Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says the World Bank will provide $1 billion in direct budget support to the country in the next few months. Abiy was addressing his first press interaction since coming into office.
According to him, the deal with the global finance body had been reached because of ongoing reforms in the country. “This is due to the reforms taking place in the country,” he told the press in Addis Ababa on Saturday.
The World Bank and other donors suspended budgetary support after a disputed and violent election in 2005.
Abiy has announced a series of economic and political changes since taking office in April. In other issues he promised free elections in 2020 for the nation of 100 million people, where parliament now has no opposition lawmakers.
Ethiopia has over the past years being one of Africa’s fastest growing economies according to the bank and the International Monetary Fund. Its economy was however more state driven a situation Abiy is seeking to reverse with plans of significant privatization.
Abiy last met with the World Bank boss in Washington DC during his diaspora tour that saw him visit three states in the United States. He also met with the IMF boss on the same trip as both parties discussed ways of improving relations.
“PM Abiy met today with World Bank Group President Jim Young Kim in DC. They had discussion on a range of issues including: future of disruptive technology, human capital, sustainable debt financing and risk of debt distress. Dr Kim said WBG is ready to provide a robust support to Ethiopia,” his chief of staff tweeted on July 27.