Agricultural and Rural Transformation in Ethiopia: Obstacles, Triggers and Reform Considerations

This discussion paper assesses the state of agricultural and rural conditions of Ethiopia; describes the extent, speed and depth of agricultural and rural transformation; and provides policy options for the relevant parties. It is premised on the progress Ethiopia has registered in social, economic and infrastructural development, as well as on policy experimentation over past decades. On average, Ethiopia’s economy has been growing at 10% per annum over the past decade. Progress has also been made in expanding rural and urban roads, from 19,000 km of roads in 1990 to 121,171 km in 2019.Ethiopia has also registered a gross educational enrollment ratio of 27.55 million in 2015/16 of which 1.32 million (some 4.8%) graduate each year expecting to join the labor force. The number of students in various levels of educational establishments is very large, and it is equivalent to, for example, the entire population of Madagascar, or the combined population of Togo, Sierra Leone, Libya and Swaziland. Notwithstanding the continuing need to enhance quality of education, this is a great success story of educational expansion. The vast expansion, however, represents massive demand for jobs across all sectors of the economy.