PM Abiy Ahmed on the economy

Kal Kassa
2 min readAug 4, 2022

The Ethiopian Prime Minister delivers a much expected presentation to his Macro Economic Committee. It’s lessons are very clear.

ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዐቢይ አሕመድ በማክሮ ኢኮኖሚ ኮሚቴ ስብሰባ ወቅት ያደረጉትንግግር (PM Office, YouTube)

Inflation

Inflation (Amharic translation “የዋጋ-ግሽበት”) is an underlying issue and important macro-economic indicator to follow. There is no getting around this basic metric as it relates to all aspects of the economy.

Export

Focusing on the export of various goods will continue to yield large incomes for the various entities involved. Annual number were citied at USD 10.2 billion but including Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Remittance gains, these numbers grow to USD 20 billion.

Given the growing energy demands and inflationary concerns on Ethiopia’s imports, this is not to be noted as a standalone success. Annual export numbers should instead grow by 5 to 7x if we are to meet the basic needs of the people.

Beggars

There are no room for beggars in a society that values hard work and strength. Given his audience, and other moments within his speech, I interpret this to mean that large amounts of aid-led spending will create more issues than they solve. A value-adding private sector and market-driven responses are indeed a preferable course forward for Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

Warrior Societies

A society or culture that is overly zealous or overtly violent crosses a line. Without removing the ability for protection and pride, there may be amble ways for societies and communities to ease tensions and foster peace. He speaks candidly and specifically to those that glorify violence on the media, particularly at the youth-level this is urgently concerning.

Corruption

His language here is direct. Corruption overshadows most of his speeches given to Ethiopia’s various institutional and regional leaders. Public expenditure without the necessary audit tools and check/ balances in place will continue to be haunted by these foundational issues of trust and permission.

Energy and Mining

The Prime Minister demands “an intervention in energy and mining” and urges these leaders to think outside the box. As with the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and other dams within Ethiopia, energy investments are important long term capital expenditures. Infrastructure is a national endeavor.

At last the Prime Minister mentions the need for disciplined loan strategies. New allies and recent visitors to the African continent will continue relationships between foreign actors freeze and thaw.

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