The Ethiopian economy is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. The country has yet to be successful in bringing about a structural transformation, however: manufacturing only contributes 14 per cent to growth, while three-fourths of all employees work in agriculture. As a result of drought, an estimated 5.6 million people will be dependent on food aid in 2017. Nonetheless, Ethiopia plays a key geostrategic role, presenting itself to the West as a security partner in the struggle against terrorist threats in the Horn of Africa region.
In terms of domestic politics, the developmental state is pushing forward with high-profile modernisation projects and is investing in the social infrastructure. In view of high population growth, unemployment is a serious challenge. Priority is assigned to the economic development path. In the 2015 elections, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) - a complex amalgamation of ethnic-based regional parties that has governed the country since 1991 - received 70 per cent of votes cast and as a result of applicable electoral law won all of the seats in the Parliament. A victory that might reflect recognition by the population of the government's successful work, but which also reveals constraints on the opposition.
Against this background, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) encourages an open dialogue on the importance of civil rights and freedoms, societal and political pluralism. The FES has been carrying on with cooperation with its partners for many years. At the heart of its efforts are the establishment of a socially just economic policy, participation in the formulation of the government's development goals and the strengthening of trade union representation of employee interests. The Foundation's office in Addis Ababa was opened in 1992. It has also been in charge of cooperation with the African Union since 2011.
Learn more about our work in Ethiopia on the project's website.