The Planning and Development Commission held a consultative meeting with representatives of political parties operating in Ethiopia on October 2, 2020, on the basis of the 10-Year perspective Development Plan (2021-2030).
The Minister of Finance, Ahmed Shide; Dr. Fitsum Assefa, Commissioner of Planning and Development Commission; State Minister of Finance, Dr. Eyob Tekalign; State Ministers of Planning and Development Commission, Dr. Nemera Gebeyehu and Endalakachew Sime were present at the meeting.
Finance Minister Ahmed Shide opened the discussion by saying that the 10-year plan is a joint plan. He stressed the need for the participation of political parties and said that all Ethiopians are concerned about the Ethiopian issue.
Dr. Fitsum Assefa, Commissioner of the Planning and Development Commission, outlined the draft document on the discussion forum. While explaining the origins of the plan set out in the plan's original document, she pointed out the strategic pillars of the development plan; major development goals; capabilities; and areas of focus. She described in detail the expected risks and strategies to reduce the risk as well as the monitoring and evaluation system.
Among the development pillars, as to her is building technology capacity and a digital economy. This pillar includes: laying the foundation for technology competency and building digital economy; developing and expanding accessibility of information and communication technology; upgrading information communication technology service; applying technology for the improvement of productivity and competency; building human resource capacity that fits innovation and technology development among others.
The other pillar is ensuring sustainable growth and development finance. Among the targets to be hit under this pillar are: uplifting financial sector accessibility in rural areas to embolden public's saving value; encouraging enterprises and corporates to invest their interest on manufacturing sectors; building digital revenue management system; and ensuring financial justice through bringing contraband, tax fraud and illicit economy to the tax system with some other targets.
Ensuring the economic leadership of the private sector is also among the pillars of the perspective plan. This pillar comprises designing and applying the private sector development strategy to ensure the leading role of the sector in the economy; making local investors, in particular, focus on critical sectors by creating a conducive investment situation and identifying support expected from the government; encouraging quality foreign direct investment; to make cooperation between government and the private sector that assures strong, inclusive free market economy led by market led principle; and encouraging the private sector to participate in the core economic sectors that the private sector is not courageous to engage in by setting new strategies among others.
In addition, the perspective plan includes the pillar that ensures reform of systems. A system in this context, as to the commissioner, is a concept that incorporates public attitude, the role of the government, community interrelations, institutions that judge government and community interaction; laws, policies and strategies set by the institutions and cultural and religious laws as well as the political system.
It is essential to set common understanding and vision that can be created in a democratic manner among and between government and the community and also political elites. The role of the government in this regard is to create enabling situations that allow create unique bureaucratic structure to enhance political and economic integration and to speed up the nation's development efforts. It is also essential to exert effort to make educational institutions the origins of good citizens.
Ensuring developmental beneficiary and social inclusiveness, according to Dr. Fitsum is also a pillar of the ten year perspective plan. This pillar encompasses ensuring women's equitable beneficiary by including gender issue in the economic and social sectors; making beneficiary women and the youth in job engagement and property making; making women and the youth possess fair participation in the political leadership and decision making; ensuring developmental safety net, social security expansion and beneficiary of basic services among others.
Building justice accessibility and effective good governance is also among the pillars that support the economic growth and development through enhancing fair, accessible and firm justice service. This pillar also includes legal packages and amendments that effectuate managerial justice and empower measurability; improving system of human resource development and managerial leadership; as well as effective and civilized service provision.
The other pillar of the ten year perspective plan is ensuring sustainable peace building and strong regional economic cooperation. This pillar includes enhancing positive peace and enriched democracy; upgrading social wealth, values and areal knowledge; upgrading legal enacting, credibility of human safety and capacity as well as relations and cooperation; enriching citizen oriented and knowledge based business leadership system; expanding strategic partnership and representative space.
Regarding capacity, the commissioner said that the economic growth registered in Ethiopia up to now is because of the construction of infrastructure aiming at creating conducive basement for the manufacturing sector development and the consecutive expansion of the construction sector as well as the service sector.
The effort based on productivity that countries like South Korea and China used as a means to develop, is considered in Ethiopia in the near future. Making crop productivity twofold in Ethiopia, that does not exceed 24-26 quintals per hectare at the moment, enables growing crops production 7 percent.
Upgrading factories' current production capacity from 50 percent to 80 percent in the manufacturing industry by itself can take a long distance.
Focus areas of the perspective plan are finance sector development, growth of source of multisector economy, investment and business area, local and export trade sector, population and human resource development sector, infrastructure sector, urban development sector, good governance and justice sector as well as peace and security sector.
The finance sector development focuses on reform on government development enterprises,; applying strong foreign currency management; strengthening local and foreign resource mobilization; strengthening private and public partnership; strengthening state finance management, effectuating digital finance system and stretching a system to establish capital market among others.
In agriculture the focus areas are detaching the agriculture from rainfall dependency by strengthening irrigation capacity; expanding mechanization service; upgrading production and productivity of small holder farmers; animals' resource development and healthy fodder development; horticulture; and climate change resilient sustainable agriculture and others.
The manufacturing industry sector also focuses on producing competing food, clothing and medicine products for local consumption and export trade; upgrading production and productivity of the existing industries; prioritizing manufacturing sectors that consume local inputs; strengthening interconnection and mutual supply of manufacturing industries' value chains; and upgrading the leading role of the private sector among others.
Focus areas of the mineral sector on its part include upgrading foreign currency gain and local revenue; expanding investment in the sector; contributing for the economy by value adding for the sector; enabling expansion of value adding manufacturing industries; job creation; and growing geological data coverage system of the country and others.
As it is among the major income generator, the tourism sector has also played and playing great role for the economic development. Focus areas of the sector are identifying the nation's tourism possessions and developing properly; strengthening infrastructure of tourism destinations; upgrading competency by developing new tourism attractions and enriching the existing destinations and also expanding tourism products type and amount; creating and growing new tourism market share through effective market linkage, branding and promotion; and improving service delivery of heritage preservation and protection among others.
Participants of the discussion have provided gratitude for they had been invited to take part in their country's plan. They have also raised their suggestions and questions on the content of the document. Among the suggestions, peace, justice, women's participation, unemployment, and migration have been raised to be given special attention.
The idea that the ten year perspective plan seems ambitious is seen as strength by some participants and as a weakness by others. Dr. Eyob Tekalign, State Minister of Finance, commented on the view that it is a plan that can be achieved if Ethiopia utilizes its potential to the fullest.