Ethiopia: Economy Under Spotlight At High-Level Meeting

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Ethiopian flag.

Addis Ababa — Experts are discussing the situation of Ethiopian economy, achievements of the government in boosting the economy and challenges at the two-day dialogue forum organized by the Office of the Prime Minister.

In the morning session today the discussion focused on economic reforms.

Presenting discussion points, Land Policy Researcher Desalegn Rahmato said the Ethiopian economy is facing challenges, despite the achievement in the last 20 years.

He said the agricultural sector, which is the backbone of the economy, has been improving due to modernization, better seeds and supply agricultural inputs.

The researcher, however, added that poverty and food security problems are still challenging the sector, in spite of the huge potential.

Desalegn suggested that familiarizing farmers with modern agriculture, improving credit system for farmers to have modern agricultural equipment, and expanding irrigation could solve the problem in the sector.

He also called on the need for improved rural development policy that engages farmers, experts, and stakeholders.

"Our policies, strategies or programs are not participatory and do not directly involve stakeholders like farmers. We always try to force them to follow our policies and fail. So I recommend that the government come up with a successful policy that involves farmers", the researcher stressed.

Desalegn insisted that the government also base its agricultural policy and programs on the challenge the country faces and the real problems of farmers, not by directly copying policy or program from other countries.

"Our policies do not show our real image, we just copy them from others and directly implement them. We need real policy for our real problem," he underscored.

Macroeconomics researcher, Saeid Nuru on his part stated that stabilizing the macro economy is crucial to ease economic instability.

The imbalance created between import and export, market, and rigid capital economy are currently creating challenge on the macro economy, he pointed out.

"Filling the gap in the export and import sectors by having flexible capital policy is the suggestion I give to the government," Saeid said.

The economist Birhane Assefa suggested that encouraging the private sector to improve their participation is the solution.

In this regard, she added, the recent decision of the government to partially free huge state-owned companies is a good move that enhances the participation of the private sector.

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