Ethiopian Economy to Grow by 6 Percent Despite Pandemic: PM Abiy Ahmed

By Staff Reporter

PM-Abiy-Ahmed-GrowthJune 8, 2020 ( -- Ethiopian economy is forecast to grow by 6 percent this concluding fiscal year of the country amid global coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said.

Speaking at the 5th extraordinary session of the parliament on Monday, Abiy said Ethiopia is likely to register 6 percent economic growth, down by 3 percent from previous forecast owing to COVID-19 pandemic.

The premier told the MPs that the outbreak COVID-19 pandemic has brought about not only challenges but also opportunities enabling the nation to register 16 percent growth on the export sector. The Ethiopian export sector has performed poorly in the previous years, affecting the country’s foreign currency earnings badly.

According to the IMF’s forecast, Ethiopia’s economic growth will remain positive at more than 3 percent while 170 countries were anticipated to report negative economic growth due to a decline in global trade. However, no details are given as to why the country is growing while so many people and businesses have our of work due to the global pandemic this year.

About 350 million people across the world have lost their jobs, tourism declined by 80 percent and airlines forced to cut 90 percent of their international flights because of the pandemic, he said.

The premier said the Ethiopian commercial banks also performed well and managed to collect 138 billion birr loan repayments, distributed 221 billion birr loan and deposited 87 billion Birr, he said.

As to the premier, horticulture has generated $440 million, which is 84 percent up from the previous year the same period.

Furthermore, 800 kilograms of gold was supplied to the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) during the past 10 months, according to the Prime Minister.

He said the decline of fuel import, which used to consume huge amounts of hard currency, has also helped the economy to be resilient to the coronavirus.

Abiy recalled that the country’s tourism sector has been badly affected by the global pandemic while the nation’s earnings from remittance registered low due to the pandemic.

He also attributed the relatively better performance of the economy to the timely interventions by the government to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Meanwhile, the premier rubbished concerns that the nation is led by a weak government. He argued the government has helped the nation register remarkable growth amid coronavirus infections.

He described the dispute between the Prosperity Party and TPLF as “futile” and dismissed the rumor that the federal government has plotted to harm the people of Tigray.

The premier said that the Tigray region has received a 42 percent increase in its annual budget since the reform was introduced in 2018.

The federal government injects an additional 400 million Birr for clean water supply in Mekele city and another 400 million birr for the purchase of fertilizer and an additional 46 million Birr was released to fight COVID-19 pandemic in Tigray state, it was disclosed.

“Out of the 13 infrastructure projects being funded by the federal government in Tigray state during the Second Growth and Transformation Plan, seven of them are completed and another three are on progress,” Abiy argued.

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