Ethiopia to Get $3bln Loan From World Bank, Abiy Says

ADDIS ABEBA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Friday Ethiopia will receive 3 billion U.S. Dollars funding from the World Bank to help strengthen the country’s economic reforms.

The PM announced World Bank’s decision via his official twitter account two days after his country and International Monetary Fund had reached a preliminary finance agreement on 2.9 billion US dollars financing package for three years.

The fund will go toward macroeconomic, structural and sectoral reforms, he said.

The Prime Minister also revealed that his administration is finalizing 3 billion US dollars additional funding for the ongoing Economic Reforms from development partners. He did not disclose the names of the partners.

“The pledge does not include additional reform financing from the World Bank ($3 billion) and IMF ($2.9 billion),” the PM wrote. He also mentioned investment from the UAE and Saudi Arabia but did not go into more detail.

“This reaffirms both Governments’ and donors’ partnership to transition Ethiopia to a prosperous and peaceful nation,” Abiy said.

Abiy has made rapid changes to Ethiopia’s once tightly regulated political and economic space since coming to power last April, with plans to open up state-owned industries, from telecommunications to energy, to more foreign investment.

The Horn of Africa nation boasts the continent’s fastest-growing economy and drew a record $13 billion of inflows in Abiy’s first year in office.

The country, however, is grappling with inflation of 20.8% — a five-year high — and spends as much as $700 million a year on grain imports to cover food shortages. This has put a strain on foreign-exchange supplies already limited by large current-account deficits, according to reports.

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File Photo: Prime Minister Abiy hosted World Bank Group’s President David Malpass at his office in Addis Abeba in May 2019. During their meeting, Malpass noted that Ethiopia is laying a solid foundation with the economic reforms and affirmed the WBG’s continued partnership.

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