The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, who is in Ethiopia for an official visit, has praised Ethiopia’s economy and called for sustaining the economic development witnessed in the east African country.
Lagarde, who is on an official visit to Ethiopia from December 13 to 15, has held discussions with senior Ethiopian government officials including, Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on ways of further strengthening the partnership.
The Managing Director also visited some of the development projects in Ethiopia, including the eastern Industry Zone at the outskirts of Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
Lagarde told journalist after her visit that one of the main targets of her Ethiopia visit was to witness the development of industrial parks in the country and the determination of the Ethiopian government to reinforce the country’s economic growth.
She also noted that the nexus between the east African country’s economic development and the export sector as one area of interest behind her trip to Ethiopia.
“I am really pleased to have seen some international companies from China and the Netherlands, manufacturing to international standards for export purposes,” Lagarde said after her visit to Dukem Industrial Park.
She also expressed her hopes that the integrated training, employment and value added in the manufacturing sectors would further propel Ethiopia’s export sector to be sustainable.
Lagarde also praised the role of the private sector to Ethiopia’s economy, saying that “I saw the dynamism and enthusiasm of the people working there and the commitment of private investors to Ethiopia.”
She has also lauded the strong combination of public and private sectors as a major impetus in enhancing sustainable and inclusive development of the country.
Lagarde’s Ethiopia visit is part of her trip to three African countries that are Benin, Ethiopia, and Djibouti from December 10 to 19.
Lagarde has praised the commitment of the Ethiopian government in realizing the country’s development agenda, which includes the second five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II), a national development plan for the 2016-2020 period.
According to Lagarde, the Ethiopian government is clearly trying to provide infrastructure to support the ongoing development endeavor.
The managing director further stressed the International Monetary Fund’s full support for Ethiopia’s development agenda.
IMF, in its assessment report of the 2017 Article IV that was released last September, had commended Ethiopia’s economy for maintaining strong resilience despite the back-to-back drought that wreaked havoc in some parts the country and the continued weak global prices for Ethiopia’s key export commodities.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, is presently striving to realize its ambitious development plan that will see the east African nation reach a lower middle-income economy in the next decade.
In her discussion with Teshome, Lagarde also noted that the performance of the Ethiopian economy “is doing very well in terms of growth.”
In addition to the economic development that the east African country presently pursue, Lagarde also lauded Ethiopia’s role in the Horn of African region, mainly with regards to the country’s handling of refugees.
As the Ethiopian government is presently scrutinizing a draft proclamation which allows refugees to live out of camps, the country has received 103,263 new refugees in the first ten months of 2017, pushing the total number of refugees living in the country to 889,071, according to a recent statement by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).