Ethiopia, World Bank Sign $907 Million Financing Deal

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s finance ministry and World Bank have signed today a 907 million US dollar financing agreement that will fund three major areas including supporting the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The finance agreement was signed on Friday between finance minister Ahmed Shide and World Bank’s country director Ousmane Dione in Addis Ababa.

Unlike other signing events, this one has been attended by senior government officials including Health minister Dr. Lia Tadesse who previously said Ethiopia was in talks with the World Bank to secure finance for the acquisition of the Covid-19 vaccine.

At least $207 million of the newly found finance will support health officials’ effort to tackle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia and vaccine acquisition and deployment, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Boosting access to Finance

Apart from supporting Ethiopia’s vaccination effort, Ethiopia and the World Bank agreed to expand access to financing and investment in the electricity sector.

The largest part of the latest deal – 500 million US dollars – will assist the government’s effort to increase electricity service and access, and improve private sector’s participation with sustainable financing sources.

About 100 million US dollars of this agreement will be used to enable the private sector to invest in the provision and supply of electricity, according to the statement.

The statement also said about 200 million US dollars of the latest deal will be allocated to support small and micro enterprises in Ethiopia.

Enterprises that have been severely affected by the COVID-19 epidemic but can continue their business and stay afloat if supported will benefit from this fund, the ministry said.

Ethiopia will receive the latest finance in the form of a $700 million loan and a $207 million grant.