ADDIS ABEBA – The Council of Ministers has approved a 27.89 billion birr or $877.87 million additional budget to overcome the current economic challenges and support the ongoing reform.
The funds add to the 387 billion birr of government budget that the parliament approved in July, 2019.
The additional budget “is allocated to overcome current economic challenges,” the Prime Minister’s office in a statement said, without giving specifics.
The newly cabinet-approved additional budget was also needed because of the home-grown economic reforms recently launched by the Government, the office added.
Of the total, 18 billion birr is allocated for the implementation of policies, 2 billion birr for safety net program and 7.9 billion birr for the implementation of national equal pay for equal work agenda.
Abiy, who took office in 2018, has embarked on ambitious economic reforms trying to open up one of Africa’s fastest-growing but most closed economies. It has already begun the process of privatizing its telecoms, banking and sugar sectors.
Meanwhile, the Council also approved the loan agreements secured to upgrade the Debre-Makros Mota road project, establish Adama Science and Technology University’s center of excellence, and implement the second national water supply, sanitation and hygiene program.
The Council further approved a draft bill to hoist the flag of the African Union alongside the national flag, its anthem being sung along with Ethiopia’s national anthem and celebrate Africa Day.
The Council referred all the draft bills to the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) for approval.