Ethiopia shows “developing countries how to make a green economy prosper”


Ethiopia is emerging as an exemplary model to the rest of the world in terms of addressing climate change challenges while making advances on the economic front, Fritz Jung, the representative of bilateral development cooperation at German Embassy to Addis Ababa, told Inter Press Service (IPS).

He also said that the international community identified Ethiopia as “one of the front-runners of international climate policy, if not the leading African country.”

The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that “maximum and minimum temperatures over equatorial East Africa will rise and … climate models show warming in all four seasons over Ethiopia, which may result in more frequent heat waves.”

To prevent this, the report recognized Ethiopia as one of the countries that have “adopted national climate resilience strategies with a view to applying them across economic sectors.”

Massive infrastructural development on untapped renewable energy resources was also at the heart of this strategy to harmonize both the objectives of poverty reduction and sustainable ecosystem.

Fritz Jung described the country’s Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy as a “proof of Ethiopia’s visionary engagement for combining socio-economic development as well as environmental sustainability.”

The partnership between the government of Ethiopia and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German government-backed international enterprise for sustainable development, on the Sustainable Land Management Programme (SLMP) resulted in the restoration of 250,000 hectares of degraded land in Ethiopia’s highland areas of Amhara, Oromia and Tigray to productivity since 2008.

This success has come to a reality as a result of the promotion of sustainable land management practices such as the use of terracing, crop rotation systems, and improvement of pastureland and permanent green cover, benefiting more than 100,000 households.

Johannes Schoeneberger, head of GIZ’s involvement, told IPS that “SLMP with its holistic approach increases water availability for agriculture and agricultural productivity and thus contributes directly and indirectly to an increased climate resilience of the rural population.”

With regard to the issue of achieving economic growth and environmental sustainability, Yvo de Boer, director general of Global Green Growth Institute said, “Ethiopians can give answers whereas often in industrialized countries people aren’t sure what to do…..Ethiopians should be asked.”

Ethiopia’s Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy was launched in 2011 to achieve middle-income status by 2025 while developing a green economy.