Address at 18 months UNDAF Review Meeting
H.E. Ato Ahmed Shide
State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
July 4, 2013, Adama, Kereyu Resort Hotel
Mr. Eugene Owusu, UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Humanitarian Coordinator;
Heads of UN Agencies; Regional Bureau Heads;
Representatives of federal Government institutions;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to be here among you to open this very important meeting which aims to review the contribution of the UN family to the accelerated progress that Ethiopia is making towards the achievements of its long term vision, strategies and goals including the MDGs; focusing on the last 18 months performance of UN supported programs.
As you all know, the Government has adopted Growth and Transformation plan (GTP) to help Ethiopia to undergo a major strategic shift to embark on a transformational growth trajectory to address poverty issues but placing it strongly on the path to become a middle income country within ten years.
The GTP aims to foster broad based development in a sustainable manner to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The Plan envisages a major transformation of the economic structure. As you know the plan has identified key pillars of the strategy that could transform the economy which includes sustaining Economic Growth of past performance, improve agricultural productivity and double agriculture and achieve food security, ensure the fastest growth and significantly increase the share of industry in the economy, enhance the expansion of quality infrastructural development, enhance expansion of quality social development, building capacity and deepening good governance and prompting gender and youth empowerment and equity.
Ethiopia continued to register strong economic growth during the first two years of GTP, amidst challenging global economic environment. Ethiopian Economy grew by 11.4 and 8.5 percent in these periods. These imply that Ethiopia grew on average by about 10 percent per annum during the first two years of the GTP period. This economic growth has made Ethiopia one of the top performers during the period under review. The economic growth registered over the first two years of the GTP period has enabled the country to maintain an average annual economic growth rate of 11 percent over the last nine consecutive years between 2004 and 2012. In order to sustain the rapid growth momentum and achieve the planned target, it has become critical to consolidate the gains in agricultural productivity and expansion of investment in the manufacturing sector in the remaining years of GTP implementation.
The economic growth registered so far has been pro-poor. It is to be recalled that poverty has declined by 9.1 percentage points between 2005 and 2011. As a result of the growth registered over the last two years, the poverty headcount index is forecasted to decline by about 2 percentage points reaching 27.6 percent in 2011/12. Likewise the economic growth has also been creating jobs, although urban unemployment still remains high. Hence poverty reduction remain at the centre of the government's development agenda
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen
The last two years have also witnessed rapid expansion of social services and infrastructure development. Gross enrollment rate in primary education has exceeded 95 percent, while the measures devised to reduce child and maternal mortality have been consolidated. Generally, the progresses in the social sector show that most of the MDGs are likely to be achieved. With the consolidation of the undergoing efforts, the target with regard to reducing maternal mortality could also be achieved. In the social sector improving quality of services and addressing access problems in some pocket areas remain the focus areas over the coming years of the GTP period.
The investments in infrastructure programs have been implemented during the first two years of the GTP period, with resultant improvements in services. The time required to reach to an all-weather road has now declined from 3.7 hours in 2010 to about 2.9 hours in 2012. The electricity service coverage at national level has reached about 49 percent in 2011/12.
Measures that deepen the democratization process and that ensure good governance are also undertaken during the plan years under review with resultant positive outcomes. The government still remains committed to strengthening the democratization process and enhancing of good governance at all levels.
All the aforementioned achievements are the outcome of coordinated efforts of the government, the private sector, civil society organizations, development partners, the UN family and the Ethiopian public at large.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The UN system in Ethiopia has contributed a lot to the achievements of the development results the country enjoyed through both development interventions in the areas of pro poor sectors including health and HIV AIDS, Education, Water, Agriculture, food security and Economic growth, Environment and also building the capacity of the country in the areas of Gender, Governance and Democracy through wide range of interventions all over the country. The UN system is also playing a leading role in addressing the humanitarian need of the country.
We would also like to acknowledge the efforts of the UN to improve its coherence, efficiency and effectiveness through the adoption of UN Deliver as One principle. With the leadership of government, the Delivery as one program is advancing well.
We would like to commend the work of the UN family towards the alignment of the current UNDAF with our Growth and Transformation Plan(GTP), alignment of the UNDAF cycle with the GTP cycle, Harmonization of the annual work plan with that of the government planning and budgeting cycle, the increasing use of harmonized cash transfer modalities by more UN agencies, the adoption of one Program Implementation Manual, the use of public finance system at the sub national levels.
I hope this two days review meeting will come out with UN contribution to the development endeavor of the country.
I wish you fruitful deliberation and I declare that this meeting is officially opened
I thank you for listening.