Ethiopia To Implement Economic Reforms With $2.9B IMF Financing

Written by Peter Pedroncelli
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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is leading Ethiopia’s economic reforms program in an effort to address foreign exchange shortages and create jobs. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. Image: AP Photo/Francisco Seco

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has pledged to lend Ethiopia more than $2.9 billion over three years to support the country’s ongoing economic reforms.

The reforms include opening up key economic activities to private investment with a special emphasis on agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism, and information, communication, and technology, according to Xinhua.

An example of these reforms is the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s efforts to open up the telecoms sector to boost one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and attract foreign investment.

State-owned provider Ethio Telecom, which enjoys a monopoly in the East African country, is expected to be partly privatized. The country also plans to award telecommunications licenses to two new operators in 2020.

The Washington D.C.-based IMF oversees and monitors the financial and economic policies of its member governments around the world.

The goal of Ethiopia’s economic reforms

Ahmed is leading Ethiopia’s economic reforms program in an effort to address foreign exchange shortages, create jobs and transition the country to a more flexible exchange rate, CNBCAfrica reports.

Flexible exchange rates are defined as exchange rates determined by the global supply and demand of a currency rather than being controlled by central banks.

The Ethiopian authorities will also work on strengthening oversight and management of state-owned enterprises to contain debt vulnerabilities.

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Ethiopia recently announced that it would need as much as $10 billion to successfully implement its three-year national economic reform plan.

The IMF will provide almost a third of that financial commitment, with the remaining funds expected to be generated domestically and through other international development partners.