Ethiopia: Govt Counts On Irrigation, Tourism to Reduce Unemployment

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said Ethiopia would focus on irrigation projects and the tourism sector as a measure to reduce the rate of unemployment in his country.

Ethiopia, tipped as Africa's fastest growing economy last year continues to address the unemployment crisis, in spite of the hefty foreign investments established in the nation.

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Like the West African nation Nigeria, Ethiopia's population is estimated to double and reach 200 million in 30 years, putting pressure on resources.

The premier stated that the jobs the country is creating every year are around one million, while the population of the country is increasing by two and half million annually.

The East African country still relies on foreign food aid to feed several million who can't produce enough to feed themselves.

The agriculture sector is forecast as an ideal vehicle to create employment opportunities, especially among the youth to drive economic progress.

The industry contributes to over 75 per cent of the jobs directly or indirectly in Ethiopia, proving to be the backbone of the country's economy as most African nations.

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The Ethiopian government allocated close to $355 million towards job creation a few years ago, but Premier Abiy Ahmed lamented on the poor management of the financial resources to address the issue. Only 1 per cent of the fund is at hand, he added.

Yesterday the PM inaugurated the Gidabo irrigation dam erected between Oromia and Southern region of Ethiopia West Guji zone in Sidama Zone in Southern area.

The infrastructure can irrigate over 13,400 hectares of land between the regions, create 1,200 hectares artificial lake and create jobs for 20,000 skilled youth.

Ethiopia has an abundance of historic and natural tourist attractions which should boost the tourism sector and create employment opportunities.

The country is rich with cultural mosaics of diverse ethnographic attractions, great landscapes and national parks which when utilised could bring maximum benefits to the government.

Foreign firms have invested in the hospitality industry in Ethiopia owing to its business attractive environment through government incentives.

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