Addis Ababa December 07/2017 The government of Ethiopia strongly supports the notion and practice of harnessing the country's demographic dividend to be integral part of its development policies, strategies and programs, according to Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).
Speaking at the opening of Science Congress on “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend: Ethiopia’s Emerging Challenge” today, Science and Technology Minister of Dr. Getahun Mekuria said the government is trying to harness the dividend by investing in key development areas that affect the population.
The demographic transition in the age structure is a top priority to galvanize and sustain the momentum established thus far in our development, he stated.
The Minister said, “We must embrace empowering the youth through providing them with quality of education and better skills, decent jobs from which they can earn better income to support themselves and their families ….I can confidently confirm that we have made big strides towards these at all level.”
However, he added that much also needs to be done in terms of ensuring the relevance and quality of the training and education by our schools, training centers, colleges and universities and research institutions.
Dr. Getahun called on all the participants of the Congress to do their level best to contribute their shares in the respective policy, research and development spheres during the two-day discussion.
Ethiopian Academy of Sciences President, Professor Tsigie Gebre-Mariam said on his part the congress will, in addition to discussing about the ways the nation can benefit from the population dividend, explore improved access to reproductive health and health care services, skill development, youth employment and empowerment as well as empowerment of girls and women.
This event will serve as platform for stakeholders including researchers, policymakers, academics, students, civil society organizations, and international stakeholders to discuss the timely issue, he added.
With a population approaching 100 million, the country’s population size is projected to reach 240 million by the end of this century, with a remarkable shift on the age structure whereby the working-age population surpasses the dependent age groups.