Ethiopia’s PM, IMF Chief Discuss ‘Forging Strengthened Partnership’

ADDIS ABABA – Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed and his delegation on Thursday held discussion with IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, in Brussels.

The two sides met on the margins of the African Union-European Union Leaders Summit that is taking place in Brussels, Belgium.

After the meeting, Prime Minister Abiy said the discussion was focused on “forging strengthened partnership” between his country and IMF.

“Grateful for the discussion with @KGeorgieva on forging strengthened partnership with IMF as Ethiopia resumes the reforms she fought hard to maintain despite adversities,” tweeted Abiy.

IMF chief described the discussion with the the PM as “very constructive”.

“We focused on the way forward for Ethiopia’s economy for the benefit of all the people of the country,” she said.

Growth Projection withheld

The meeting between Abiy and Georgieva took place a few months after the IMF decided not to release a GDP growth forecast for Ethiopia in its latest World Economic Outlook for the next four years.

Speaking to the press on the Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa in October last year. IMF’s African Department head, Abebe Aemro, said the multilateral lender took two factors into consideration for not doing so.

The first one, he said, was the “extremely high degree of uncertainty” on economic prospects, which, according to some reports, linked to the recent conflict in Ethiopia.

The second consideration, Abebe said, was also the Ethiopian government’s request for support for a new program with the IMF.

“This is not unprecedented, and we have countries like Argentina and Lebanon, for these two reasons, where we have not shown growth projections,” the regional director said.

Last week, the IMF’s spokesperson Gary Rice said, although the “uncertainty related to the conflict” made refreshing macroeconomic projections difficult, the IMF “will be attempting to do that in the period ahead”.


[The story has been updated on Friday to include a quote from the Managing director of the IMF]