Launch of: Ethiopia| National Human Development Report 2018


H.E. Ambassador Sahlework Zewdie  

President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

December 2018

Mr. Aneas Chuma, UN Resident Coordinator

H.E. Dr. Fitsum Assefa, Commissioner, Planning and Development Commission

Excellency Ministers, Ambassadors

Members of the civil society and the media

Colleagues from the UN System

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives me a great pleasure to be here with you today at the launch of Ethiopia’s fourth edition of the National Human Development Report 2018 written under the theme of “Industrialization with a human face”. The report was prepared by a collaborative leadership and guidance of the Planning and Development Commission and the United Nations Development Programme with wider consultations with all relevant stakeholders.

The main objective of the national human development report is initiating development policy discourse among stakeholders for expanding peoples’ choices that goes beyond improved income. This report has indeed been beneficial in providing evidence based analysis and policy options for accelerating inclusive industrialization with the aim of advancing human development. The report examines the linkages between industrialization and human development are not automatic and hence needs to be managed for better outcome on human development.

Ladies and Gentlemen

As we all are aware, the global community is implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. My Government has also proactively accepted and mainstreamed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the Second Growth and Transformation Plan which is now in its fourth year of implementation.  Ethiopia had also participated in the 2017 voluntary national review process and presented the report to the High Level Forum in New York in July 2017.  Currently, the SDGs needs assessment and costing exercises is in progress which will feed into the formulation of the long term plan of the country that will be fully aligned to the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Eradication of poverty and human capital development have been at the center of Government’s development agenda which is manifested by significant government investments in realizing these objectives. For example, nearly 70% of the public budgetary resource was spent on sectors that are critical to poverty reduction and human development, namely, education, health, agriculture, water, sanitation and roads.

Ethiopia has recorded rapid and broad based economic growth averaged 10.4 percent and commendable social development for the last decade and half.  Per capita income has increased fivefold from US$ 171 in 2005 to US$ 883 in 2018.   This has helped to achieve commendable progress in reducing poverty, improving standard of living and human development.   The proportion of people who live below the national poverty line has markedly declined from 44.2 percent in 2000 to 23.5 percent in 2016.  Similarly, Ethiopia’s human development index has increased by 56 percent in the same period or annually grew by 3.2 percent. Investments on education and health have increased rapidly, explaining the improvements that Ethiopia recorded on human development. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Government of Ethiopia has well recognized that lack of democracy and good governance are critical issues of survival as a nation and has been undertaking deep reform measures.  The new leadership introduced the reform agenda that aims at catalyzing private investment and driving sustainable growth including opening up of key economic sectors to both domestic and foreign private investments and competition.   

The new Prime Minister has also streamlined and reshuffled his cabinet.  Accordingly half of the new cabinet is women and the leadership of other key institutions including myself as head of state are given to women which demonstrates Government’s real commitment to foster gender equality and achievement of SDG 5.

Ladies and Gentlemen

One of the key policy objectives of our Second Growth and Transformation Plan is achieving structural economic transformation.  This can be ensured by improving productivity, quality and competiveness of the domestic sectors namely agriculture and manufacturing industries.  To this effect the Government is committed and exerting concerted efforts to make a break-through, particularly in light manufacturing through the establishment and operationalization of industrial parks and integrated agro-industrial clusters;

This National Human Development Report 2018 picks a timely and very important concern that industrialization efforts must be sustainable and account for human development dimensions. It is assumed that industrial development leads to an improvement in human development, the evidence in this report however indicated that the relationship is not automatically implied.  

Thus the report argues that the industrialization endeavor needs to be

  • Inclusive
  • Create decent jobs
  • Account for gender parity and
  • Ensure environmental sustainability

Ladies and Gentlemen

In conclusion, allow me to take this opportunity to commend the Planning and Development Commission and UNDP once again for preparing this timely report that will contribute to deepening policy discourse for enhancing inclusive industrialization and promoting human development in Ethiopia.

I thank you for your attention



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