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Human Resource Development – a Key Cog for Ethiopia’s Dev’t Aspirations –

Ethiopia: Human Resource Development – a Key Cog for Ethiopia’s Dev’t Aspirations –

Ethiopia: Human Resource Development – a Key Cog for Ethiopia’s Dev’t Aspirations

Human resource capital plays multifaceted roles in a country’s socio-economic growth through generating well equipped human force and accelerating an economy.

Particularly, while the finite nature of earth’s natural resource limits economic growth, along with their environmental costs in some instances, human resource presents an infinite resource to nurture, develop and manage a country’s economy. This mentality or thought is taking more and more center stage in contemporary economic theory (development thought). Now the consensus is that human resource formation is one of the critical causes of economic development.

Ethiopia has seen the writings on the wall. The country has invested on the education and health sector heavily in a bid to not only provide the human resource capital needed to take the economy to the next level and take the country out of the grips of poverty, but also in order to cope up with the rapidly changing dynamics of the global realities.

In the event of the recent signing of Memorandum of understanding between the country’s pioneer public enterprise involved in capacity building and management development, and Crown Agents, a UK based International development organization, The Ethiopian Herald approached experts in the field of human resource development to discuss the state of the country’s manpower and how it is going to cope with the ever growing needs for qualified human capital.

According to Fantu Molla, Crown Agents Country Manager, developing the professional skills of its people and management is a key issue for a developing country like Ethiopia. Obviously, he added, developing its human resource capital will help the country to achieve the national objectives it has set, and hasten the change that we are seeing currently.

But there is also another dimension to this. Fantu says that Ethiopia cannot stay isolated in the global world that we live in today. The amount of global trade, commerce taking place between countries is in at all time high. And in this increasingly globalized and interdependent world economy, human resource capital, or in other words, the knowledge and skills of workforce, will be the key competitive weapons of countries. So, enhancing its human capital for a developing country like Ethiopia is crucial if the country is to compete and flourish in this competitive and globalized world.

Moreover, due to the current era of increasingly interdependent world economy, regional integration is becoming the centerpiece agenda of many countries, for which its human resource capital is important to achieve.

As to Fantu, Ethiopia is spearheading the regional integration process of its neighboring countries, by initiating and undertaking various interlinking infrastructural projects. So, considering its importance to the country, having the human resource capital that is capable to oversee and manage this delicate and important endeavor is pivotal.

Fantu suggests working with progressive and experienced/reputed international organizations like Crown Agents in order to enhance the country’s human resource is capable enough to carry the country through these very dynamic global realities, and help it achieve the regional integration objectives of the country as well.

The other thing relates to being able to navigate the choppy waters of the complex global economy. Ethiopia has recently decided to privatize its public enterprises by selling minority shares, while also announcing that it will begin crude oil production, with prospects for commercial quantities production. This means that Ethiopia will have to navigate those choppy waters as this means negotiating with international companies, and navigating through the international financial system. Thus, Ethiopia needs to develop its own manpower/ managerial capacity in large number, and build the institutional capacity to carry out and manage these delicate deals.

In this regard, Fergus Drake, Chief Executive of Crown Agents said that Ethiopia has got all the skills, capabilities, vision, drive and resources here in Ethiopia to be in charge of its prosperity and its own future; but by doing partnership work in human resource development, where organizations can help give little amounts of catalytic technical assistance, and little bits of experience, the country can also gain.

As the Director General of the country’s pioneer management development center, Ethiopian Management Institute (EMI), Mengistu Yitbarek, believes that there needs to be a response to the dynamic change of the national and global governance environment. So, given the fact that enhancing the managerial capacity of Ethiopia’s civil service contributes its share to the development of the country, new interventions and approaches that are equipped with new competencies and capacities is pivotal.


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