Ethiopia can convert its youth bulge from a political problem into an opportunity

Ethiopia’s youth has come under the spotlight recently for their role in a political protest that is seen to be threatening stability. But Ethiopia’s youth bulge doesn’t need to be a political problem. It can be converted to an economic muscle.

Over the past 12 years Ethiopia has been lauded as one of the fastest growing economies in the world with average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 10.8%. It has also seen a significant decline in poverty. In 2004 it had a poverty rate of 39% which had fallen to 23% by 2015.

But there’s a cloud hanging over the country. In 2016 it was hit by a drought that affected 10 million people. And a new drought has emerged again this year.

2016 also saw an outbreak of political protest. Although things are relatively calmer now, the state of emergency that was declared in October 2016 has been extended.

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