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Ethiopia has increased its Human Development Index value by half, states the new Human Development Report by the United Nations. The report underlines that there have been significant gains made in the in Africa, especially in the Sub-Saharan region but very wide inequalities remain and need to be addressed.
Entitled ‘Work for Human Development” the report launched on Monday, December 14 focuses on sustainable and equitable work for everyone to elevate poverty.
Since 2000, Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced the fastest annual growth rates in the Human Development Index (HDI) -growing at an annual rate of 1.7 percent between 2000 and 2010 and 0.9 percent between 2010 and 2014.
Twelve countries in the region, including Botswana, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Mauritius, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, and Zambia have levels that put them in the high or medium human development group, individually.
“However, Sub-Saharan Africa, on average, remains in the low human development category and HDI levels are still low: a shortage of good work opportunities is preventing many from reaching their full potential and making decent livelihoods,” the report reads.
The region’s overall official employment rate is 66 percent but 74 percent of working women and 61 percent of working men in Sub-Saharan Africa are in informal employment and nearly 25 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 14 are in child labor.
In Ethiopia, the report shows that about 27 percent of children between the ages of 5 to 14 are forced to work.
Looking at the Gender Inequality Index, Women in the Sub-Saharan are at a disadvantage, the report underlines. This is despite the progress the region has made in women’s political representation in the region. Women also have fewer opportunities for paid work, and when they do get work they earn 21 percent less than men.