Friday, June 7, 2013
Ethiopia sees 10 pct GDP growth in 2012/13, above IMF forecast
The IMF told Reuters last month volatile inflation, pressures on the balance of payments and a stifled private sector raised doubts over the sustainability of Ethiopia's growth model. The Washington-based body said that Ethiopia's public spending on mega-dams, roads, schools and other infrastructure required massive domestic funding which was hampering the private sector's access to credit.
Ahmed recognised financing was an issue but dismissed the IMF's concerns. "What we are doing is enabling conditions for the private sector activities to have good infrastructure and human skills in the economy and the facilitation of social development so that business activities can flourish in the country." Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous country after Nigeria, is midway through a five-year economic plan that aims to expand the road network to 136,000 km (84,500 miles) by 2015 from below 50,000 km in 2010. It also plans to construct 5,000 km of railway lines by 2020. Addis Ababa secured a $1 billion loan from China in April to build electricity transmission lines. China is also building a section of railway linking landlocked Ethiopia with neighbouring Djibouti's port. "China, India, Brazil, Turkey and others - we need to attract investment, technology transfer, infrastructure financing and trade relationships," Ahmed said. The BRICS countries - Brazil, China, India and Russia and South Africa - are now Africa's largest trading partners and its biggest new group of investors. Standard Bank sees BRICS-Africa trade exceeding $500 billion by 2015.