Evidence from time to time indicates that much of the economic activity in Ethiopia prior to the reform had not been successful and had not brought the country to the desired level of economic growth. It is well known that the evolving problem had put pressure on the country.
Speaking to Ethiopian Press Agency, Deputy Commissioner of the Planning and Development Commission Nemera Gebeyehu (Ph.D.) stated that there are many conditions under which a country can achieve economic growth. The first thing for him is to be able to sustain or assure growth.
As to him, economic growth often focuses on numbers. This means how much the productivity in an economy grows in a year; in other words, economic growth means national income. However, these growths are not enough by themselves. Expressing percentages or numbers alone does not mean that the economy has grown; he mentioned that the change must be seen the development. This is what ensures the success of a country, he noted.
It is also necessary to work on poverty alleviation, whether through job creation or other means. It must be seen whether the country is showing progress or not. It is important to ensure the well-being of the society. When it comes to an economy, it is not just about reducing poverty. While economic growth creates jobs, it must be able to meet the diverse needs of citizens.
Moreover, a country’s economic growth can only be measured by looking at the transformation of a country’s economy into socio-economic development. Indicating that growth is a number, he asserted that this alone cannot be verified. So the change in a country’s income from year to year is measured by market value.
“Even prior to the change, there were positive results, especially in the economic sector. Ethiopia has been experiencing significant economic growth in terms of Africa. Yet, extensive work should have been done to sustain the growth. “As I mentioned earlier, growth should not be measured in numbers alone,” he states.
Infrastructure works have also been done extensively. But it was not for the benefit of the citizens. This was a big gap. There has been no economic growth that has improved production and productivity, created jobs for all citizens, ensured equitable economic benefits, and alleviated inflation. “There has been poor economic development. But for any growth to continue, it must be quality. The ten-year plan is designed to ensure the well-being of citizens, especially in their lives,” Nemera explained.
Growth does not come after other developments. In other words, if a country does not increase its income, there will not be a growth. In fact, reports indicated that there was economic growth in Ethiopia’s annual net Gross Domestic Product.
According to him, the gap was to turn that growth into development. As infrastructure has been developed, it has not been given enough attention to increase production and productivity in the agricultural, industrial, mining and tourism sectors.
Economic growth is directly related to increasing production and productivity. One of the biggest gaps before the reform was the then government’s lack of focus on policy, and strategy of giving priority for increasing production and productivity. The current inflation and unemployment are a reflection of this.
According to him, the government is working on different tasks for the success of the Home Grown Economic Reform. Mentioning that one of the goals of the reform is increasing revenue, he stated that the country has started to increase its income through the reform. He also illustrated that while the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the world economy, Ethiopia grew by 6.1 percent in 2020. Despite some limitations, the result was significant, according to Nemera.
The government’s direct support for the protection of certain industries is also a result of changes in the financial sector. If the political and economic instability that preceded the reform came together, it would have led to unintended consequences for the country.
Both the country’s Home Grown Economic Reform and the political steps taken by the reformist government have put the country’s economy in a good position. Wise ways of debt management can also be mentioned. In particular, it was also able to make an unusual balance for both private and public sectors in providing loans, he noted.
Indicating that the currency change was also part of the Home Grown Economic Reform, he vowed that it was able to increase domestic savings which was very low as a result of illegal money laundering. There was no connection between the amounts of money flowing in and out of the bank. In this regard, extensive work has been done to manage and modernize the banks. Since the currency change, the amount of money flowing into the bank has increased dramatically.
The money in the bank is converted into a loan and the loan is used for investment. At the same time, it helps to curb contraband trade. As to him, the achievement acquired in the gold trading was also part of this. That is why the government has set the ten-year perspective plan.
Moreover, he elucidated the ten year perspective plan is intended to make Ethiopia African Beacon of Prosperity by 2030 adding that the 30-year plan aims to be one of the world’s leading development countries.
Ethiopia is a country that is seen as a symbol of freedom at the African. At the same time, the country has adequate land, manpower and other potential resources. If we can use our resources appropriately, we can make a big change in Ethiopia.
“Tourism is also known to play a major role in generating income and creating jobs in Ethiopia. We have to open up the economy. We need to be able to build free and independent economic institutions. It should not be just a one-party or five-year government’s duty to increase the nation’s economy. The economy must be sustainable. We need to be able to achieve common prosperity by ensuring a quality economy,” he added.