With a population of over 91.7 million people, approximately 43.9% are under the age of 15 years. Public expenditure on education is 4.7% of GDP (2010) and health is 2.6% of GDP (2011).


Net enrolment rates for primary school have seen a marked increase over the last decade as Ethiopia has made significant strides in universal primary school education. The gender parity index illustrates a gender bias in education, which increases by education level. Primary attendance and enrolment is high, however, this is not the case with secondary attendance. An estimated 38.4% of primary and secondary schools provide Life Skills education, which includes information on HIV and AIDS.  Continued efforts should be made to target out of school young people so that they can access Life Skills and comprehensive sexuality education. Currently there is a compulsory HIV and AIDS syllabus on components of comprehensive sexuality education that is being developed. The Ethiopian curriculum also orientates parents on HIV and AIDS education on a yearly basis.


In comparison to the rest of the ESA region, Ethiopia has low prevalence of HIV and AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), however, knowledge and condom use are equally low.

The HIV and AIDS Education Strategic Plan For Intensifying Multi-sectoral HIV and AIDS Response in Ethiopia recognizes the importance of reaching young people and educating them on HIV, AIDS and sexuality. It employs a number of strategies to promote sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services that are young-people friendly. This is done through peer education programmes, anti-AIDS clubs and girls clubs, which provide young people with educational information on sex and sexuality. The National Reproductive Health Strategy (2006-2015) recognises the importance of education in achieving positive reproductive health outcomes for the country and for young people in particular.

Updates and Stories

Workshops held at The National Cultural Festival in Mozambique

20 October, 2014   |   Blog, Events, Our people, Technical Coordination Group

Every two years, the Ministry of Culture organizes the National Cultural Festival in the province of Inhambane in Mozambique. The festival hosts domestic and international artists, cultural agents, and practitioners for a weeklong celebration of dive...


Education plays key role in ending teenage pregnancy across Eastern and Southern Africa

6 November, 2014   |   Blog, Our people, Technical Coordination Group

Every girl has the right to complete a quality education – however, the realities are that many do not make it through to their graduation. Teenage pregnancy is a significant cause to increased school dropout, with persistently high rates across E...


Take a stand on World AIDS Day

1 December, 2014   |   Blog, Our people

Today marks World AIDS Day. Every year, December 1st is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. According to UNICEF there were 2.1 million adolescents (10–19 years) living with HIV in 2013, 8...

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Wonderful to have young reporters asking their questions to our high level panelists today at @UNESCO #UNESCO dialogue hosted by South Africa's Dept of Basic #Education on scaling up #comprehensivesexualityeducation #CSE #CSENOW #YouthSRHNow Children's Radio Foundation #SaveTheChildren

[Photos by Czerina Patel]

Unesco Regional Office for Southern Africa
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Group photo of some following today's UNESCO High Level Policy Dialogue on #comprehensivesexualityeducation hosted by the Department of Basic Education in South Africa ! #ESACommitment #YouthSRHNow #CSENow #sexualityeducation #knowledgeispower

[Photos by Czerina Patel]
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‪#UNESCO Regional Director of #EastAfrica Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta & #Sweden Education Minister Gustav #Fridolin on SAFMNews Channel 404 this morning talking about the urgent need for govts to commit to #comprehensivesexualityeducation #CSE #CSENow #YouthSRHNow‬

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