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‘We suffer to survive’: Exploring adolescent opportunities and challenges in securing decent work and the foundations for economic empowerment in Ethiopia

Research reports

Written by Nicola Jones

Image credit:Nathalie Bertrams/GAGE

Ethiopia has made remarkable development progress over the past two decades: since 2000, the poverty rate has approximately halved, from 46% to 24%, and the primary education completion rate has more than doubled, from 18% to 50%. That said, Ethiopia remains one of the world’s poorest countries, ranked 174 out of 189 countries on the United Nations (UN) Human Development Index and 40% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 80% of the population still depend on agriculture. In addition, economic growth continues to be outpaced by population growth, meaning that unemployment is a growing concern.

This report synthesises findings from the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) programme’s midline data collection to explore patterns in Ethiopian adolescents’ economic empowerment. Focusing on similarities and differences between groups of adolescents and youth with different characteristics, we explore how young people’s access to opportunities for skills building, social protection, age-appropriate decent work, productive assets and financial inclusion allow them to become economically empowered adults.

Authors: Elizabeth Presler-Marshall, Rebecca Dutton, Nicola Jones, Sarah Baird, Tassew Woldehanna, Workneh Yadete with Tsinu Amdeselassie, Guday Emirie, Yitagesu Gebreyehu, Kiya Gezahegne, Abreham Iyasu and Fitsum Workneh