PM Abiy Holds Talks with IMF, World Bank Chiefs

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has held discussions with top officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG) in Washington DC.

The discussions, held on the sidelines of the US-Africa Leaders Summit, come two months after the Federal Government and the TPLF signed a peace deal to end the two years of conflict in northern Ethiopia.

The PM and his delegation first met with the IMF’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva at the IMF headquarters.

In what both Abiy and Kristalina called “productive discussion”, the two sides talked about a range of issues including Ethiopia’s economic reforms.

PM abiy said the discussion on Ethiopia’s transformative economic reform agenda include the need for debt resolutions.

“I express our resolve to preserve past gains and deepen our reforms further,” he added.

The Ethiopian economy has been subject to multiple shocks over the past two and a half years. These shocks include the COVID-19 pandemic, drought, conflict in the north of Ethiopia, and the spillover effect of the war in Ukraine.

Kristalina said her talks with Abiy covered on the need to “work together to address Ethiopia’s post-conflict humanitarian and economic challenges.

The two also discussed “both global challenges and prospects for resuming program discussions,” according to the IMF Chief.

‘Achieving lasting peace key’

Simmiar issues were also raised when PM Abiy subsequently met with World Bank Group President David Malpass later that day.

The two sides also discussed the World Bank’s support for the reforms in Ethiopia, according to Abiy.

“The return of peace is a chance to accelerate the economic transformation agenda that enhance productivity and job creation,” said the PM.

During the talks, President Malpass also emphasized the importance of ending internal conflict and achieving lasting peace.

He also stressed “the importance of decisive policy reforms” to remove distortions in the exchange rate market, and foster a business-enabling environment for private sector-led growth.

Their meeting comes a day after the board of directors of the World Bank approved $745 Million to Ethiopia in grants.

The fund, which would bring total WBG commitments to Ethiopiato $2.9 billion over FY22-FY23, will support two projects aiming to boost access to health services and flood management.

“Our new projects for health systems & flood management in Ethiopia provide a people-centered approach,” said the WBG President in a tweet.

(Note: The articles was updated on Thursday to adde the quotes from IMF and world Bank leaders)

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