Ethiopia is symbolised by its youth - around 71 per cent of the population are under 30 years of age. On paper, this young workforce has seen Africa’s oldest independent country go from strength-to-strength. Yet, the speed with which GDP has grown and foreign investors have entered comes with a hard truth - there are simply not enough opportunities to go around.
Today, some 22 million people are living below the poverty line with an estimated 80 per cent of the urban population housed in slums. In a bid to avoid the same fate, growing numbers of youth search for work overseas - unaware of the fresh threats that greet them on their journey.
Hardship and famine is most pervasive in rural areas where vulnerable groups rely heavily on agriculture as a source of income. Recurrent drought and other extreme weather events have already had a devastating impact - leaving households bound to traditional agricultural practices and inefficient marketing systems with little way out.