May 28 Marks the beginning of a new path for Ethiopia
28 May, 2012 marks the 21st anniversary of the over throw of the dictatorial military regime in Ethiopia. It is a day when the people of Ethiopia triumphed against tyranny, and repression through their unyielding struggle and lay down the foundation 3 for political, economic and social transformation.
Since May 1991 Ethiopia started the stride towards democratization, economic liberalization, social reform with a view of eradicating poverty, underdevelopment and transforming the society. Thus the Government was restructured from Unitary to that of Federal system where individual as well as group rights of the many ethnic groups are acknowledged. Further more, a sound macro economic policy coupled with pro-poor social policies are implemented.
As a result the Country has registered an average of 11% GDP annual growth rate consecutively for the past eight years, which made the Country the 3rd fastest growing economy in the world as referred by various international institutions. It is also the fastest growing among the non oil producing sub- Saharan African Countries.
Because of all inclusive and sustainable economic growth, Ethiopia managed to reduce the number of people living below poverty line by 4 million since 2004, and the Gini-coefficient inequality of Ethiopia is about 0.29, which means Ethiopia not only registered rapid economic growth but the income from the economic growth has been redistributed equitably.
The Economist Magazine in its publication of 24 May 2012 stated that Ethiopia, together with other few African Countries, reduced fertility and child mortality rate to a significant degree. Thus under 5 child mortality rate in Ethiopia has gone down from 101/1000 in 2010 from 123/1000 in 2005 while maternal mortality rate has declined from 871/100000 in 2005 to 470/100000 in 2011.
The achievement in Education is also remarkable that to day almost every school age child is able to attend school which made Gross Enrolment Ratio to reach more than 96% and the number of higher education institutions has reached 31 from a mere 2 within a period of 15 years. Currently about 20 million students are able to go to school compared to only 1.8 million students 20 years ago.
In the area of Foreign Relations, Ethiopia plays active role in International and Regional Issues. Particularly in Africa and the region of the Horn, Ethiopia’s significant role as a promoter of peace and cooperation is widely commended by the International Community. The active task which Ethiopia is undertaking in Somalia and the Region in fighting Terrorism has affirmed the Country’s commitment for a peaceful and just international order.
The Government of Ethiopia has set up a grand five year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) for the year 2010/11-2014/15 which aims to make Ethiopia a middle income country by 2020-25
The excellent political and economic relation that is being witnessed currently with India is second to none.
In addition to India’s support to Ethiopia on the basis of the India- Africa Cooperation Forum Summit decisions, various bilateral arrangements between the two sides are contributing for the fast growing economy of Ethiopia. Particularly India’s engagements in the Sugar and Rail way sector have direct impact in expediting the pace of development of the country.
The Trade Agreement signed between the two countries in 2007 provides for the establishment of Joint Trade Committee ( JTC) . Total trade volume between Ethiopia and India is in the range of 660 million USD. Making India the 3rd most important source of Ethiopia’s import. This trade volume is expected to reach at 1 billion USD by 2015.
Investment from Indian companies to Ethiopia has now reached to more than 5.7 billion USD. Currently Indian Companies have set up 573 projects in Ethiopia.
India’s role in human capacity building particularly in higher learning sector supports Ethiopia’s strategic target of expanding high quality education to meet the demands of the fast growing economy of the country. Currently there are more than 300 Ethiopian students under Government programme students and about 200 private students. Indian lecturers are also teaching in various universities in Ethiopia while different Indian and Ethiopian Universities are linked through virtual education.
With 21 years of stride in the path of democratization and economic development, Ethiopia has practically affirmed to the world its determination and commitment to be a middle income country by 2020, and to become an active player in regional and international Affairs.