Ethiopia has registered an average GDP growth rate of 11% in the last 11 years.
By Ambassador Degefe Bula |
During the first five years of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), which ends in this fiscal year June 2015, the country’s economy grew by average 10.1% over the last four years.
This percentage is almost equal with the 11% base case scenario growth set at the begging of the GTP. This year growth is predicted to be 11.4% and during the last nine months performances have clearly showed this will be achieved.
In general the economy is healthy and the country’s macroeconomic picture is stable.
In the first five years of the GTP (2011 to 2015), major priority was to increase the role of the manufacturing sector and to create greater employment opportunities, There have also been efforts to bring structural change on the economy to quicken industrial transformation and the government has given high attention on this area.
Bottlenecks are also being tackled which will allow more active participation of all stakeholders.
The country’s mega development projects such as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the telecoms, the railways, the sugar factories, fertilizer plants together with wind, geothermal, solar and other renewable energy sources are on track. Power transmission lines are being rehabilitated, including building new ones.
These Mega projects have created jobs for millions of people.
Water supply services, urban sanitation and sewerage systems have gotten special attentions and all the results are encouraging.
However in tandem with the numerous economic achievements, Ethiopia has also notched up successes on the political front. It recently held elections.
Ethiopia’s new era started after the establishment of our democratic Constitution which was adopted in 1995. In the outcome of the comprehensive dialogues among the many nations and nationalities of the Ethiopian people under the current ruling Party of Ethiopian People Democratic Front (EPRDF).
The constitution has created a political platform to enable the people to fully exercise their democratic rights. Each of all Ethiopians have the opportunity to realize our vision of building a society founded on the rule of the law capable of ensuring lasting peace, sustainable economic and social development.
In the last 24 years, as a natural priority we have been engaged in building democratic institutions and putting in place a legal framework which clearly states the rules that have to be observed by all political stake holders and exercising our democratic rights.
The 5th General National Election was successfully completed on Sunday 24th May 2015. The election was free, fair, peaceful, participatory and credible by all standards.
Out of the 75 political parties existing in the country 58 were registered to contest for the house of People’s representatives which has 547 seats.
Over 36.83 million Ethiopians registered to vote in an over 45,000 polling stations. Out of the 36.83 Million people registered to vote more than 33.15 million people which is equivalent to 90% of the registered voted during the Election. Day Based on observer participation, it was observed by over 290,000 election observers The majority of observers were represented from each constituency including the contesting political parties, from the domestic Civic Organizations Union and from Africa Union led by the former Namibian President and the winner of this year Mo Ibrahim Prize H.E. Hifekepunye Pohamba.
The people and the Government of Ethiopia are proud of this successful election.
From all this election works the process of voting, counting and result announcement need more attention and everybody becomes sensitive when it comes to this point.
The Electoral Board of Ethiopia understands the seriousness of the stage and it is working as best as to fulfill the responsibility given by the people of Ethiopia and the constitution.
It is natural that on the day of election and result announcement complaints are always expected.
For this, the grievances hearing committees are ready there at every polling stations, constituencies, and regional board offices.
Anybody who has compliant on the process and the outcomes of the election has the right to apply to this appeal hearing committees.
And without exaggeration, step by step every compliant will be resolved according to the law. According to the Electoral Board timetable, the first round results will be announced ahead on 2nd June 2015 and the final result will be announced later on 22nd June 2015. This marked a major milestone in the history of building democracy in Ethiopia.
Women and Civil Servants are continued to be beneficiaries of the government housing programs. So far about 200,000 houses were built by the government and transferred to beneficiaries.
Agriculture will continue to be the back bone of the economy and its productivity has increased from year to year. Millions of people have participated in developing natural resource conservation activities. New irrigation schemes have put up and millions of hectares of land have developed under irrigation.
All necessary monetary and fiscal measures have implemented to keep inflation down to single digit, to keep basic food prices constant and create a modern and effective market system.
The Federal government capacity to collect revenue from the domestic source has grown. The capacity to cover development expenses from internal sources is increasing.
As the GTP needs high levels of investment the government has continued encouraging savings, expand financial institutions, improve interest rates and implementing private and government social security schemes. The government has also made efforts to mobilize the public to bring about fundamental changes in practice oriented adult education.
Efforts for the accessibility of heath facility have shown promising results with big increases in the amount of maternity assistances. Maternal mortality rates have dropped below the expected level.
Improving governments’ services, making them free from partiality and increasing public participation, improving religious tolerance, organizing women and youth participation in governance and putting them at the forefront of the democratic system is getting higher attention.
Efforts have exerted to curb illegal human movements and human trafficking, illegal activities, extremism and terrorism .Nonetheless human trafficking is still among the top challenges we face as a country.
As usual Ethiopia has consolidated its efforts to bring about regional economic integration and durable peace in the region especially in Somalia and South Sudan and has done a lot to minimize the existed causalities.
Ethiopia and Uganda started diplomatic relations back in 1970 following inauguration of flights by Ethiopian Airlines to Uganda.
Since then we enjoy very warm and excellent bilateral relations, founded on the common aspirations of our people, and shared values.
Both countries aspire to transform our peoples’ social and economic status, as well as play important positive roles towards making Africa, and indeed the entire world, a peaceful and prosperous one. It is upon these aspirations that our excellent relations have continued to grow from strength to strength.
Ambassador Degefe Bula
Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Source: East African Business Week