Despite the unexpected natural and human induced challenges that occurred over the last two and half years, Ethiopia’s Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II) is moving in the right direction, National Plan Commissioner Dr. Yinager Dessie said.
Ethiopia started implementing its second five year plan since 2015/2016 with the objective of sustaining the accelerated growth and establishes a spring board for economic and structural transformation and thereby realizing the national vision of becoming a middle-income country by 2025.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, Commissioner Yinager said the drought and civil unrests in some part of the country has not barred the economy from growing.
“When we look at the past two years GTP-II performance, expected and unexpected things have happened such as drought and unrest which were unexpected, but if the prevailing peaceful situation remains unchanged and we do more in the two and half years left, the planned economic growth will be achieved,” the Commissioner said.
However, sustaining some of the planned mega projects such as railways that have not yet started is perhaps in quandary as the prevailing global economic growth is not in line with the plans and expectations, showing diminishing returns and somehow affected financing the projects that was anticipated from partner countries such as China.
Recalling that the growth plan for 2008 Ethiopian fiscal year was 11 percent and managed to register 8 percent, he noted “having hit by drought and registering such level of growth is a remarkable success.”
The agricultural production during the meher season of that particular year had declined in the drought affected parts, especially the pastoral and semi-pastoral farming areas while the country’s overall production showed an increase, he added.
Manufacturing, construction, investment, savings and other main economic growth indicators showed steady growth.
Unlike the year’s some decades ago, the Ethiopian government by allocating billions of birr has successfully managed to avert the drought disaster risk in which no life was lost and this signifies that the economy is becoming resilient to risk vulnerability, he elaborated.
Speaking of the recent report by the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) predicting Ethiopia to take over Ghana in terms of economic growth, Dr. Yinager said “international organizations are recognizing the growth of our economy that has kept its momentum.”
“IMF, World Bank and other international organizations predictions about the current Ethiopian economy indicates that it will be among the top of the fastest African economies which is also clearly stated in our plan”
The country, according to the suggestions of IMF, is aggressively working to increase its export to resolve the current shortage of foreign currency and minimize foreign loan, which is increasing due to the expansion of development projects.
According to the Commissioner, the government is promoting Private Public Partnership engagement in sectors such as power, infrastructure including railways and also solicits financial resources for other projects.
Some projects such sugar factories have been lagging behind due to many reasons, he stated, adding that “comprehensive work has already been started for some of the mega projects that have been lagging behind.”
“We are getting prepared to evaluate the two and half year’s performance of the GTP II and all the preliminary preparations are underway. Therefore, after evaluating possible directions will be set for better performance and achieve the planned goals in the remaining years,” he revealed.
Assessing ways to quickly boost export, administrative and management issues of mega projects, enhancing the monitoring and support system on the ongoing projects and other points that are related to realizing the plan are among the issues to be discussed the consultative platform on evaluating the performance of GTP II to be held soon.
GTP II with its own distinguishing features was formulated from the achievements gained, challenges faced and lessons drawn from the implementation of GTP I.
Its major objectives are to serve as a spring board towards realizing the national vision of becoming a middle-income country by 2025, to accelerate economic transformation and the country’s journey towards its renaissance.
ENA/Addis Ababa May 01/2018