Addis Ababa September 7/2022 /ENA/The Ethiopian economy, which managed to overcome challenges and grow over the course of the concluded Ethiopian fiscal year, will even grow more with the participation of domestic and foreign private sectors, Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister and Ethiopian Investment Holdings CEO said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister and Ethiopian Investment Holdings CEO Mamo Mihretu said the administration is taking a number of progressive reform measures to open up the Ethiopian economy to investment and trade.

“We have opened up the telecom sector, the logistics sector; and we are currently working to open up the financial sector. This is the declared intention of the Ethiopian government.”

The Senior Policy Advisor elaborated, “We certainly think with the much more robust participation of private sector, whether domestic or foreign private sector, the Ethiopian economy will grow, be able to sustain the current economic growth. So we welcome private and foreign direct investment in this country. But it is not confined to the financial sector. It actually cuts across a number of sectors.”

According to him, the performance of the Ethiopian export sector grew significantly last Ethiopian fiscal year. “Export has grown by about 13 percent. Ethiopia for the first time has registered an export earning close to 4.1 billion USD; and this has been an exceptional performance.”

The performance of the agriculture sector, especially coffee, has done very well by registering close to 1.2 billion USD, Mamo stated, adding that “this is by any stretch of imagination an exceptional performance.”

The government’s support to improve agricultural productivity and to move to high value export products has started to pay off and the performance of Ethiopian export will be even more in the coming years, he said.  

“Overall we expect the Ethiopian economy to grow by around 6 percent this year and this is for most part driven by sector competitiveness, particularly in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.”

One of the major challenges that the country is facing right now is the problem of inflation, the Senior Advisor noted, and added that this is not unique to Ethiopia as a number of economies, including the US, European Union, UK, have registered the highest inflation in over 40 years.

“In our case, we know inflation is the big problem and is mainly driven by food inflation and the conflict in Ukraine makes the situation even worse because we very much depend on import of fertilizer; and the fact that the price of fertilizer has nearly doubled over the course of last year and the cost of gas and oil has doubled has a direct implication on the Ethiopian economy. So, we are not immune to the conflict that is happening in Ukraine,” he elaborated.

The government is taking a number of measures to address this by making sure essential commodities are imported in Ethiopia and availing foreign currency as well as monetary measures.

“Our effort is actually bearing fruit because inflation, if not completely addressed, is becoming stable right now. So this is an urgent important agenda and the government is taking a number of measures to address and contain it,” the Senior Policy Advisor concluded.

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