Ethiopia Wants To Reduce Aid, U.S., To Increase Trade

Ethiopia Wants To Reduce Aid, U.S., To Increase Trade

As Ethiopia’s economy grows, Ethiopian nationals living in the U.S. are returning to their homeland, providing humanitarian support there and expanding political and economic ties between the two countries, according to a report in AllAfrica.

The Ethiopian economy grew by double-digit percentages in the last five years, but Ethiopia-U.S. business relationships have been limited because of investment challenges, said Donald Yamamoto, acting assistant secretary of state for African affairs and a former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia. He spoke earlier this month before a Foreign Affairs Subcommittee.

Ethiopia is leading the push to end preventable maternal and child deaths, Yamamoto said, according to the report. Ethiopia “will play a key role in determining AU priorities on peace and security and development and governance,” he said.

The U.S. will encourage Ethiopia to work toward greater market liberalization, including progress toward World Trade Organization accession, he added.

The U.S. is working with a major U.S. company to secure multimillion-dollar deals aimed at improving Ethiopia’s infrastructure, according to AllAfrica.

Ethiopia wants to boost power production fivefold by 2015. The U.S. agreed in June to negotiate project deals with private-sector developers.

U.S. companies have signed letters of intent to make investments supporting Ethiopia’s country plan under the Group of Eight’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. The alliance, introduced in May 2012, aims to form partnerships between investors and local companies in Africa, the report says.

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Ethiopia is a key U.S. partner in countering effects of climate change and promoting food security.

“USAID’s programs in Ethiopia have seen remarkable results,” Yamamoto said. But Ethiopia wants to eventually eliminate the need for donor assistance, he added.