Addis Ababa March 21,2017 Ethiopia`s rapid economic growth in the last 13 consecutive years was mainly due to the country’s commitment towards long-term development, said Dr. Abraham Tekeste Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation.
While briefing a group of African journalists who visited Ethiopia for a week, the Minister said that priority is given to agricultural transformation, infrastructure development, building capacity of the private sector and investing in citizens to realize the growth in addition to the commitment.
Because of the commitment of the government and maximum efforts exerted so far, the size of the economy has more than doubled over the last six years by growing to 72 billion USD at present from 32 billion USD in 2011, he said.
The average per capital income has also reached close 800 USD; poverty has dropped by more than half from 50 to 23 percent while Gini coefficient remains 0.3, according to Dr. Abraham.
In connection to financing ongoing development endeavors, Dr. Abraham said the government has focused in mobilizing domestic resources.
“We focused on increasing our domestic resources to finance our development so we took tax reform; we strengthened our tax administration capacity and tax revenue as a result increased by over 30 percent over the last six years.”
Deputy Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission, Abebe Abebayehu said the government is working to transform the country’s agrarian economy into industrialized. “Currently it [the economy] is mainly agrarian based and we would like to actually see the manufacturing sector playing the prominent role.”
In achieving the structural transformation, the Deputy Commissioner noted that the government has prioritized infrastructure development.
“the government of Ethiopia among other things is putting in place the right kinds of infrastructure, infrastructure in the form of state of the art of industrial parks, infrastructure in a form of an electric driven railway connecting the capital to the port of Djibouti.” he said.
“Industrialization is in the making and we will soon make Ethiopia the leading manufacturing hub in Africa”, Abebe emphasized.
A South African journalist from eNCA, Sikelelwa Mdingi, said, “Ethiopia is relatively corruption free with high level of commitment from government to get things done.”
Expressing the government`s commitment on policy and strategy to transform the nation, Mdingi stressed that what she noted was the importance of capacitating the people in almost all of the country`s strategies.
“They now know one of their biggest resources is humans, you got labor you know, so instead of leaving the people to sit and farm, they are trying to make them active contributors into the economy” she said.
She also praised the government’s consistency in formulating policies and monitoring their implementations that are meant to change the livelihoods of the public and sustain the rapid economic growth.
In relation to her trip to some parts of Ethiopia, Mdingi, said, “Every one we spoke to over the last eight days spoke about the importance of one Africa and spoke about the next global boom will come from Africa”.
Another South African journalist from Cape Times, Siyavuya mzantsi, witnessed that Ethiopia is spending a massive amount of money in infrastructure which in turn is attracting a huge number of FDI from across the world.
“I think you know it is heading towards a positive direction and other African countries could learn or should learn from what this country is doing in terms of quality, cooperation and prioritizing women.” Mzantsi pointed out.
The Cape Times journalist also indicated that this is the high time for African countries to maintain African ideas and work for the African integration in the political, economic and social spheres.