By: Sarah Zafar & Hiba Abdirahmaan


Ethiopia is one of Africa’s oldest nations and it served as a symbol of an independent Africa throughout the European colonization of Africa in the nineteenth century. Ethiopia is bordered by Eritrea and Djibouti to the northeast, Somalia to the east and southeast, Kenya to the south, and Sudan to the west and southwest. This country is surrounded by huge mountains and highlands with the regions divided by the Great Rift Valley. The temperature in Ethiopia varies due to the altitude differences. The government system for Ethiopia is federal republic. The chief of state is the President and the head of government is the Prime Minister. When it comes to the country’s official language it is called Amharic and spoken by 30% of the people. Ethiopia is ethnically diverse with many different dialects and languages spoken through the different regions of the country. The two common religions that are present are Orthodox and Muslims.


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Rapid Growth!

The population problem that exists in Ethiopia is the rapid population growth.

Making less land that is suitable to live in (land turning into deserts)

85% of population lives in rural areas so this is where population growth and poverty is higher, more people being born poor then rich.

How long has this population problem been present?

Ethiopia’s population has grown tremendously since land reform was introduced by the Derg in 1975.

What is the land reform introduced by Derg exactly?

Basically after Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown; in September 1974, a Military Committee (known as the Derg) was established from several divisions of the Ethiopian Armed forces. General Aman Amdon was elected as spokesperson for the Derg and created these policies for the country, which included land distribution to peasants, nationalizing industries and services under public ownership and led Ethiopia into the Socialism.

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What is the origin of the population problem present?

Economy is getting better by improving through the decade compared to before, with expansion of the services and agriculture sectors available account for most of this population growth. In 2004, 38.7% Ethiopians lived in extreme poverty and 5 years later in 2009 only 29.6% lived in poverty.

How does the population problem affect various areas of society (economy, politics, resources, etc.)?

Population growth impacts other social services such as health care, economic performance in crop agriculture, conflict over the use of resources and employment opportunities. Also as the population rate keeps growing more and more land is deforested and over farmed. As the majority of the population lives in rural areas there aren’t enough resources. Ethiopia is one of those countries that rapidly grow but cannot afford to do well economically and environmentally.
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Thomas Robert Malthus food supply graph

This particular graph here represent the ideology of Thomas with stating how the population keeps increasing yet the food supply does not seem to do so.

What are some of the solutions that are being put into place by the government or other involved organizations? Are these solutions working? How is that expressed?

The government is putting in a huge share of its budget to pro-poor programs and investments. Larger scale donors will end up supporting the government in the financial aspect of the levels of spending needed to meet these programs and investments. The government of Ethiopia has a five year development plan that works on goals like reducing the maternal mortality rate by more than half from 590 per 100,000 to 267 per 100,000.

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