Ethiopia Reform Plan
In sociological studies, modernization can be defined as the social process where a society’s structure in terms of education, infrastructure and religion are transformed to fit the world’s perspective. This process may involve actions taken by the members of the society to better their lives. It may also include the involvement of experts who come up with strategies, which will improve the livelihood of the people. The role of development strategies or plans is to develop ways and means that a country can use to improve different areas of its social and financial structures. Reform plans have been developed in least developed countries (LDC’s) to provide solutions to the problems they have been experiencing.
Ethiopia is a country in the horn of Africa and is among the largest and most populated countries in Africa. The United Nations (UN) has named Ethiopia as one of the least developed countries in the world (United Nations Capital Development Fund, 2007). Research has identified various challenges, which hinder or slow down development efforts in the country. One of the greatest challenges to development in Ethiopia is the poor structure of the health sector. Infrastructure for the provision of health services is very poor. Hospitals and dispensaries are few and cannot serve the large population. The number of trained health physicians is also very low making it impossible to efficiently serve the people of Ethiopia. Rural areas are the worst affected by the poor health services since people have to walk long distances to get access to health services. Women reproductive health is also very poor especially fro girls and women in rural areas. Unsafe childbirth is common increasing the risk of contracting HIV and other dangerous diseases. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is also an issue that affects most women in Ethiopia (Ramanadhan, Krebede, Mantopoulos, & Bradley, 2010). The practice is instilled in cultural beliefs making it hard for the government to curb the dangerous practice,
Another challenge that faces Ethiopia’s attempts at development is poverty. Many Ethiopians are employed in the informal sector and live below the poverty line. Research shows that over 40% of all Ethiopians live below the poverty line. In addition, job opportunities for the people are few making the situation worse for the people. Continuous increase in the population, which results from high fertility levels, has resulted in increased poverty rates. Moreover, girls are married at an early age before they have completed education and have little or no income. Poverty levels continue to increase as the population grows.
Another challenge facing Ethiopia is illiteracy. Over half of the whole Ethiopian population is illiterate making it difficult for any progress in the strategies formulated by the government. Barriers to the development of the education sector include early marriages, increased interest in working making people lose interest in learning and poverty (Faye, McArthur, Sachs & Snow, 2004). In the rural areas, the scenario is worse because parents do not send their children to school so that they can work and earn money to help the families. In addition, those who are educated move to other countries seeking higher wages for their skills.
Firstly, the problem of poor health services must be addressed by formulation and implementation of an efficient health program. The first process will be to identify key problematic areas where urgent attention is needed. The rural areas should be addressed first since the state they are in is very poor. The government should seek funds from organizations like the United Nations to kick-start the process of building health facilities around the country. However, the current circumstances in the rural areas need urgent attention and the government can collaborate with organizations to provide mobile health services to the people. In addition, the government should seek to employ more trained staff to serve the people. The problem of women reproductive health and FGM should also be addressed urgently. Vigorous campaigns against the practice should be conducted (Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, 2002). These will help create awareness among the people about the negative effects of the practice on women. In addition, the government should create a commission that will partner with other organizations to prevent the spread of HIV. With the help of such strategies, the health sector in Ethiopia would gradually improve.
Poverty and illiteracy are related because the illiterate people are most likely to live in poorer conditions than those who have education. Firstly, there is need for the creation of awareness among the people on the importance of education. This can only be done by enacting rules whereby it is mandatory for children of a certain age to attend school. In addition, it is important for the government to build more schools to ensure that even children from rural areas can access education. Ethiopia is a highly productive nation and with the enactment of agricultural reform, the country can raise the standard of living for the people. The USAID has been collaborating with the government in poverty reduction projects involving the community (Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, 2002). This is an excellent way to improve the economic status of the people. More organizations should be invited to educate farmers on efficient agricultural practices. This will ensure the growth of the agricultural sector, which has the potential of improving the country’s poverty levels drastically.
Ethiopia has the potential of rising from a least developed country to a developed country. The process may take time but with the right strategy, it is possible to achieve the goals defined by the government. Reforms in the health, education and agricultural sector would improve the life of the Ethiopian people.
Faye, M. l., McArthur, J.W., Sachs, J.D., & Snow, T. (2004). The Challenges Facing Landlocked Developing Countries. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 3(1), 31-68.
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. (2002). Ethiopia: Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Program. Addis Ababa: Ethiopia.
Ramanadhan, S., Krebede, S., Mantopoulos, J., & Bradley, E.H. (2010) Network-Based Social Capital and Capacity-Building Programs: an Example from Ethiopia. Journal of Human Resources for Health, 7(8), 33.
United Nations Capital Development Fund. May 23, 2007. Final Ethiopia UNDP Evaluation Report. Woodmead: South Africa.