Ethiopia is Africa’s fastest-growing economy for 2019

4 Jan 2019

According to the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) Economic Outlook for Africa, Ethiopia’s economy is forecast to grow 8.5% this Ethiopian fiscal year, which ends on 7th July 2019.

The report says Ethiopia will continue to be the fastest growing economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Rwanda with 7.8% and Senegal with 6.7% growth.

Deputy Director of the IMF Africa Department, David Robinson said Ethiopia’s growth was driven by the service sector and better domestic and foreign investment.

Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to be 3.1% in 2018, up by 0.4% from last year.

…IMF praises Ethiopia’s economic growth

The International Monetary Fund has praised Ethiopia’s remarkable progress over more than a decade, which has led to a significant reduction in poverty and improved living standards for many Ethiopians.

The country’s large infrastructure investments are beginning to bear fruit and the provision of public services such as education and health has increased dramatically. As a result, the population has enjoyed important welfare gains, the report said.

The number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births fell radically from 1,080 in 1995 to 353 in 2015 and the proportion of people living in poverty fell from over 45% in 1995 to around 23% in 2015.

In 2017-18, Ethiopia’s economic growth dipped to 7.7% due to reduced government public expenditure aimed at tackling the growing current account deficit and indebtedness. Political uncertainty and severe foreign exchange shortages also dampened growth.

As the political climate settles and investment recovers, growth is expected to recover to 8.5% this fiscal year, and the current account deficit should continue to narrow.

In their report, IMF staff said they expect inflation – which currently exceeds the single-digit target – to continue to fall due to an appropriately tight monetary policy.

Analysis carried out jointly by IMF staff and UN Women finds that the government’s agenda of promoting gender equality could yield large economic benefits over time. Closing gender gaps in educational attainment, formal labour force participation rates, and access to quality land and other resources are key to realizing these benefits.

The new government has made progress in this area. They have appointed a gender balanced cabinet, while women have been placed in key decision-making positions, including the presidency and the head of the Supreme Court.

Read the full report at http://bit.ly/IMFet

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