Over the 15 years since the country’s last National Human Development Report (NHDR) was published Ethiopia has undergone significant economic and social changes and has recorded some of the highest growth rates in the world-over 10 per cent in some years. However, Ethiopia’s Human Development Index (HDI) and its relative ranking have not moved appreciably during the past decade. Even though Ethiopia is one of the 10 countries globally that has attained the largest absolute gains in its HDI over the last several years, it still ranks 173rd out of 186 countries in the latest UNDP Human Development Report.
This report is a national assessment of the preparation and participation of women and girls in the knowledge society in Ethiopia. Informed by the belief that women should have equal access to technologies and participate fully in the knowledge society, it employs the Women in Global Science and Technology’s (WISAT) Gender Equality and the Knowledge Society framework (GEKS), a tool that assesses the readiness and status of girls and women in science, technology, and innovation globally. GEKS incorporates indicators that relate not only to the ability of women and men to participate in STI, but also the conditions for socioeconomic and political development that determine the ability of both women and men to contribute to the knowledge society.
Ethiopian society, economy and environment are so intimately interlinked that systematic attention is essential if clashes are to be resolved and synergies realized. For example, the majority of poor people are principally dependent on agriculture but, in turn, society is dependent on farmers managing land well to sustain water supplies, biodiversity and other environmental services. Such relationships are dynamic and increasingly intense: climate change, rising population, resource scarcities and price volatilities put them all under pressure. An integrated perspective that works operationally is needed – one that makes economic, social and environmental sense and that inspires stakeholders. The holistic approach that the Ethiopian Government has recently developed aims to tackle the problems inherent in growth paths that produce environmental problems, and to realize potentials from investing in Ethiopia’s natural assets. For example, the country’s agricultural products and potential for green hydroelectric power are unique attributes that could drive development in ways that are environmentally sound and provide new jobs and satisfying livelihoods.
This research project addresses three intersecting issues where it has been acknowledged that there is too little empirical knowledge: the transmission mechanisms linking global trade in agricultural products with poverty reduction; the functioning and significance of rural labour markets in low-income countries; and the labour market dimensions of Fairtrade certification. The Fairtrade, Employment and Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia and Uganda (FTEPR) research team, based at SOAS, University of London, set out to develop and apply innovative, careful research methods in order to gather analytically useful, policy relevant evidence on these issues.
Economic inequality has worsened significantly in Malawi in recent years. In 2004, the richest 10 percent of Malawians consumed 22 times more than the poorest 10 percent. By 2011 this had risen to see the richest 10 percent spending 34 times more than the poorest. Yet even this shocking statistic is likely to be a significant underestimate1. Anyone who has seen the many large mansions springing up on the edges of Lilongwe and Blantyre, and the plethora of new shopping malls being opened, knows that conspicuous consumption amongst the richest is dramatically growing. Malawi’s Gini coefficient, the key measure of inequality, also shows the extent to which robust economic growth is benefiting the rich whilst leaving the poor behind. In seven years of impressive growth, the Gini has leapt up from 0.39, on a par with Cameroon, to 0.45, on a par with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Five years ago Ethiopia embarked on a bold journey of growth and transformation. The preparation and launch of the First Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP I) marked a key point of departure on the road of Ethiopia’s growth and transformation. Its vision, bold targets and the design of relevant polices and strategies to realize those goals galvanized and inspired the nation. Past development outcomes combined with the motivating and mobilizing power of GTP I became a great force for accelerating its implementation.
As a result, committed Government and Ethiopians across the country contributed and enhanced the implementation of defining programs and projects of GTPI. These efforts helped GTP I performance to take Ethiopia to a new height.
Food prices maybe regressive in the sense that the poor compared to the non-poor pay more for food (e.g. Attanasio and Frayne, 2006; Beatty, 2010; Gibson and Kim, 2013).
Reasons for this poverty penalty (see e.g. Muller (2002) and Mendoza (2011)); Serving the poor may be more costly, the poor face greater liquidity constraints(They buy food in small quantities, hence not enjoy quantity/bulk discounts which leads to higher unit prices), liquidity constraints and a lack of proper post harvest storage facilities or a combination of both( the poor to buy food at suboptimal periods), Higher search costs (poor paying more for food)
Malawi continues to face rising numbers of people infected by HIV with approximately one million adults and children currently infected. With Global Fund resources, Malawi aims to provide anti-retroviral therapy (ART) to at least 50,000 people over a 5-year period (depending on the cost of drugs and infrastructure capacity). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10-15% of all HIV positive people will progress to AIDS at any given point in time. Based on this about 100,000 to 150,000 Malawians would need ART at any one time, hence there is an enormous shortfall. The challenge will be to decide who should have access to ART given the limited resources.
The flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in agriculture to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) has increased substantially since 2007. The global food, energy and financial crisis motivated developed countries rich in capital but limited in land resources to invest in poor countries with abundant natural resources (GRAIN 2008). Especially, the 2007/08 price boom in food commodities has motivated food import dependent countries to look for option to produce food commodities in countries where there are abundant land and water resources as their food security strategy (IFPRI 2009; World Bank 2011). Zoomers (2010), in her article of “globalization and the foreignisation of space”, extended the drivers of global land grabs into seven different processes. There are mixed views whether such investment activities are beneficial to target countries. Some argue that FDI in agriculture will create opportunity for “sustained” and “broad-based development” through enhancing technology transfer, increasing domestic availability of food supply and creating employment opportunities provided that inward investment is well-managed (World Bank 2011). Others (Mersha 2009; Grojnowski 2010; Fitzgerald 2010; Rice 2009; Mihretie 2010; McLure 2009) criticized it as “land grabbing”, “bio-colonialism”, “agro-colonialism” etc. Except some media reports, little has been done following a standard and scientific procedure with adequate empirical data to verify whether such large scale land acquisitions in Ethiopia are opportunities or challenges to sustainable and equitable development to the country. This research is aimed at identifying the impact of large scale farm land acquisition by trans-national investors on equitable and sustainable development in Ethiopia.
The 2013 Human Development Report presents Human Development Index (HDI) values and ranks for 187 countries and UN-recognized territories, along with the Inequality-adjusted HDI for 132 countries, the Gender Inequality Index for 148 countries, and the Multidimensional Poverty Index for 104 countries. Country rankings and values in the annual Human Development Index (HDI) are kept under strict embargo until the global launch and worldwide electronic release of the Human Development Report.
It is misleading to compare values and rankings with those of previously published reports, because the underlying data and methods have changed. Readers are advised in the Report to assess progress in HDI values by referring to table 2 (‘Human Development Index Trends’) in the Statistical Annex of the report. Table 2 is based on consistent indicators, methodology and time-series data and thus shows real changes in values and ranks over time reflecting the actual progress countries have made. Caution is requested when interpreting small changes in values because they may not be statistically significant due to the sampling variation. Generally speaking, changes in third decimal of all composite indices are considered insignificant.