Highlighting Inclusive Growth for Sustainable Human Development in Ethiopia : National Human Development Report Launched

Apr 29, 2015

President Dr. Mulatu Teshome launching the National Human Development Report for Ethiopia with UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Eugene Owusu (far left) and Commissioner Mekonnen Manyazewal, National Planning Commission (far right)


UNDP has launched its flagship National Human Development Report (NHDR) for Ethiopia which computes region-specific human development indices and explores issues that could help in Accelerating Inclusive Growth for Sustainable Human Development in Ethiopia.

The report examines development trajectories over a ten year period, and notes that the country has witnessed double digit growth in recent years. While the growth has been commendable more needs to be done to accelerate the inclusivity of the growth.

The country’s Human Development Index (HDI) ranking stands at 173 out of 186 countries. At the same time,   Ethiopia’s national HDI value has witnessed a 3.5 percent increase annually between 2005 and 2013.   

A key finding of the report is that Ethiopia can move from its current ‘low human development’ designation to a ‘medium human development’ category by 2025 if it sustains the current growth trend.


The report has innovatively computed for the first time the HDI for regions in Ethiopia, which have also shown a marked increase from 2005 to 2013. However, disparities also exist across regions. For instance, Tigray region’s HDI in 2004/5 was 0.397. This has grown to 0.524 in the period 2012/13.  Gambella, an emerging regional state for the same period recorded human development indices of 0.387 and 0.472 respectively. Other regions with HDI values above the national average includes Tigray, Addis Ababa, Gambella,Harari and Dire Dawa.

Delivering his opening remarks at the launch, UNDP’s Resident Representative Mr. Eugene Owusu said “Ethiopia is tackling some very complex development issues and there are bound to be constructive differences over how best to move forward. We produced this report as part of our contribution to that ongoing dialogue on how best to drive inclusive growth and enhance human development in the years ahead.”

Minister Mekonnen Manyazewal, Commissioner of the National Planning Commission, noted that Ethiopian growth had been broad-based and inclusive. However he also noted that “Progress has not been smooth sailing. Poverty is still widespread so we need to accelerate broad-based economic growth and address structural challenges of the Ethiopian economy.”

“Melody works best when there is harmony and that is what inclusive growth is,” reflected Ms. Sara Menkir, Founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, which works with financial institutions, corporations and the public sector to make more informed decisions. She commended Ethiopia for investing heavily in infrastructure but stressed that, “We need to invest in the software as much as we have done in the hardware.”

The role the private sector was also highlighted by all speakers as an important catalyst for sustained growth.

The report’s recommendations outline the need for building fortified linkages between agriculture and manufacturing sectors, promoting private sector support and participation in development initiatives working closely hand-in-hand with Government to both create employment for youth and economic opportunities.

Ethiopian President Dr. Mulatu Teshome noted that, “While we are happy with the progress in tackling the level and severity of poverty, we fully recognize that we still have a long road ahead of us.” He added that, “I am confident that the findings of the report will generate constructive policy dialogue and debate that will further strengthen our responses to enhancing inclusive growth and human development in Ethiopia.”


UNDP’s Human Development Reports are a product of independent research and analysis. The National Human Development Report for Ethiopia was prepared in consultation with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the National Planning Commission, Private sector, CSOs and other stakeholders in order to capture a wide array of views and opinions.

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