Economic transformation has been part of Ethiopia’s political agenda since the beginning of the 20th century. All governments have sought to realize structural economic transformation with different approaches. Since 2014, structural shifts have been introduced to diversify the economy from agriculture to industry and service sectors. Despite first positive effects, agriculture still employs 79 percent of the overall population. Transforming the agricultural sector, improving productivity, and creating linkages with the industry therefore has always been and are prominently on the economic reform agenda.
Despite rapid economic growth rates in the last decade, multi-dimensional poverty in Ethiopia remains high. In addition, Ethiopian has experienced high and sustained inflation rates over the past years which many experts view as threatening the sustainability of Ethiopia’s economic progress. In September 2019, the government of Ethiopia came up with an economic transformation agenda to turn the overall positive economic figures into broad-based, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth that is beneficial to all members of society. This ambitious reform plan means to leverage the achievements of the past, address newly emerging challenges, create new opportunities, and upgrade policy and institutional frameworks to find a home-grown solution from within Ethiopia to lift past successes to the next level.
Against the tremendous challenges a country of the size of Ethiopia with the second biggest population on the continent is facing, economic transformation remains a demanding and long-term challenge. Apart from a strong political vision for a reform agenda, it requires both human and financial resource and support from all stakeholders and members of society. FES Ethiopia therefore works closely with research institutes, think tanks, government institutions, policy makers, and different stakeholders from society like trade unions and non-governmental organization to support the reform process and economic transformation in line with the vision of FES Global. In doing so, we provide platforms for consultation and the building of alliances, commission studies to inform discussions and policy making and provide access to our regional and international experts for exchange of ideas and creating of strong alliances for transformative change.