Analysing Ethiopian Economy with a Focus on Job and Livelihood (Academic Panel)

Ethiopia documented an impressive economic growth in recent years,with an average annual GDP growth rate of 11% in 2004-2013 . Globalization has brought significant increase in foreign direct investment to Ethiopia,particularly from industries that seek to benefit from the low labor cost in the country. While a significant part of Ethiopia’s economy is liberalized, it is not a free market economy. Ethiopia is a developmental state where government plays a major role in influencing both the level and direction of investment in the economy and other economic activities.
Notwithstanding the rapid economic growth, Ethiopia is still one of the poorest countries in the world and most of its population (73%) currently live in rural areas. In recent years, an increasing population pressure and farmland scarcity has trigger significant rural-urban migration. Unfortunately, job creation in the urban areas has not matched the growing labour supply from both locals and new migrants. This results in high unemployment in urban areas, especially among the youth population (22%).

On the other hand, new questions are being raised with regard to the quality of livelihood for those employed in the expanding labor-intensive factories and industries. While some studies document a positive welfare effect in terms of income, others argue that the health risk possibly outweigh the benefit.

This panel discusses the challenges and opportunities of globalization and a rapidly growing population for the Ethiopian economy with a focus on access to job and decent livelihood.

Sosina Bezu, Senior Researcher, Chr. Michelsen Institute

1. Sosina Bezu (PhD). Senior Researcher. Chr. Michelesen Institute, Bergen, Norway.
Paper title: “Street based self-employment: A poverty trap or a stepping stone for migrant youth in Africa?”

2. Tigabu Degu Getahun (PhD). Research Fellow. Ethiopian Development Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Paper title: “Jobs for women and empowerment: Impacts of the horticulture expansion in Ethiopia.”

3. Stein T. Holden (PhD). Professor. Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
Paper title: “Ostrom’s Design Principles and Youth Group Performance in Ethiopia.”