A New Horizon of Hope

In a new approach to development planning, the Office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, announced it’s take on the priority challenges facing Ethiopia and the remedies for them.  The clear one-page document is a departure from usual multi-page strategic documents used by previous administrations.  The document identifies weak democratization & justice system, poor public service delivery, risk of debt distress, domestic resource mobilization, poor export performance, high youth unemployment, slow structural transformation, low productivity in agriculture, quality & inclusivity of education, low access to energy, growing illegality, and weakening values of unity as the major issues standing in the way of Ethiopia’s progress.

Interestingly, proposed solutions include clear decisions on topics such as World Trade Organization (WTO) accession and the establishment of a stock exchange These were topics often put on action plans in the past but never taken seriously enough to implement.  The plan doubles down on a push to grow manufacturing but also reemphasizes agriculture, and perhaps for the first time introduces serious initiatives to push ICT and Tourism as pillars of a productive economy.  In what appears to be a continuing shift towards the private sector, the plan also sets concrete targets to raise loans available to the private sector by 20% per year, and welcome its increased participation in many sectors including power generation, and logistics.  The plan also emphasizes a plan to diversify Ethiopia’s port access.

It’s timeline coincides within the scope of the next nationwide elections expected to take place in two years.