Ethiopian gov’t to form “Independent Council of Economic Advisers”

Ethiopian government invites interested professionals to form Independent Council of Economic Advisers. But much of the economic reform agenda has been completed

Independent Council of Economic Advisers  _ Ethiopian gov't

borkena
December 31, 2019

The Office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia announced on Tuesday that it is working to form a national body labeled as “Independent Council of Economic Advisers.”  The statement from the office said this national body is going to be a “neutral” one.

Getting input from natural professionals could ensure policy inclusivity, and could also help understand the complex social problem that the country is living, and to examine multi-faceted policy alternatives and get suggested solutions, says a statement from the government.

The initiative is also intended to enhance the acceptance of government policies among the people and non-governmental institutions. 

While Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed claims that “Independent Council of Economic Advisers” is natural, it seeks to have “consultation” with the government from time to time.

This national body will have fifteen members and is open for Ethiopians, and people of Ethiopian origin (apparently Ethiopian Diaspora)

In terms of criteria for membership, the statement cites, among others, reputation and experience in the area (economics), gender and other diversity with a deeper understanding of the country’s economy and social reality.

The customary practice is diversifying an entity mostly focuses on ethnic diversity as Ethiopia is still a country a constitutionally based ethnic politics and administrative structure that has been drawing criticism for decades now.

Also, from experience in the recent past, a formation of an entity like this is usually something that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gets it done. Apparently, he has avoided being on the frontline this time around. 

His government wants the selection process to be “inclusive and transparent”, and has announced an email address (policyunit@pmo.gov.et) to accept documents from interested individuals. Those interested are required to submit applications within 15 days.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed introduced an aggressive privatization scheme as part of his economic reform measures.  His government has already decided (perhaps with some back door negotiation with state and non-state actors that have managed to create a sphere of influence over Ethiopia) to privatize most reputable national assets including Ethio-Telecom and Ethiopian Airlines.

This month, his government got nearly $10 billion dollars in loans from the Bretton Woods Institutions like The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and The World Bank Group (WB). Part of the requirement on the part of the Ethiopian government was to further devalue the Ethiopian currency.



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