Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest countries, but hopes to become a lower-middle-income country by 2025.
It is on track to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world (based on a 2010–2014 average), albeit from a low base. It has reduced poverty in both urban and rural areas, from 55.3% of Ethiopians living in extreme poverty in 2000 to 33.5% in 2011. It has quadrupled primary school enrollments, halved child mortality, and doubled the number of people with access to clean water.
In 2015–16 El Niño caused the worst drought in 30 years, leaving millions of Ethiopians in danger of starvation. In October 2016 the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn declared a state of emergency after Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups protested against the Tigrayan-controlled government. The government has arrested between 20,000 and 70,000 people.
Ethiopia is home to the African Union and is influential in mediating African conflicts. Ethiopia was a founding member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); and is a member of the Intergovernmental Development Authority (IGAD) which has a focus on early warning systems for conflict and disaster in the region.
Trade between Australia and Ethiopia is small, but Ethiopia is endowed with mineral resources and is keen on bilateral investment and sharing expertise. Australia provides training through scholarships and study tours to Ethiopia, with a focus on extractives and agriculture.
- Developing locally appropriate agroforestry systems for semi-arid and sub-humid regions that can help farmers improve food security and livelihoods, diversify their farming systems, enhance climate resilience, and support improved land management practices across farming landscapes
- Improving market access for agroforestry products
- Strengthening community private-sector partnerships through Innovation Platforms