Ethiopia is a priority country of Austrian Development Cooperation as of 1993. Encompassing a territory 13.5 times larger than Austria, it still faces some major challenges despite much progress: In its cooperation with the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), Ethiopia is seeking to build an effective and transparent administration to include all citizens, raise agricultural output and ensure food security.
Know-how for mountain farmers and pastoralists
Agriculture makes up the backbone of the country in the Horn of Africa. About three-quarters of the working population are engaged in this sector. Austrian engagement therefore centres on rural development and food security. In the Amhara region, ADA supports chronically food-insecure households in managing their land and soil more productively through improved access to water resources and better use of water for domestic use. Creating new income opportunities, such as tree nurseries or alliances with the private sector, will make the population more resilient to periods of drought or crop failures. By breaking down social barriers, particularly women and girls participate more actively in household and community decisions.
Right to basic services
Another aim of ADA is to help enable the government to ensure basic water, education, health and agricultural advisory services as well as road infrastructure. All sections of the population should be given equal access to public services and be able to take active part in planning and decision-making procedures. Particular attention is paid to the participation, involvement and empowerment of women. In addition, ADA supports democratic institutions such as the Ombudsman Office, the Human Rights Council or the Office of the Auditor General to enable the population to lay democratic claim to their legal rights. By supporting the democratic reform process and good governance in Ethiopia, important dialogue platforms are being established to discuss the causes of interreligious and interethnic conflicts on a broad, inclusive basis and to offer space for dialogue.