6 July 2018

Ethiopia Needs U.S.$7.5bn to Complete Mega Projects

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said his government needs $7.5 billion to complete ongoing mega infrastructure projects.

He was speaking in Parliament after the tabling of the 346.9 billion Ethiopian birr ($12.8 billion) 2018/19 budget that was approved by MPs on Friday afternoon.

The reformist prime minister said state-owned enterprises are heavily-indebted and had "put at risk the economy".

The enterprises have failed to quickly operationalise their projects and were among the reasons the country is facing a dollar shortage, he said.

"We are only good in starting the projects but not completing on schedule," he said.

The government will not undertake any new project in the next financial year that begins on July 8 as a result.

"Starting a new project under such circumstances will be damaging to the economy," he said.

Since taking office in April, Dr Abiy has introduced economic reforms such as liberalising state companies and reducing the role of the military in the economy.

He said the government must be more efficient and exercise prudent spending.


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