Speech by President of Ethiopia - Launch of the National Human Development Report for EthiopiaApr 29, 2015
Launch of the
2014 National Human Development Report
H.E. Dr. Mulatu Teshome
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
UN Conference Centre
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,
29 April 2015
Mr. Eugene Owusu, UNDP Resident Representative
H.E. Ato Mekonnen Manyazewal, Commissioner, National Planning Commission
Excellencies Ambassadors and Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Members of the Private Sector, Civil Society and Academia,
Ladies and Gentlemen
All Protocol observed
Allow me to express my sincere appreciation to the UNDP for re-introducing its flagship National Human Development Report for Ethiopia, which we are gathered here today to launch.
The report’s theme “Accelerating inclusive growth for sustainable human development in Ethiopia” is indeed timely and relevant for our country as we strengthen our efforts to eradicate poverty and enhance human development.
I wish to appreciate the fact that the report is produced through independent analysis as this will greatly enrich our perspective on the country’s socio-economic performance and the status of human development over the past decade. The report will also help us explore the regional variations in human development dimensions of life expectancy, education and health outcomes.
As I had the privilege to see an advance copy of the report and review its analysis of the inclusiveness of the past decade’s growth, I also eagerly cast my eyes over the key challenges identified and proposed policy recommendations.
I strongly believe the report will meet its main objective of initiating debate on policy discourse among stakeholders for improvement in human development.
This is the ultimate goal of all countries, but especially so here in Ethiopia, where our ambition is indeed to make sure that the growth achieved is more inclusive and enhances human development.
The Government of Ethiopia recognizes that addressing poverty, deepening democracy and ensuring good governance are critical issues for the survival of our nation. Let me assure you that the Government is proactively taking appropriate measures to address these challenges. In this regard, our efforts have been directed at fighting poverty, strengthening the rule of law, accelerating devolution of power to regional states and lower level administrations, fighting corruption, and ensuring social and gender equality.
We are at the final year of implementing the Growth and Transformation Plan, the third edition of our medium term development plan, which has embedded the MDGs and aims to achieve sustainable strong growth, expand quality education and health services, build a democratic state and ensure stable macroeconomic environment.
The recommendations and key messages emanating from the NHDR can be an important input to encourage national debate and policy discourse in meeting our target of middle-income status country by the year 2025.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
As we all know, Ethiopia has achieved broad-based and double digit economic growth rates for the past eleven consecutive years. We have witnessed a significant increase in national income from Birr 247 billion in 2005 to Birr 627 billion in 2014. As a result, our per capita GDP has increased nearly fourfold from about $171 in 2005 to $632 in 2014. This has helped to markedly reduce the incidence of poverty from 38.7 percent in 2005 to 29.6 percent in 2011 and this figure is estimated to have further declined to about 24.2 percent in 2014. 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.
Ethiopia has already achieved MDG4 target of reducing child mortality and we are on track to achieve five other MDGs. At the same time we are lagging behind on targets on reducing maternal mortality and women empowerment but efforts are underway to accelerate progress on these indicators.
Our strong economic performance will continue to be anchored in pro-poor policies and sound implementation of programmes and strategies that focus on enhancing the quality of life of our people.
We will also strengthen our efforts to enhance employment opportunities by boosting the productive capacity of smallholder farmers, the manufacturing as well as service sectors.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The report highlight some of the deficits and possible areas that require consolidated effort in order to accelerate the inclusivity of the growth and improve the quality of human development.
The Government of Ethiopia believes that ensuring sustainable broad-based growth, investing in human capital development and infrastructure are key to eradicating poverty and improving human development.
More than a quarter of our government’s expenditure is goes to the education sector and over 70 percent is spent on pro-poor sectors. I am happy to note that the National Human Development Report for Ethiopia has highlighted some of the dramatic improvements in health access and gains in the past decade. The increase in life expectancy, as cited in the report, is a clear testimony of the gains achieved so far in the health sector.
We have also made significant public investment in critical infrastructure as key enablers of economic development and specifically to draw in increased private sector investment.
Today Ethiopia has made impressive strides in road infrastructure, and we are investing in rails construction, power generation, telecom expansion and urban housing construction.
There is no doubt that a lot still remains to be done and we shall continue to work together with development partners to scale up investment in infrastructure development as well as human capital to ensure an inclusive and sustainable human development for all our people.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Before I conclude my remarks, allow me to take this opportunity to commend UNDP once again for this very important report which will help deepen policy discourse for enhancing inclusive growth.
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.