Land and Ethiopia’s Journey to Self-Reliance


Ethiopia’s economy depends on the productivity of its natural resources, principally land and water. Through their use, agriculture contributes 42% of Ethiopia’s GDP and 90% of exports. Most people live in densely populated rural areas, where farmers depend on small plots of land (average of 0.5 hectares). Land markets remain tightly constrained: conditions are imposed on land rentals, and the sale and use of land as collateral is generally prohibited. Until recently, pastoral and agro-pastoral groups had no legally recognized rights to their wet and dry-season lands. In 2018, the first ever pastoral land certificates were issued with support from USAID.