Ethiopia’s economy grew by an average 10.6 percent annually from 2004 to 2011, which resulted in poverty levels dropping from 38.7 percent of the population to just 29.6 percent during the same period. But it is still considered as one of the least-developed countries in the world and continues to rank low — 173rd out of 186 in 2013 — in the Human Development Index.
Malnutrition is among the biggest challenges in the country. According to the 2011 Demographic Health Survey, stunting is prevalent across 44 percent of children under 5 years old. Easing the strain on natural resources, ensuring inclusive and transformative growth, strengthening basic services delivery and gender equity, promoting democratic governance, and contributing to the regional stability in the Horn of Africa are among Ethiopia’s other key challenges.
To address these challenges, the Ethiopian government launched a growth and transformational plan in 2010, which is set to be implemented until 2015. The plan hinges on seven crucial goals: maintain rapid growth, increase focus on agriculture, foster industrialization, strengthen infrastructure, improve social development, support governance, and empower the youth and women. And through its climate-resilient green economy strategy, Ethiopia aims to maintain its 2011 emission levels through 2030.
As one of the top aid donors to Ethiopia, the European Union has tailored its 2014-2020 national indicative program to help the developing country achieve its goals, among which is to reach middle-income status by 2023.