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Florent Martin12 August 2015


Ethiopia is still one of the least developed countries in the world even if economic growth rapidly increased for a decade. The country is ranked 173rd out of 186 countries in the Human Development Index for year 2013. Ethiopia faces many challenges in terms of delivering basic services, good governance or regional stability. However, the country progressed in reducing the proportion of its population living under the poverty line.


The development objectives of Ethiopia are described in the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and the Climate Resilient and Green Economy strategy (CRGE). In this last document, “The government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is striving to ensure a swift yet equitable and truly sustainable response to economic development and climate change.”  Most sectors are sensitive to climate change effects including flooding, drought and diseases. As a result, climate change adaptation is as much necessary as it is an economic opportunity. The CRGE is very ambitious as its objective is to maintain greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 to its 2011 levels.


The cooperation between European Union and Ethiopia will focus on sustainable agriculture and food security, health, roads and energy.


* The agricultural sector is dominated by rain-fed subsistence farming. Consequently, climate effects like drought might have a strong negative impact on household’s food security. The main objective is to increase agriculture productivity while addressing the pressures on natural resources, adapting to and mitigate climate change. The intensification of agriculture might damage the environment. To mitigate these impacts, environmental assessment will be provided and techniques to increase the efficiency of water use and limit the use of chemicals, for instance, will be mainstreamed.   

* Economic development highly depends on accessibility, especially the development of private sector and agriculture. The road sector needs to be developed to support social and economic growth. The Environmental and Social Management Manual, developed by the Ethiopia Roads Authority, is the main guideline for mainstreaming implementation of all crosscutting issues related to environment.

* The country’s demand for energy, especially electricity, should increase by 20 to 25% per year. Vision for the energy sector is developed in the CRGE strategy paper. It will conduct the implementation of the Environmental Policy of Ethiopia. Projects in the energy sector will be submitted to environmental impact assessments by the Environmental Unit within the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy.

* Health is a sector under a specific Health Sector Development Program providing a strategic framework. The sector progressed over the last decade but did not achieve most health Millennium Development Goals. Climate change will affect both social and environmental aspect of the sector. Measures of adaptation will be required.

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DISCLAIMER: This information is provided in the interests of knowledge sharing and capacity development and should not be interpreted as the official view of the European Commission, or any other organisation.

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