lamoot, Indra & Minten, Bart, 2013. "Urban food retail in Africa: The case of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia," ESSP working papers 50, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:esspwp:50
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    Cited by:

    1. Minten, Bart & Tamru, Seneshaw & Engida, Ermias & Kuma, Tadesse, 2013. "Ethiopia’s value chains on the move: The case of teff:," ESSP working papers 52, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Danielle Resnick & David Tschirley & Thomas Reardon & Michael Dolislager & Jason Snyder, 2015. "The Rise of a Middle Class in East and Southern Africa: Implications for Food System Transformation," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 628-646, July.
    3. Benson, Todd & Engida, Ermias & Thurlow, James, 2014. "The economywide effects of teff, wheat, and maize production increases in Ethiopia: Results of economywide modeling:," IFPRI discussion papers 1366, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Douglas Gollin, 2014. "The Lewis Model: A 60-Year Retrospective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 71-88, Summer.
    5. Assefa, Thomas Woldu & Minten, Bart, 2015. "Can agricultural traders be trusted? Evidence from urban coffee markets in Ethiopia:," ESSP working papers 72, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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    Keywords

    cooperative retail; Food retail; modern private retail; urban markets;

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