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Ethiopia recognizes the private sector as engine of growth: PM Abiy Ahmed

Addis Ababa, November 27, 2023 (FBC) – Addressing the 20th General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) underscored that industrialization can lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty across the world.

Prime Minister Abiy pointed out that the manufacturing sector in particular has emerged as the driver of prosperity providing employment and fostering innovation in both developed and developing countries.

“Over the past two decades, the world of industry has been in constant state of change due to digital transformation and evolving geopolitical landscape and the need for a green industrialization because of climate change,” the Prime Minister stated.

“Industrial policies are the most viable strategies for accelerating Africa’s economic growth. Our convening here today offers an opportunity to affirm our shared commitment to promote an inclusive and sustainable industrial development. Africa is endowed with abundant natural resources including critical minerals and dynamic youth population which are essential for industrial productively and transformation of the economy,” the Premier explained.

“Yet poverty remains to be among the most serious challenges which entail placing Africa at the center of the global industrialization agenda,” he stressed.

“In Ethiopia, since 2018, we have embarked upon reforms rooted in a deep understanding of our potentials, challenges and opportunities to expand our economy and accelerate poverty reduction. Our vision is to fully unlock Ethiopia’s untapped potential in various sectors and to drive this growth through able institutions and highly skilled labor,” Abiy indicaed.

Ethiopia’s pathway to prosperity follows a multi -sector growth approach to enable equitable development, he said, adding that manufacturing remains a priority, particularly because of its close linkage with other sectors such as mining.

Ethiopia is an entrepreneurial state that recognizes the private sector as the engine of growth and aims to harness its demographic dividend for productivity, the Premier pointed out.

Ethiopia has been making deliberate policy shifts aimed at boosting productivity in all sectors and creating a conducive investment and business environments, Abiy noted.

“Our homegrown economic reform agenda introduced macro -financial, structural and sectoral reformers aimed at liberalizing key economic sectors such as telecom and banking, fostering private sector investment, enhancing external competitiveness, and improving the economy.”

We have strengthened our adaptive industrial policymaking by establishing a free economic zone in order to be more agile in the face of a changing world. Second, we have been investing extensively in multi -sector growth sources under our homegrown economic reform pillars of agriculture, industry, tourism, ICT and mining.

These investments have translated into noteworthy achievements, including increased agricultural productivity, the emergence of a growing mining sector, robust momentum in the digital economy and notable flagship destination initiatives in the tourism sector.

The intensified production of strategic commodities like wheat, coffee and avocado, alongside promising measures for substituting edible oil and rice production are pivotal of sufficiency.

Over the past five years, we have managed to raise our total farm area from 15 .3 million hectares to 22 .9 million hectares, with vast amount of land for crop production still available for cultivation as we continue expanding on our potential and the agricultural sector.

The digital economy is making substantial progress driven by the implementation of foundational elements such as a digital ID and payment systems and the establishment of the Ethiopian Artificial Intelligence Institute that focuses on research and development of solutions in our priority sectors.

The digital economy is making substantial progress driven by the implementation of foundational elements such as a digital ID and payment systems and the establishment of the Ethiopian Artificial Intelligence Institute that focuses on research and development of solutions in our priority sectors.

Ethiopia’s laser and laser products industry is also sizable, while chemical and construction input processing, in addition to manufacturing technology and engineering, offer great potential as import substitution industries.

The late -comer advantage for countries like Ethiopia is that we can do industry development right. Ethiopia’s net-zero and climate resilient development strategy enables us to make our economic development priority compatible with climate commitments, which brings me to the third point of green growth and clean energy.

We firmly recognize that sustainable industrial development must not come at the cost of environment or the well -being of our people.

“Harnessing the potential of renewable energy sources to power our industries is our priority. Through our national energy policy and the energy efficiency strategies for various sectors, the government is committed to building a climate resilient green economy by expanding electricity generation from clean energy sources.” The Premier said.

“Ethiopia already generates 98% of its energy from clean sources. The grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam is Africa’s largest hydropower plant and Koysha is the third largest. We are expanding our wind, solar and geothermal sources and currently harnessing green hydrogen to support industrial growth.”

“Nationally, Ethiopia has more than 60,000 megawatt potential from our diversified and abundant renewable energy resources. But reaching this capacity requires significant investments. On green growth, Ethiopia remains a leader on the continent in the practical approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

“Since 2019, we have been diligently planting trees to address our dual goal of food security and climate change mitigation. 32 .5 billion seedlings have been planted in five years through the mobilization of more than 25 million citizens throughout the country annually,” the Premier disclosed.

The Prime Minister emphasized that social development is a key foundation for our development goals. “We have invested in education and the skills development of our youth, occupying them with the capabilities needed in various industries and innovative economic sectors.”

“Our approach is to be inclusive and equitable, benefitting all segments of our society, especially the marginalized and the vulnerable.”

Ethiopia is a resourceful, resilient and productive nation on a path to unlocking many of its potentials for inclusive and sustainable growth.

Our multiple reformers have allowed us to double our GDP and our per capita income in five years. But one of the basic tools for sustainable economic growth and industrialization is the attraction of foreign direct investment.

“We’ve been hard at work creating a favorable investment and business environment to attract FDI, yet further support is needed in matching the right investments to the right sectors. Similarly, skills and technology transfer are a center of Ethiopia’s industrial development policy and practice.”

“The jobs creation agenda is important to us and it must be a joint agenda with countries in Europe and North America which are main destinations for migrants. We have an abundant youth population that has increasingly become technologically savvy and skilled. We want to retain this talent in our country and on the continent. To do so, we seek the cooperation of developed countries in technology transfer, investments and development financing.”

The Prime Minister further reiterated that Ethiopia firmly believe that by pursuing inclusive and sustainable industrialization and diversifying its economy, can ensure prosperity, reduce inequality and contribute to a better future for its people and the world.


By Wondesen Aregahegn


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