Ethiopia is Africa's second most populated country, totalling in at around ninety-nine million people and a population growth rate of 2.5%. Since 2000, Ethiopia has been on an economically upward climb. From 2000-2016, the extreme poverty rate has dropped from 55% to less than 30%. The Growth and Transformation Plan set forth by the Ethiopian government in 2015 "aims to continue improvements in physical infrastructure through public investment projects and transform the country into a manufacturing hub" (via WorldBank, updated October 2016). In the past twenty years, four times more children are enrolled in primary school, child mortality has been cut in half, and the amount of people with clean water has doubled (WorldBank). But, Ethiopia still has yet to overcome their high maternal mortality rate and have yet to reach the United Nation's Gender Millennium Development Goals (MDG's). Ethiopia's overarching goal is to become a lower-middle income country by 2025. Before they can reach this goal, however, they must first take care of their humanitarian issues. If their growth continues, this seems to be on the horizon.


If Ethiopia stays on the track of economic growth for the next couple decades, they could pull themselves out similar to how Cambodia recovered from their genocide and economic downfall. Cambodia used to rely solely on agriculture but when they brought in a manufacturing sector, their economy boomed with the production of export-oriented goods like garments and shoes. Cambodia bounced back flawlessly from the 2007 recession and their GDP grew 7.2% in 2012. Ethiopia has the potential to follow Cambodia's trail and accomplish their goal of becoming a lower-middle income country by 2025.


With a successful democratic change in leadership, Nigeria has many assets. But, one major asset is the young entrepreneurial population. This young population is hungry for education and opportunity. By 2050, Nigeria could become the third most populous country in the world. Unfortunately, Africa's leading economy and most populous country still suffers from great political corruption and infighting, all set up by England's artificial borders drawn in the 1800s. Fifty-six percent of Nigerians still live without electricity, and northern Nigerians frequently experience droughts and food scarcity. The southern-based central government categorizes the Christian south's problems as priority, often ignoring the Muslim north's severe poverty and social issues. In short, the south has oil, and the north has droughts and Boko Haram. This set up exasperates the north, giving Boko Haram more reasons for violence. The Nigerian government's reactions definitely don't help, either. Their reactions to Boko Haram have targeted civilians and have only made Boko Haram stronger. My point is that this young up-and-coming generation has the power to calm this storm of corruption and violence in Nigeria. Education of this generation has the power to turn this country around.


You can connect Nigeria's potential for social change to Myanmar's successful transition from Junta (military) rule to a democratically sound country. Nigeria struggled, or still is struggling, with democracy after their military rule for more than fifty years. The government still uses brute military force to deal with issues like Boko Haram, frequently attacking innocent civilians. Nigeria could use Myanmar as a model of transition to a successful democracy and even as a model for peaceful diversity of ethnic groups (except for the genocide of the Rohingya currently taking place). Similar to Myanmar's young population that sparked the political change, Nigeria's young people have the potential to make great change in the country. But, education is the key that will free Nigeria.

Created By
Grace Kubelka


Created with images by eekim - "Ethiopia Landscape" • Ahron de Leeuw - "Harar market (Ethiopia) 4" • fatherofsa - "ethiopia river landscape aerial view" • South African Tourism - "Table Mountain - South Africa" • canonim - "_CAN2682"

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