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Seife Ayele

Research Fellow

Seife is a development economist with over 25 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 the principal investigator of the project Renewable Energy Development in Ethiopia which explores obstacles in energy procurement from independent power producers. He is currently a fellow in the Business, Markets and the State cluster at the Institute of Development Studies.

Prior to joining IDS, 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.

PhD supervision

Seife’s two Postgraduate Researchers he supervises and their thesis titles are:

Kyumi Ahn, thesis title ‘Farmers’ social relations and market engagement in the Andean region of Colombia’, and

Amaka Ebekwumonye, thesis title ‘The role and impact of development financing on MSME growth in Nigeria’

Walid Salem

Google Scholar
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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.



Energising renewable electricity procurement in Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s electricity coverage and per capita consumption are among the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa – only 44 per cent of over 110 million Ethiopians have access to electricity. Yet Ethiopia aims to reach 100 per cent energy access by 2030 and meet the UN Sustainable Development Goal:...

Image of Seife Ayele
Seife Ayele & 2 others

10 February 2021



COVID-19 and the African Energy Sector: Energy Insight

As elsewhere in the world, COVID-19 continues to ravage Africa, causing thousands of deaths and an unprecedented health crisis that is damaging to every aspect of the social and economic lives of millions of people. The energy sector is among the hardest hit, with far-reaching consequences for...

1 September 2020

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