The Sustainable Development Goals in Ethiopia
The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection. These are the goals the UN is working on in Ethiopia:
06 August 2021
UNIDO Launches the First Creative Hub in Ethiopia to Support Creative Industries and Entrepreneurship
The Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, along with UNIDO Regional Office Hub and the Federal Small and Medium Manufacturing Industry Promotion Authority, have inaugurated the "Creative Hub - Ethiopia". The Hub has been set up within the framework of the UNIDO project “Phase 2 (Extension) of the Technical Assistance Project for the Up-Grading of the Ethiopian Leather and Leather Products Industry”, financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). In line with UNIDO mandate to enable everyone to reap the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and support the achievement of Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID), the Creative Hub has been designed to foster innovation and economic growth by promoting creativity, digitalization and knowledge sharing. The Hub, located within the premises of the FeSMMIPA in the heart of Addis Ababa, is equipped with advanced machineries and includes co-working areas, laboratories and a Coffee space, or “C-office”. The Hub will provide a wide range of services to designers and innovative entrepreneurs, such as seminars, workshops, trainings, social events, and networking sessions. Moreover, the Hub will offer the possibility to access digital instruments (such as 3D printers for rapid prototyping, laser cutters, a digital library, etc.) and will encourage digital payments with the newly launched “Telebirr”! The Creative Hub will not only be a suitable platform for existing MSMEs as well as new businesses (especially women-owned companies, operators in design, leather, fashion, textile, etc.) to promote product development, sales activities and services, but also a meeting place where they can experiment new solutions and share experiences. The Hub puts creativity at the centre of every decision-making process, as a key to understanding and interpreting the global market and its evolutions. The contribution of the new generations is of paramount importance for mitigating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and rapidly re-inventing a “new normal”, fostered by the digital transformation and a wider sharing of knowledge and expertise. This activity is part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for Ethiopia 2020–2025, under the Strategic Priority 3, Prosperity, whereby: The UN will work towards accelerating the transition to a more inclusive and diversified economy, utilizing a “smart response’’ to and recovery from the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 to improve the pace, scale and quality of the change process. At the core of the UN’s focus will be the development of an enabling environment that can attract investments and boost entrepreneurship as well as enterprise/start-up formation and survival, to generate decent and productive jobs at scale for a young and growing population whilst improving social protection.
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14 July 2021
ILO and its tripartite constituents launched a Decent Work Country Program for Ethiopia
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA) of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia together with the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Union (CETU) and Confederation of Ethiopian Employers Federations (CEEF) colorfully launched the Decent Work Country Program (DWCP, 2021 – 2025) for Ethiopia with the support of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Addis Ababa. In Ethiopia, COVID 19 projected to cause a drop in real economic growth of about 2.8 % in 2020 and trigger price inflation in the country. Women, youth, migrants and persons with disabilities are likely to bear a disproportionate share of the job losses and other negative effects of COVID-19. The government, employers and workers with the support of the International Labour Organization developed the five years Decent Work Countrywide Program as part of mitigating the impact of COVID 19 in particular and to: improve industrial relations, meet labour standards, and promote investment & employment as well as labour market matching in general in the world of work. Furthermore, the program expected to be instrumental in coordinating efforts to alleviate unemployment, improve workplace safety and health conditions, strengthen equity and the right to organize, social dialogue and tripartism, as well as to extend social protection. “The program was developed with collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, representatives of Employers’ and Workers’ Organizations and the ILO and it is aligned with the United Nations System Development Cooperative Framework (UNSDCF II) for Ethiopia”. Said Mr. Alexio Musindo, ILO Director in Ethiopia. DWCP is multi-sectoral and addresses political, social and economic matters in an integrated approach. “The program is aligned to the National Ten Years Perspective Plan, MOLSA’s Ten Year Sectoral Plan and the strategic priorities of the social partners, as well as the Country’s Priority areas such as; People, Prosperity and, Industrial Relations, Social dialogue and tripartism”. Said H.E Ergogie Tesfaye (PhD) Minister of MoLSA. The DWCP was launched with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding among the ILO and tripartite. The implementation of the program demands joint efforts of the Government, Employers, Workers, and the ILO on one hand and requires the support of bilateral, multilateral and development partners on the other hand.
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05 August 2021
Investing in Crossborder Communities
More than 900 out-of-school youth living in the Ethiopia-Kenya border areas of have developed business plans and will be provided with in-kind support by UNDP following entrepreneurship training organized as part of the cross-border integrated programme implemented by UNDP offices in Kenya and Ethiopia with funding provided by the European Union. Kenya and Ethiopia share a long porous border with largely mobile population and low youth employment rate, and weak investments in social services and infrastructures, making the area vulnerable to conflict over scarce resources. The €3.5 million EU funded cross-border integrated programme focused on promoting sustainable peace and socio-economic transformation. The project has invested in local government institutions, young people, and women to bring them on board as key partners in preventing violence, benefit from economic development across the border, reduce civil discontent and promote lasting inter-communal peace. A memorandum of understanding was signed by the representatives of the two governments and UN Country Teams of Kenya and Ethiopia in June 2017 to target the Borena and Dawa Zones on the Ethiopian side of the border and Marsabit Country on the Kenyan side. The five-year programme specifically aimed to: Improve capacity of local governments for preventing conflict and promoting sustainable peace; Enhance peace and strengthen community resilience to prevent conflict and withstand shocks; and Enhance the efficiency and effective delivery of conflict prevention and peace building activities. In July 2021, stakeholders from both countries met in Bishoftu town, Ethiopia, to reflect on achievements, lessons learned, discuss challenges and commitment on the way forward. Relative peace was able to be maintained in the Moyale area and communities were able to develop local conflict early warning systems for target areas. Peace committees on both sides of the border were also trained to deliver on their mandate, while communities were trained on early warning and improved natural resource management. EU funding for the project ended in July 2021. Read more Blog : Kenya and Ethiopia Cross-Border Initiative: A move towards sustainable peace
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27 July 2021
World Refugee Day 2021: The power of education and a young refugee’s dream of giving back
At the age of three, Amule Nixon Raphael was forced to flee his home in Yei, becoming a refugee for the first, but not last time. To date, he has spent 75 percent of his life in exile, in Uganda as a child and young adult and in the last seven years in Ethiopia. Despite the suffering he has endured from an early age, the 32-year-old South Sudanese refugee says the power of inclusion in education has brought him closer to his dreams. “My learning experience at the public primary school in Uganda is the most memorable of my young school days as it gave me the chance to learn side by side with local children. This was what laid a solid foundation for my education, and this highlights the importance of allowing refugees to go to the same school as their host communities,” Nixon said, as he shared his enthralling story at an event in Addis Ababa, commemorating World Refugee which is marked every year on 20 June. Despite the challenges of life as a refugee, I have worked tirelessly over the years to pursue my academic ambitions and get to where I am today,” he continued. The event in Addis Ababa was co-organized by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, ARRA, Ethiopia’s Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs, as well as JRS and WISE – and it was attended by refugees, partners, donors and other stakeholders engaged in the refugee response in Ethiopia. World Refugee Day was also commemorated in all 24 refugee camps across Ethiopia, with a focus on the need for including refugees in national education systems for the benefit of both communities. From panel discussions to art competitions – and quiz shows to sports and cultural performances – all activities highlighted the need to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all, in line with Goal 4 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. With support from UNHCR and other partners, the Government of Ethiopia has been working to improve access to education for refugees and increase refugees’ enrolment in the national education system, as laid out in the country’s 2019 Refugee Proclamation and the Government’s international commitments. UNHCR Representative Ann Encontre took the opportunity to commend the Government for its inclusive policies and encouraging outcomes. She, however, expressed concern that too many refugee children are still out of school and COVID-19 has only exacerbated the situation. “We all need to come together to do more to ensure that even more refugee children get the chance to realize their potential,” she appealed. Of the more than 800,000 refugees in Ethiopia, 52 percent are school-aged children and youth, of whom only 55 percent are currently in school. For young refugee children, who have fled their homes and lives as they know it, a school can be the first place they start to regain a sense of normalcy and safety. And for young refugees living in harsh conditions, education can provide them with the skills and the hope they need, to build a better future for themselves and their communities, including those hosting them. Like many other refugees, Nixon, who last year graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy from the University in Addis Ababa, sees education as a means for giving back to the communities that helped him while in exile as well as to his home country, when he is able to return safely. “Education not only enriches a refugee’s insight or enables the refugee to see every life situation in a positive dimension, but it also gives the refugee tools, skills and knowledge to work and build a future … After losing everything, education is the only golden goblet that the enemy cannot take away from us,” Nixon quiped. The Ethiopian government also offers scholarships to refugee students to study in Government colleges and universities, preparing them to become self-reliant and to contribute to their communities in line with the Global Compact on Refugees. During the current academic year, approximately 800 young refugees from different refugee camps across the country have successfully passed the national university entrance tests, and are awaiting placement in the different public universities.
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02 August 2021
UN Women and Partners Working to Enhance Participation of Women in Politics
Despite actions taken to improve women’s political participation at the National and Regional level, there is a need to strengthen women’s capacity to effectively compete with men in this male dominated political landscape. To empower women candidates and enhance their participation in the 6th General Election, UN Women and Network of Ethiopian Women’s Association (NEWA) provided capacity-building training on Political Leadership and Candidate Training to women candidates running for Federal Parliament and Regional Council levels. More than 381 women candidates have been supported through tailored and targeted interventions focusing on political leadership and campaigning. “Since I do not have much experience in politics, I was afraid of the challenges and obstacles of becoming a political candidate and people not wanting to vote for me only because of my gender” said Mulunesh Sorsa, a candidate in 6th general election, representing the Wolayta People's Democratic Front Party. Head of Planning and Monitoring at the Party Mulunesh have a Master’s degree in Development Policy Analysis. Though she has a passion to participate in politics, she didn’t get the opportunity and training to help her overcome her lack of confidence about her ability to lead in politics. She is grateful for the UN Women led training programme which she attended, and which totally changed her perception about herself and her leadership potential. “The topics on how to identify, approach and motivate voters and supporters helped me understand the effective ways of campaigning. I learned on whom I need to invest my budget and time and assess voters’ needs prior and during campaigns and lobbying. I learned how to minimize risks; ways of promoting my party without attacking other political parties in the process of candidacy,” said Tigist Belachew, a candidate from Wolayta National Movement Party. Tigist also said, “since it is my first time, it felt wrong to be a member of a political party as people consistently questioned my decision to participate in the 6th National Election. But the training opened my eyes and encouraged me to see that I am in the right place. I no longer feel ashamed or fear others when they insult and talk down to me. I can say in confidence that I am still here because of the training.” The training equipped the female candidates on fundraising, campaigning, public speaking, voter outreach skills including on how to strategize for good campaigns in the competitive political system. Topics related to Gender in leadership and decision making were discussed in depth which helped to change the trainees’ attitude towards women in leadership. The topic enhanced participants’ understanding of what an equipped leader looks like. The training is part of a specific project titled “Ensuring Women Participation in Election in Ethiopia” designed by the Network of Ethiopia’s Women’s Associations (NEWA) with the financial and technical support of UN Women Ethiopian Country Office (ECO) in a bid to ensure an increased women’s participation in public and political life in light of the 6th national election took place on 21st June 2021
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