Wealth disparity relatively low in Ethiopia, UNDP official

Ethiopia is the 3rd fastest mover of human development, “an enviable position in the World”; it is also the 2nd fastest mover in Africa.

This is according to the 2013 UN Human Development Report Media Launch event in Addis Ababa.

Between 2000 and 2012, Ethiopia’s Human Development Index “increased by a phenomenal 44 per cent”. It is an increase of about 3.1 per cent on average per annum.

Launching the Report for the media in Addis Ababa Eugene Owusu, UNDP Resident Representative Ethiopia, noted “Ethiopia is one such country where significant human development gains have been recorded in recent years.”

Samuel Bwalya, Senior Economist, UNDP Ethiopia, said Ethiopia’s human development is down to massive investments to pro-poor projects and to sound economic policies the government has been committed to for so long now.

By every measure, Ethiopia’s government over 70 per cent budget allocation for health and education, social protection, agriculture, and infrastructure is lifting millions out of poverty, Bwalya asserts. Such investments imply, he added, the policies are pro poor and that is why the improvements are happening in Ethiopia.

Concerning inequality between the poor and the rich, he confirmed Ethiopia’s wealth inequality is at about 0.34 %, which is the lowest rate in the world. That is why it is right to say development in Ethiopia is lifting the poor out of poverty and government is kind of redistributing wealth through tax, claims the launching of the report.

In some countries development hasn’t necessarily been translated to poverty reduction despite robust economic growth. Brazil is unique and offers classical example in translating development to significantly reducing poverty and social development, the launching of the report labeled.

Bwalya said Ethiopia appears to follow the footsteps of Brazil in practically turning economic development to poverty reduction. The huge investments in establishing health stations, schools, and social protection networks are making the difference in Ethiopian human development.

The report on the other hand shows global rebalancing is going on due to the rising of the South, Eugene Owusu reckoned. Brazil, India, and China have become the new pace setters in the global economy and politics though there are still some areas where the statuesque remains.

The shift from the North to the South is interesting; OWUSU said: “UNDP have found this trend worth following, not least because these countries in the South increasingly drive the world’s economic growth, millions of people are being lifted out of poverty.”


Source: Ethiopia Radio and Television Agency – March 15, 2013. Originally titled “Ethiopia 3rd world-fastest in Human Development

more recommended stories