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Seife Ayele

Research Fellow

Seife is a development economist with over 20 years’ experience in research, teaching and development practice. His work focuses on agricultural commercialisation and mechanisation, enterprise development and youth employment, political economy analysis, value chains and industrial policy. He leads the Matasa Fellows Network – a joint initiative of The MasterCard Foundation and Institute of Development Studies – that supports young African researchers to develop policy-relevant research in youth employment. He is currently a fellow in the Business, Markets and the State cluster at the Institute of Development Studies.

Prior to joining the Institute, he directed programmes in Ethiopia providing access to and adoption of improved agricultural technologies by smallholder farmers. He has also held a Research Scientist position at the International Livestock Research Institute, in Nairobi; and a Research Fellow position at the Open University, UK. He has led and conducted significant research in Africa and Asia, and has extensively published in the areas of agricultural innovations and technology adoption, biotech crops regulation and enterprise development. His external roles have included membership of steering committees for international research and contribution to policy consultation processes. He is a member/associate member of networks and professional societies.

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Business and Development Centre

The Business and Development Centre (BDC) brings together thinking from business, economics, political science and development studies to tackle critical questions on the role of business in development, focusing initially on agriculture, food and nutrition, the green economy and public health.



A network of young African scholars for sustainable development

Addressing Africa’s sustainable development challenges, including job creation for the continent’s burgeoning youth population, means preparing young African professionals for future roles as development leaders and change agents. Launching today is the IDS Bulletin on “Youth Employment...

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Seife Ayele & 3 others

28 November 2018



Smallholder Data: What Information Does the Private Sector Collect About Smallholders, How Can it be Improved, and How is it Relevant to the SDGs?

This summary presents findings from a DFID research funded project, covering the data that is currently collected by agribusinesses and their financiers about smallholders across six value chains in three countries: Ethiopia, Kenya and Malawi. Eighteen actors completed questionnaires or engaged...

31 December 2018


Youth Employment and the Private Sector in Africa

IDS Bulletin 49.5

Globally, governments, development agencies, and inter-governmental institutions have invested heavily in skills-building interventions seeking to enhance the employability of youths. However, policy actors are becoming more aware of the shortcomings of skills-building interventions, and...

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Seife Ayele & 4 others

28 November 2018

Seife Ayele’s recent work


Tackle underemployment AND unemployment in Africa argues IDS Bulletin

As 12 million young people enter the African labour force each year, there are only 3 million new jobs for them (pdf). The major challenge is not just about creating enough jobs for them, but on creating ‘decent’ jobs, argues the new IDS bulletin. https://youtu.be/Lb-xvl7DUhg The...

28 November 2018