News / Africa

Development Improves in Ethiopia, but Just Slightly

Karsi Tadicha and her children stand next to their house in Bule Duba village, on the outskirts of Moyale, Ethiopia, June 2009.
Karsi Tadicha and her children stand next to their house in Bule Duba village, on the outskirts of Moyale, Ethiopia, June 2009.
Marthe van der Wolf
The United Nations Development Program has released its 2013 Human Development Index. Despite recent economic growth, Ethiopia is still near the bottom of the index.
 
Ethiopia ranks 173 out of 187 countries in the Human Development Index 2013, unveiled by the United Nations Development Program, UNDP, on Friday.  

The Index is part of the Human Development Report that is presented annually and measures life expectancy, income and education in countries around the world.
 
Since 2000, Ethiopia has registered greater gains than all but two other countries in the world - Afghanistan and Sierra Leone.  But it still ranks close to the bottom of the Index.
 
However, Samuel Bwalya, an economic advisor for UNDP, says that not only the ranking is important.
 
“I think what matters in the index is how you’re moving, your own human development progress within the country, so you’re moving from 0.275 to 0.378, that movement is what matters," said Bwalya. "It means that your country is making progress in human development.  Now the ranking depends on how other countries are also faring.”

This year's Human Development Report focuses on the major gains made since 2000 in most countries in the global South.  

UNDP believes sub-Saharan Africa can achieve higher levels of human development if it deepens its engagement with other regions of the South.
 
But those countries must overcome many challenges, such as low life expectancy, high levels of inequality and the growing threat for environmental disasters that could halt or reverse the recent gains in human development.
 
Bwalya says that government policies are central to human development in Ethiopia:
 
“The most important is to continuously commit to two policy arenas: the economic program in the country is robust and the government should have continuous commitment to development," he explained. "The second is that it should continue the social protection program that has been so important in reducing poverty.”

While the Human Development Report and Index celebrate improvements across the developing world, a hard fact remains - 24 out of the 25 lowest ranked countries are on the African continent.

You May Like

Photogallery Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had earlier warned storm could be one of worst the city has ever faced More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
March 21, 2013 4:10 AM
Ethiopian government need to help the small farmers materially, financially and provide them with training on how to farm better. Taking their land by force and giving to foreigners is a grave error. Every developed country subsidizes and helps their farmers to this day; case in point US and France. Ethiopian government instead of borrowing to its teeth to build sky scrapers in the capital; it needs to refocus its priority on the wellbeing of its citizens. As the writer described it well, the alleged two digits economic growth is not shared by the majority of the people in the country.

The gov. need to focus in improving the basic quality of life for its citizens by implementing a social safety net to protect, support and empower the most vulnerable parts of the society. These people who need a lending hand are the street kids, the elderly, the sick physically and mentally and the yang women who are living the country in scores every day to Arab countries to make a living and faced with sub human working condition, physical and mental abuse and rape. I suggest to all my colleges to be the voice for the voiceless and encourage the gov. to change its course to address this issues promptly.


by: Sam
March 16, 2013 6:09 PM
@Martha van der Wolf

One correction, Ethiopia's current overall index is .396, it's not .378 as reported above. Please correct it.


http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/ETH.html


For more detail on Ethiopian Human Index Status and progress, compare the graph at the bottom of the page with other Sub-Saharan countries....you will find Ethiopia's status and progress compares pretty good with others except on adult literacy rate, mainly.

In Response

by: behailu
March 18, 2013 11:44 AM
The root problems of massive displacement of people to sell their lands to foreigners (the LAND GRABING) remains to be a big challenge to improve the human development index. The huge aid and loan could not bring significant change becuase of bad governance, party-lead corruption and bad policy.


by: Sam
March 16, 2013 5:50 PM
@Martha van der Wolf............If you look at the report closely, there is a significant improvement it terms of income compared to other African countries progress. In fact income per capita is approaching the Sub-Shahran average very fast. But what is still holding Ethiopia's Human Index is the education sector which is significantly lower than the average Sub-Sharan countries' mainly due to higher proportion of illiteracy rate among adults , and to the lesser extent due to lower number of years of formal education among the young. If you look at the graphs, Ethiopia's position pretty good in relation to other Sub-Sharan African countries except the education sector..ie. if you believe the UN report on Ethiopia's education sector especially the illiteracy rate among adults. They might be overestimating the illiteracy rate among the adults...or they could be accurate.


by: Alem
March 16, 2013 10:13 AM
"Just slightly" and not as advertised. I will bet any journalist worth their salt to go on location and report if indeed 29% of the population has been pulled out of poverty in the past decade or if British aid has provided access to potable water to 300,000 Ogadenis and employment to 700,000 of them or if the Saudi Al Amoudi created 5,000 jobs as promised on whose grazing land he is growing rice and such for the Royal Saudi granaries. If Ethiopian rulers have advertised "fast track" development is taking place in the country and the people are enjoying their freedoms then it is only fair on their part to allow independent journalists to come in take pictures and report widely to donor publics that taxpayers dollars are making a difference in far off corners of the world. This is simple humanitarian concern and no partisan politics. In other words, if Marthe or some journalists hop the plane to Ogaden or Gambela and meet locals and congratulate them on their employment opportunities and access to health and safe drinking water what reaction would they be getting? Are the millions of aid money collected in their name getting to them? Even if these populations are illiterate and simple folk they sure would know enough to tell inquirers if water has come to their village.


by: Hagazi Kebede from: Culpeper, VA
March 15, 2013 4:54 PM
Development plans and efforts in Africa are mainly for cities and towns. Incentives and expenditures to the hinterland dwellers are miniscule. With unabated inflation and the sons and daughters of farmers and pastoralists gravitating to towns and cities for greater opportunity, any so called gains are breeding grounds for future discontent and lives of crime. As the article states even the gains are disappointingly low.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid