Bale Ecoregion. 
Photo: RNE.Bale Ecoregion. Photo: RNE

Norway’s Development Cooperation with Ethiopia

Norwegian bilateral assistance is today primarily targeted to climate-related support and support for the promotion of human rights, democracy and good governance. Norway's climate commitment in Ethiopia is concentrated on renewable energy, climate adapted agriculture/food security and forest. Rights perspectives are integrated into the initiative and actively followed up, with a particular focus on women's rights and gender equality, strengthening the role and participation of civil society, consultations with affected populations and transparency. The Embassy in Addis Ababa has also been a pilot embassy for the work on women's rights and equal opportunities. The Embassy has particularly supported efforts to combat female genital mutilation. It has for many years supported the University collaboration between the agricultural universities in Ethiopia and UMB. Gender issues are well integrated into the support of the agricultural universities.


Management Responsibility and Channel Selection

Most of Norway's bilateral assistance to Ethiopia (about 67% in 2013) is managed by the Embassy in Addis Ababa.  Norad also manages funding to Ethiopia (approximately 23% in 2013). The majority of the bilateral assistance is channeled through multilateral channels (the World Bank, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women) and civil society (both Norwegian and Ethiopian NGOs). The support that formally can be categorized as State-to-state aid is mainly related to support to the energy sector.

Climate/Energy and Agriculture

Ethiopia launched in 2011 a green national development plan (Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) with the goal of reaching middle income status by 2025 without increasing the national emissions from 2010 level. The emphasis is on strategic green investments in key sectors such as agriculture, forestry, energy and transportation.

Norway and the United Kingdom entered into a climate partnership with Ethiopia during the COP meeting in Durban in December 2011. Norway has announced support for the implementation of the CRGE strategy for the sectors of clean energy, agriculture and forest

During the Rio+ 20 Conference Norway and Ethiopia signed a partnership agreement on Energy+ collaboration. The program aims to increase access to clean renewable energy and at the same time contribute to reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. The overall partnership is based on payments for results achieved. Ethiopia has a potential to build out a large amount of clean energy for both domestic consumption and significant export in the region. Universal access to energy will be crucial for poverty reduction and economic growth and development.

Norway has entered into an agreement with the World Bank to support the Government’s Sustainable Land Management  program (SLMP), which aims to reduce land degradation and improve land productivity in selected watersheds in six Regional States through Phase II of the Sustainable Land Management Project (SLMP-2). The Project’s objectives will be achieved through the provision of capital investments, technical assistance and capacity building for smallholder farmers in the watersheds and government institutions at national and sub-national levels. Direct and indirect beneficiaries of the Project include an estimated 1,850,000 people.    

Norway and Ethiopia have signed a bilateral results-based, three-phased REDD+ partnership agreement for the years 2013-2020. In addition, it has entered into supplementary agreements with the World Bank, the Global Green Growth Institute, DFID, civil society organizations and academia to support the authorities REDD+ Readiness work. 

Ethiopia's CRGE strategy will in itself be able to give reductions at the scale of 4-5 times Norway's total annual greenhouse gas emissions. This is significant. At the same time the strategy will help to protect large natural areas with significant biodiversity and of great importance to national food security. The partnership focuses on the results of Norwegian development assistance.

Ethiopia is among the more constructive LDC-countries in the climate negotiations. With the strategy Ethiopia has put forward an ambitious national energy and climate policy. Ethiopia already has a leading climate political role in Africa, the AU, and other African institutions. Ethiopia is a pioneer amongst LDC countries through setting their own voluntary targets for emissions reduction. Norway and Ethiopia cooperated closely on the UN high level report on climate funding, and the new climate partnership is a natural extension of this partnership.

Human Rights, Democracy and Good Governance

Ethiopia has ratified a number of international human rights instruments. These include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). In 2013, Ethiopia became a member to the Human Rights Council. Ethiopia was reviewed by the Human Rights Council (Universal Periodic Review) in 2009 and is finalizing its 2nd round of submission (2014).  Ethiopia accepted the overwhelming majority of the recommendations (98 out of 142). As a follow up to the recommendations, Ethiopia adopted its National Human Rights Action Plan (2013-2015). Norway supported this as part of its support to the Democratic Institutions Program (DIP). The Action Plan attempts to dwell on both civil and political and economic and social rights.

Norway, through its co-chairmanship of the Human Rights and Democracy sub-group (currently together with the EU) is facilitating information sharing among the donors on contemporary human rights issues including reporting to the Human Rights Council. Norway will continue to play that role. The Embassy will continue to liaise with Ethiopian authorities, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norway’s permanent mission to Geneva on how to support Ethiopia’s role in the Human Rights Council.

There are concerns related to the narrowing space for the operation of civil societies in Ethiopia following the adoption of the Charities and Societies Proclamation and the accompanying directives. Norway follows a two-pronged approach deal with the challenge. One is to raise its concerns along with other donors through the Development Assistance Group(DAG) and Government- High Level Forum. Discussions on space for civil societies in Ethiopia are a recurrent issue in consultations with the government of Ethiopia. The other approach is supporting civil societies with a view to facilitating evidence-based advocacy towards a lenient application of the law and reconsideration of unfavorable provisions.  Norway is supporting the multi-donor program for civil societies- the Civil Society Support Program. In addition to supporting civil society organizations to plan and implement a wide variety projects that benefit and empower the society, the program builds the capacity and accountability of civil societies on project cycle management, financial management, advocacy and networking. This program also facilitates exposure visits to government representatives with a view to enhancing their understanding of the role of civil societies.

The justice sector and access to legal aid is another focus area of the cooperation with Ethiopia.  Norway is currently supporting Addis Ababa University, Centre for Human Rights. The program provides legal aid to the poor-including women, children, persons with disabilities and prisoners. The outreach and advocacy component is targeted at enhancing the awareness of the public on human rights, employment and other issues. The program also involves research on matters of access to justice. Research outputs are actively used to initiate policy dialogues with the government and other stakeholders on matters related to access to justice. Furthermore, Norway supports the Ethiopian NGO Justice for All – Prison Fellowship Ethiopia (JFA-PFE) in their efforts in human rights education of the federal and local police, improving the prison administration, and enhancing the law enforcement capacity of the justice sector policy makers.

Gender equality and women empowerment is another area of collaboration. Together with Sweden, Norway supports the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Program.  The program’s objective is to contribute to efforts to support Ethiopia deliver its international commitments and national policies &laws on gender equality and women empowerment. Improving economic empowerment, access to education, leadership skills, protecting women and girls from violence and enhancing capacity of responsible government institutions at the federal and regional levels are the main components of the program. The program also aims at supporting the UN Delivering as One Agenda in Ethiopia and is aligned with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for Ethiopia (2012-2016). Six UN Agencies are involved in the program.  Support is also provided to the UN Resident Coordinators Office with a view to enhancing UN program coherence and strengthening the UN Country team on policy and advocacy work through promoting common messaging on policy dialogue with the government, among others.

Norway also supports efforts towards the abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The program is implemented by Save the Children and Norwegian Church Aid. The program involves active engagement of faith based organizations in delinking FGM from religion and teaching their followers. Community conversation is the main strategy employed to reach a critical mass of communities to declare zero tolerance towards FGM and building the capacity of law enforcement agencies to be able to effectively enforce laws against FGM. Norway also supports a program on rights-based approach to adolescents and youth development. The program’s objective is to empower the youth to protect themselves from reproductive health risks and to be able to claim their rights. It also builds the capacity of government institutions and universities to prevent and respond to reproductive health challenges faced by the youth. The program gives particular attention to women and girls.

Norway is supporting Ethiopia’s democratization process, through the capacity building project of important institutions such as the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the Ethiopian Institution of Ombudsman (EIO), the Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (FEACC), the House of People’s Representative (HOPR) and the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE). The project is co-funded by Sweden, with UNDP as administrative agent. The project is in line with the Ethiopian government’s Growth and Transformation Plan 2010/2011-2014/2015 on good governance, strengthening the democratic system, building capacity and improving the justice system.

Illicit Financial Flows and Corruption

The Norwegian Embassy does not have exact figures for the illicit financial flows and tax evasion in Ethiopia, but assumes that the Ethiopian government loses significant  amounts of revenue every year in lost income from money moved offshore by private companies This money could pay for health and education services, for protection against the impact of the economic crisis and for projects such as the Productive Safety Nets Programme to protect people affected by climate change and humanitarian disaster.

Anti-corruption is high on the agenda in Ethiopia, both within the government and among the public.  A national Anti-Corruption Coalition that aims to intensify the anti-corruption drive in the country was officially formed in 2009. A bill was approved by the Parliament April 2010 that forces government officials to register all their own and their relatives’ private properties. Whistle-blowers will be rewarded 25 percent of value of the assets recovered and those found guilty.

Ethiopia is one of the seven pilot countries of the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST).  The National Executive Committee has already launched operations. The Ethiopian government is also working closely with the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), which aims to strengthen governance by improving transparency and accountability in the extractive sector.   

The Norwegian Embassy will continue to facilitate dialogue between Global Financial Integrity (GFI) and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) concerning cooperation  about  illicit capital flows  and trade mispricing. The Embassy will continue to support the Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (FEACC) in increasing its institutional capacity and raising public awareness on corruption.

Prevention of Humanitarian Crises

Various humanitarian crises continue to be formidable challenges facing Ethiopia. Lack of adequate rainfall combined with a poor resource base and continued population growth makes a significant part of the population dependent on emergency food aid. The government follows a two-pronged approach in dealing with this situation and needs continued support to emergency measures like provision of food aid and establishment of an all-hazard early warning and response system, but more importantly to the long-term efforts to become self-sufficient in food. The government’s nationwide Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) and its Sustainable Land Management Program (SLMP) are thus initiatives that directly address humanitarian crisis.

Norway supports efforts directed at the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia through contributions to the multilateral agencies (UNICEF, OCHA, WFP and the Central Emergency Relief Fund-CERF) but also provides support to national efforts like the HRF-Humanitarian Response Fund and through various agencies with particular programs in Ethiopia.

Aid Effectiveness

In accordance with the Paris Declaration, the Busan commitments and the requests from the Government of Ethiopia, the Embassy aims at strengthening country ownership of development as well as enhancing the division of labour and Joint Programming among likeminded donors.

The Embassy’s objective to enhance aid effectiveness provides a framework to guide the Embassy’s policy dialogue, aid activities, partnerships and other elements that directly contribute to achieving development objectives.  To ensure good results of the development cooperation, it must be aligned to the Ethiopian national development strategies, institutions and procedures. The Norwegian Embassy is also an advocate for harmonisation of donor initiatives, in order to make the donors' actions more transparent, effective and harmonised with each other.

GoE has in the last couple years made efforts to develop a statistical data base for its development cooperation interventions. A particular effort will be made to ensure inclusion of Norwegian support in GoE’s national budgeting and accounting processes and in the reporting framework. Norway will continue to participate in the efforts to enhance the Division of Labour (DoL) and Joint Programming among the EU+ donors. The Embassy will also continue to explore the possibilities for delegated partnerships in order to increase the aid efficiency.

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