The level of education is low in Ethiopia.
Only half of the adults can read and write. Then,
however, there has been a rapid improvement in recent
years. The school system has been extensively expanded
during the 2000s and 2010s and most children now attend
school for at least a few years.
State grants for education more than doubled in a few
years in the early 2000s. Just before the turn of the
millennium, only one in three children attended school
at all. Nowadays, most children start school and just
over half complete the first eight-year stage, which
must be compulsory and free of charge.
Country facts of Ethiopia, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
However, according to critics, the aim has been too
focused on quantity - the number of children in school -
at the expense of the quality of education, at all
levels. The regional differences are also large.
The children should start school at the age of seven.
Slightly more boys than girls receive formal education,
but the gap has narrowed considerably. The proportion of
children who continue to the corresponding high school
and upper secondary school has also increased in the
2000s and 2010s and amounts to just under a third. Here,
too, there are more boys than girls.
The teacher shortage is large and the classes very
large, especially as the number of children in school
has increased so rapidly. Reading and writing skills are
particularly low among women. Distance learning is
provided for adults.
Children have traditionally been taught in Amharic.
Nowadays, states can choose local languages in
schools, but materials are often scarce. English is the
language of instruction in the upper classes and in
universities and colleges.
The country's largest university is located in Addis
Ababa. There are a number of state and private
universities and other higher education institutions. In
college, male students are twice as many as women.
- Topmbadirectory: Offers information about politics, geography, and known people in Ethiopia.
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
85.4 percent (2015)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
49.0 percent (2015) 1
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
27.1 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
27.1 percent (2015)
- Source: UnescoSources
Advice for reconciliation is formed
Ethiopia sets up a reconciliation council to find a solution to the ethnic
contradictions and put an end to the ethnically motivated violence. According to
the UN, at least 2.4 million people have been fleeing ethnic violence in
Ethiopia since Prime Minister Abiy began his reform policy in the spring of
Oromos and Somalis clash
About 20 people are killed and around 60 injured in violent clashes between
Oromos and Somalis in southern Ethiopia, on the border with Kenya. The unrest
erupts in an area that both Oromos and Somalis claim, and the two peoples groups
regularly fight there. In 2017, over a million people in the area were driven
from their homes because of ethnic violence.
First car free day
On Ethiopia's first car-free day, the main roads are blocked off and
thousands of people in seven cities leave the car at home and walk instead. The
idea is that the car-free day should be repeated on the last Sunday of each
month with the goal of reducing emissions and promoting a healthier lifestyle.
Opposition leaders become head of the electoral authority
Opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa, who recently returned to Ethiopia after
many years in exile (see December 2010), is appointed head of
the electoral authority responsible for organizing the general elections in
2020. Prime Minister Abiy has promised that the 2020 elections will be free and
fair. Mideksa was one of the leaders during the demonstrations after the
disputed election in 2005. She was imprisoned, but pardoned and left the country
Troubled in Oromia
Security forces clash with OLF rebels in Oromia for several days. An OLF
leader who recently returned from Eritrea is prevented by his own supporters
from traveling in the region, as they fear that the leader is thinking of
traveling around and advocating disarmament.
First female head of state
Parliament elects Sahle-Work Zewde as new president. She thus becomes
Ethiopia's first female head of state. Zewde is a diplomat with long experience
of working within the UN.
The President resigns
Following discussions within the ruling coalition EPRDF, President Mulatu
Teshome announces his resignation. No reasons for departure are stated. Tushome
has been president for five years. His term of office is six years. The
President of Ethiopia has a mainly ceremonial role, while the government has the
Peace agreement with ONLF
The government signs a peace agreement with separatist ONLF. Thus, more than
three decades of uprising in the country's Somali, eastern part are formally
over. ONLF was formed in 1984 to fight for self-determination for the Somali
people (see Political system). ONLF will now engage in peaceful struggle for
Somalis. In July, the ONLF was removed from Ethiopia's list of terrorist groups.
A month later, OMLF announced a unilateral ceasefire.
Half women in government
Prime Minister Abiy scales his government down to 20 members. Half of the
ministers are women, including the Minister of Defense and the Minister of a
newly established peace ministry, under which both the police force and the
intelligence services sort. The new Minister of Defense, Aisha Muhammed, comes
from the poor region of Afar and has previously held other ministerial posts.
Minister of Peace Muferiat Kamil is the former President of Parliament. Abi's
old government had 28 ministers, five of whom were women.
Airline opens to Somalia
A direct flight line between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu in Somalia is opened,
having been closed for 41 years. The route should be serviced four times a week.
The new airline is part of Ethiopia's approach to neighboring countries on the
Horn of Africa. Somalia and Ethiopia have on several occasions fought battles
over the right to different territories.
Tigranic rebels return
As part of the peace agreement with Eritrea, some 2,000 members of the rebel
group the Tigreans Democratic Movement (TPDM) are returning to Ethiopia from
Eritrea. TPDM was formed in 2001 as a result of the border war between 1998 and
Strong support for Abiy within EPRDF
At a party congress, Ethiopia's ruling party alliance elects EPRDF on Prime
Minister Abiy Ahmed as party chairman with 176 yes votes to 1 no vote. The vote
shows that Abiy has strong support in the EPRDF for its reform policy and the
peace process with Eritrea.
The violence is spreading in the country
The escalating violence in parts of the country continues when young people
from different ethnic groups congregate in an area on the border between the
states of Oromia in central Ethiopia and Benishangul-Gumuz in the west. The
youths fight each other with stones and knives, and at least 44 people are
killed according to state media. The unrest erupted on September 26 when public
servants in Benishangul-Gumuz were killed by unknown perpetrators. During the
following week, some 70,000 residents flee the violence according to the UN
agency Ocha. The military is called in to calm down the situation. At least 58
people were killed in Addis Ababa in September in the area of violence between
Oromo and minority people. In the south, violence between Oromo and the minority
goat is reported to have forced close to one million people to flee the country.
New agreement with Eritrea
As a step in the peace process between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the two
countries' leaders sign an agreement in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with the aim of
strengthening the ceasefire and security in the region. Participating in the
ceremony include UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
Violence erupts in Addis Ababa
The riots are ongoing for two days in Addis Ababa and some suburbs. At least
23 people are killed (according to state media; according to Amnesty
International)is the death figure 58), among other things in clashes with riot
police. The country's police chief admits that five people were shot dead by the
police. A day later, protesters (mostly young men) streamed out onto the
capital's streets in protest of police action. They block off roads and force
shops to close. This weekend's rally is one of several that has occurred since
the Abiy government began its reform policy in April. According to the
government, the riots are organized and aim to sabotage the government's reforms
and the peace process with Eritrea. The popular dissatisfaction with Abiyy's
failure to stem the outbreak of violence seems to be growing. According to many
Addis Ababa residents, these are attacks organized by Oromo against minorities
from southern Ethiopia.September 2018). Altogether, about 3,000
people in Addis Ababa are arrested with suburbs over the weekend, according to
the city's police chief. Some observers believe that the violence has ethnic
motives, while others point out that they are organized by forces that oppose
Abi's reform agenda.
OLF warriors return
Tens of thousands of people welcome leading representatives of the previously
banned resistance group OLF as they return to Ethiopia after making peace with
the Abiy government (see August 2018). In July, the government
claimed a terrorist stamp on the group. More than 1,300 OLF fighters have since
returned home from Eritrea and are now to wage a "peaceful fight" for the Oromo
people. The previously banned group Ginbot 7 has also returned after similar
settlements with the government. Abiy is himself oromo.
The border with Eritrea opens
An important border crossing is opened between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The
crossing at Burre was closed at the outbreak of the war in 1998. The border
crossing gives Ethiopia access to the port of Assab.
Opposition leaders return from exile
Berhanu Nega, who led the armed opposition group Ginbot 7, returns to
Ethiopia after a decade in exile. In July 2018, the government claimed the
terrorist stamp against the group. Berhanu now says he wants to contribute to
Abii's reform process with peaceful means.
Somali leaders are arrested
Police arrest Abdi Mohamed Omar, commonly called Abdi Iley, former leader of
Ethiopia's Somali region. This is after riots in Jijiga, the capital of the
region, and other nearby cities. Abdi Mohamed Omar is accused of serious human
rights violations and of having fueled ethnic conflicts. He was forced out of
his post on August 6 after the violence erupted in Jijiga. At least 20 people
were killed and thousands were forced to flee as mobs attacked ethnic
minorities. Several Orthodox churches were burned down and five priests were
"Free elections as planned 2020"
Abiy Ahmed said at a press conference that the 2020 parliamentary elections
will not be delayed because of his reform program. He emphasizes that his party,
the EPRDF, will relinquish power if it loses the election, that the election
will be "completely democratic" and that steps have been taken for an impartial
election commission. According to the Prime Minister, the IMF has pledged $ 1
billion in support of the reform work, which is largely about reducing the
state's influence, not least on the economy. According to the Prime Minister,
measures must also be taken to create more room for the opposition.
Agreement with OLF
The government enters into an agreement with the guerrilla group Oromo's
Liberation Front (OLF) to "cease hostility". OLF was stamped by Addis Ababa as a
terrorist organization from 2014 to June 2018.
Eritrean Airlines flies to Addis Ababa
Eritrea's national airline Eritrean Airlines makes its first commercial
flight to Ethiopia in 20 years when their plane lands in Addis Ababa. On the
plane are Eritrea's tourism minister and the country's transport minister.
Amnesty for political prisoners
Parliament is undergoing an amnesty for political prisoners, thousands of
whom have been released since Prime Minister Abiy came to power in April. The
new law on impunity applies to individuals and groups who are either
investigated or convicted of treason, armed rebellion or violation of the
Air traffic to Eritrea resumes
The first 20-year flight between Ethiopia and Eritrea takes place when
Ethiopian Airlines takes off from Addis Ababa Airport. The aircraft is quickly
booked and an extra flight is made later the same day. The route should be
serviced daily. The resumed air traffic between the two countries is part of the
recently concluded peace and reconciliation agreement between Ethiopia and
Eritrea. Many family members and friends separated during the war state can now
see each other again.
Eritrea opens its embassy
Prime Minister Abiy and Eritrean President Isaias are present when the
Eritrean embassy in Addis Ababa reopens after being closed since the outbreak of
the war in 1998.
Historical visit by Eritrean president
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki visits Addis Ababa for the first time since
the border war broke out in 1998. The visit is described as historic and Isaias
is met by both Prime Minister Abiy and thousands of cheering Ethiopians waving
Ethiopian and Eritrean flags. During the three-day visit, the leaders of both
countries will continue to work on the agreements reached in recent days.
Peace treaty with Eritrea
The war between Ethiopia and Eritrea is over, the two neighboring countries
announce in a joint statement. At a meeting in the capital of Eritrea, Asmara,
Prime Minister Abiy and Eritrean President Isaias sign the "Joint Declaration on
Peace and Friendship", which states that "the war between the countries ends and
a new era of peace and friendship begins". Diplomatic relations will now be
re-established, and trade relations, transport and communications will be
established. According to Eritrean media, Ethiopian Airlines starts flying
passengers between Asmara and Addis Ababa in a week. Direct telephone lines have
been opened for the first time in two decades. Ethiopia has asked the UN to lift
sanctions against Eritrea, including the arms embargo and the travel bans for
"Relationships should be normalized"
Prime Minister Abiy travels to Eritrea and continues reconciliation talks
with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki. After the meeting, Abiy says that both
leaders have agreed to normalize relations between the countries, open to air
services, give Ethiopia access to Eritrean ports and introduce freedom of
movement across the border for residents. The countries will also open embassies
in each other's capitals.
Prison managers are dismissed
Prime Minister Abiy dismisses five prison chiefs who are suspected of having
violated human rights and committed misconduct. Abiy says that the inmates'
needs have not been met and that legal investigations should be initiated
against the fired bosses. The government has released tens of thousands of
prisoners since Abiy became prime minister in April 2018.
Terrorist stamp on Ginbot 7, OLF and ONLF is lifted
At the suggestion of the Abiyah government, the federal parliament repeals
the terrorist stamp on opposition group Ginbot 7 and the separatist movements
OLF and ONLF (see Political system).
"Air travel to Eritrea to resume"
Following the historic meeting with the Eritrean delegation, Prime Minister
Abyi tells media that Ethiopia will soon resume air travel to Eritrea.
Eritrean delegation in Addis Ababa
Ethiopia receives a delegation of diplomats from Eritrea in Addis Ababa where
representatives of the two countries discuss how to proceed to bring a
definitive end to the border conflict.
Two dead in attacks against Abyi
Two people are killed and 154 are injured when a grenade is thrown into a
crowded square in Addis Ababa where Prime Minister Abyi gives a speech about his
new political reform program to tens of thousands of audiences. About 30 people
are arrested, including nine police officers who are suspected of neglecting
security at the manifesto.
"Ginbot 7 ends with armed attacks"
The banned, terrorist-stamped opposition group Ginbot 7 announces that it
will cease armed attacks in the country as a result of Prime Minister Abyi's
reform program. Abyi has promised economic reforms and improved relations with
Eritrea. He has since his release in April released a series of imprisoned
dissenters, including Andargachew Tsige, one of Ginbot 7's top leaders.
Eritrea sends a delegation to Ethiopia
In a first comment following Ethiopia's announcement that the Addis Ababa
government should fully comply with the UN Commission's decision on the
demarcation of the 2000 peace agreement, Eritrean President Afwerki said his
government should send a delegation to Ethiopia so that the parties could speak
directly to each other about the event development.
Prime Minister Abiy visits Somalia's capital Mogadishu, where he is welcomed
by the country's president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. Both leaders talk about
financial cooperation and various investments in infrastructure. More sensitive
topics such as Ethiopia's participation in the AU force Amisom in Somalia, or
the paramilitary Liyu force committing serious human rights violations in
Ogaden, are not addressed.
Success in conflict with Egypt
At a meeting with Egypt's President al-Sisi in Cairo, Prime Minister Abiy
Ahmed guarantees that the huge construction of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance
Dam on the Blue Nile will not affect the water supply downstream in Egypt. After
the meeting, Egypt releases 32 Ethiopian prisoners and allows them to return to
their homeland on the same aircraft as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Protests in Badme
About 25,000 people in Badme and its surrounding area go out in peaceful
demonstrations against the Ethiopian government's decision to follow the 2002
Border Commission's decision that Badme belongs to Eritrea.
Abiy: "border conflict to end"
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announces that Ethiopia intends to set a point for
the border conflict with Eritrea and fully live up to the UN-backed border
commission's decision after the end of the war 2000. Several other reforms are
also promised, including opening key parts of the economy to foreign investment.
At the same time, Parliament is also suspending the state of emergency which,
according to the previous decision, would have been valid for another couple of
Ginbot 7-conductor released
Andargachew Tsige, senior leader of the banned and terrorist-stamped
opposition group Ginbot 7, is pardoned "under special circumstances". During the
past week, 575 other prisoners were pardoned for the same reason. Andargachew
Tsige was imprisoned, accused of planning terrorist acts (see July 2014).
Several thousand prisoners have been released from Ethiopian prisons since the
beginning of the year.
Abiy visits Djibouti
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visits Djibouti on his first trip abroad as head of
government. He discusses regional security and trade with the neighboring
Abiy renews his government
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reforms his government. Of the 16 ministers, 10 are
brand new as government members. The transformation is an attempt by Abiys to
strengthen confidence in the government after two years of repeated protests
against the EPRDF coalition, with hundreds of dead as a result. On the same day,
the EPRDF-dominated parliament elects its first female president, Muferait
Kemil, former minister responsible for women's rights.
Abiy becomes prime minister
The newly elected President of the EPRDF Abiy Ahmed Ali takes up the post of
Prime Minister. Thus, for the first time during the 27-year rule of the EPRDF,
the country will receive a head of government who is unlucky. In his
installation figures, Abiy sets a conciliatory tone and holds out an olive
branch to both the opposition and neighboring Eritrea. He also apologizes to
those injured during the hostile protests of recent years.
Ethiopia wants its own fleet
the 12th of March
When French President Macron visits Ethiopia, the two countries sign an
agreement on deeper defense cooperation. Among other things, France will help
Ethiopia to develop its own fleet. It is not clear where the Ethiopian fleet
should be located, but the port of Djibouti is a likely place. The development
of a fleet is part of Prime Minister Abi's vision of a more integrated Horn of
Africa with a growing international trade. Then the merchant ships must be
protected from pirates. Ethiopia scrapped its former fleet when Eritrea gained
independence in 1993 and Ethiopia lost its coast.
More than 1,100 arrested during the state of emergency
State media reports that more than 1,100 people have been arrested for
violating the state of emergency issued in mid-February. According to a
spokesman for the body that monitors the state of emergency, the arrested
persons must have been guilty of all kinds of crimes such as murder and firearms
Abiy becomes leader of EPRDF
42-year-old Oromo Abiy Ahmed Ali is elected chairman of the power-bearing
party alliance EPRDF. He will be the first orator on this very important
Released dissidents are arrested again
Police arrest eleven well-known dissidents, including Eskinder Nega and
Andualem Atrage, who were released in a major amnesty in February. The eleven
were taken by police when they attended an event to celebrate the previous
releases. According to the police, they did not have the arrested permits for
the event and also had a signposted version of the Ethiopian flag popular with
government critics. After ten days in custody, the prisoners are released.
Free Trade Agreement in Africa
Ethiopia is one of 44 countries to sign a Free Trade Agreement at the African
Union Summit in Rwanda. The agreement must be ratified at the national level
before the AFCFTA free trade area can become a reality, but it is seen as a
historically important step towards increased trade exchange within Africa.
The head of government resigns - an emergency permit is introduced
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announces his resignation. He says he has
worked hard to solve Ethiopia's problems and that he sees his departure as part
of the solution. Hailemariam Desalegn announces that he will remain at his post
until a successor is appointed. A few hours after Hailemariam Desalegn's
message, the authorities are announcing a six-month long state of emergency to
prevent "chaos". A new head of government is expected to be appointed when the
ruling coalition EPRDF holds congress in March.
Protesters demand that prisoners be released
The Oromo people launch a three-day strike to put pressure on the authorities
to really release the opposition politicians who had been pardoned a few days
earlier. Stone-throwing protesters block the access roads to the capital. The
strike is quenched after a day when the prisoners are released.
Hundreds of regime critics are pardoned
The state prosecutor pardons over 700 prisoners, among them blogger Eskinder
Nega and politician Andualem Aragie, who is the vice-chairman of the opposition
party Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ). Four days later, on February 12,
Beleka Gerba, another prominent opposition politician, is freed. Gerba is
Secretary General of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC). He was sentenced in
2012 to eight years in prison, charged with conspiracy with rebel group Oromo's
Liberation Front (OLF). Nega and Aragie were sentenced to 18 years in prison and
lifetime for conspiring with another prohibited movement, Ginbot 7. All three
are released from prison in the middle of the month.
"Around a million flee from fighting"
The United Nations Agency for Migration (IOM) states that around one million
people have been forced to flee the fighting which is regularly flaring up
between the Oromo and Somali people in the eastern part of the country. The
conflict concerns the right to land along the border between the states of
Oromia and Somali.
Hundreds of prisoners are released
Opposition politician Merera Gudina is released from prison since the
authorities laid charges against him and over 500 other prisoners. The release
is the first step in the amnesty for imprisoned politicians that Prime Minister
Hailemariam Desalegn promised in early January. According to Hailemariam, the
aim is to "improve national cohesion and broaden the democratic platform".