Ethiopia to turn least developed regions into economic engines

Ethiopian government is set to turn the least developed regions of the country into centers of economic engines, which prioritizes irrigation-centered agricultural development and job creation.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia made the comment on Sunday addressing over 3,000 people from the five least developed regions of the country, namely, Afar, Gambella, Somali, Harari and Benishangul Gumz. Both foreign and domestic investors will be at the center of the implementing his irrigation-centered agricultural development and job creation strategy. “From now on wards, the focus of the government will be economic reform,” he said.

He told the participant of the conference that his administration will allocate huge budget next year, which begins July 8, 2019, to utilize the irrigation potentials of Afar, Gambella, Somali, Harari and Benishangul Gumz regions of Ethiopia.

He further stated that many international organizations and countries have promised to support his irrigation-centered agricultural development and job creation strategy. Though Ethiopia has irrigation potential of Ethiopia around 5.3 million hectares, government report shows that only less than 10% of it is utilized.

It is recalled that the African Development Bank, the UN food and agriculture organization (FAO) and the European Union among others expressed their intent to provide support to PM Abiy’s irrigation-centered agricultural development.

The participants of the Sunday meeting from the five regions include religious and traditional leaders and representatives of the youth, women as well as leaders of political parties operating in the regions.

“The reform we have embarked on will unite Ethiopia,” PM Abiy told the participants, indicating that his ruling coalition will merge with the political parties in the five regions in few moths time.

Huge debt burden, rising unemployment and inflation rates are among the challenges Ethiopia is facing at the moment, according to the reformist prime Minister Abiy, who indicated that his administration had no money to pay civil servants salary when he came to power some ten months ago.

“…The population of Ethiopia is increasing by two and half million every year. But we are creating a maximum of around one million jobs every year,” PM Abiy said, stressing the need to urgently address unemployment.

He stated that the ongoing reform will make the country “generous, but not beggar”. “…I can tell for sure that no one can stop the deep desire of Ethiopia to become a nation that can solve its own problems and also support those in need,” he said, urging the participants to support his effort of bringing the nation together for better. he urged the participants