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HomeEthiopian NewsEthiopia's foreign debt worsening, $3bln added this fiscal year 

Ethiopia’s foreign debt worsening, $3bln added this fiscal year 

Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Minister for Finance (Photo : via Wazema radio/resized)

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The Ethiopian government has been making claims that the default scenario is reversed, and that debt is decreasing. When Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appeared, last week, in the parliament to address questions from Parliamentarians, he made claims that his administration brought down the debt level from 59 percent of the total GDP to 38 percent. 

But that does not seem to be the case.  Wazema radio’s report, published on Saturday, indicates the debt level is actually increasing and increasing at an alarming rate. 

The amount of internal and external debt is said to be up by about $3 billion this fiscal year.

The source said Ethiopia’s debt level was about $57.3 billion by June 2022. But this year the debt level has reached $60.6 billion. The difference in a year is said to be a total of six percent of Ethiopia’s total debt. 

External debt was about $27.9 billion in 2022 and has reached $28.1 billion by March of 2023, according to the report by Wazema Radio. 

A document from the Ministry of finance indicated that an increase in borrowing from local and external sources has contributed to the rise in the debt level. 

The amount of money borrowed from external sources was higher from the amount of debt payment made during the same period. Based on the Wazema report, between July 2022 and March 2023 over a billion dollar loan was secured (much of it from ‘international development support’ ) but the amount of money paid towards external debt in the same period was only $948 million. 

Borrowing from internal sources has gone up too. According to the source, in July 2022, government debt from internal sources was about 1.5 trillion Ethiopian Birr. By the end of March 2023, it went up to 1.7 trillion birr. 

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been widely criticized for prioritizing prestige  mega projects – like the building of a new palace that is said to cost hundreds of billions of birr- over economically viable projects like completing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).  He has been denying that the project is not funded by taxpayers money but he did not specify where exactly the fund was obtained from. 

Ethiopia’s auditor general last month said it could audit the Office of the Prime Minister and the projects that it is overseeing if asked. 

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s hope that the debt burden will not reach the default point. According to Moody’s latest review other countries in Africa are in a much dire situation in terms of debt to GDP ratios. Zambia has already fallen behind in its debt interest payment at 104% such ratio. Egypt is on the verge at 94%. Ghana, Tunisia, Mozambique and The Republic of Congo(Brazzaville) are gazing their debt burden in the 80’s percentage. South Africa, Morocco, Namibia, Kenya and Rwanda have their backs stressed with debt burdens in the 70%’s. Remember some of these countries have well developed mining and oil refining industries. Congo(Brazzaville) is a petroleum exporting country. How about Zambia. That extension cord you have at home? You may be looking at the copper from Zambia. On the other hand, Nigeria and Ethiopia have their debt ration at around 32-37%. That is not chump change. It is worrisome because both countries are suffering from internal strife which sucks up their domestic spending. In my observation since the 1980’s it seems that many countries around the world have learned how to live with it. Just look at some of these Latin American countries. Argentina, Bolivia you name it. Let’s hope and pray that the country that has produced us all will finally find its mojo to see peace and if that happens then this debt burden will be a moot point. If that reaches a point where a peaceful change of guard is needed I am 100% for it.

  2. Ittu,

    Here you are, expert at everything, lending your hand once more to the criminals!

    The mass murderer Abiy Ahmed, the psychopathic underwriter of genocide, the dislocates of millions, you have to support him.

    He is trying to borrow, to feed his killing machine, chaos creating machine, and you support him.

    For five years now, he has killed, dislocated, jailed journalists, there are no journalists left now.

    They are all in prison, thanks to your man, whom you are lending your phony expertise.

    Hundreds of thousands of people who were living in the two hundred thousand houses demolished by Abiy Ahmed and his corrupt hench men are now homeless.

    Ethiopia is turned into Corruptistan by Abiy Ahmed.

    So, your phony analysis aside, made using a made-up fact, I hope this killer is not given money.

    They would be responsible for the continued killing and distraction of Abiy Ahmed, otherwise.

  3. The credible and independent Reyot Media reported that Abiy Ahmed has received and stored plane loads printed birr in the palace and using the cash to buy foreign currency in the black market. This economic crime is a sign that Abiy Ahmed`s government is losing control and he is on his flight foot.. Oromia is the gift of Tigray to the Oromo peaple.

  4. Forget about borrowing more money. I was chillin on my back porch yesterday scanning the world with my high power telescope and suddenly something caught my attention. My telescope just stopped scanning and went fixated on the areas surrounding Addis/Finfine. I saw movement of heavily armed rushing toward the palace from west and north locations. When I zoomed in I saw words OLA and Fano written all over the foreheads of those armed men. Then I jumped on the phone called my Itu merchant men living in the capital to find out what is going on. They told me both Fanos and OLA have overrun the EDF soldiers and are in the city now. PM Abiy has fled to his father country of the Philippines and Jula is now living in an abandoned old building right on the intersection of 9th and U St NW in Washington DC protected by his Navajo, Apache and Cherokee cousins. Okay bigots! You can now start dancing in the streets in your dreams before your sorry behind is carted off to the slammer for disturbing the peace of residents!!!

  5. oromia is at the curse of tplf thugs to the criminal oromumma thugs. Both are losers and vagabonds. They are all going down, Poetic Justice.

  6. Ethiopia is still standing despite ALL odds stacked-up against Ethiopia. Remember that the Ethio-WSW* relations deteriorated fast the minute Abiy refused to sign Trump’s Nile Deal, Addis Ababa’s refusal to let Gay Chartered Plane land per EOTC’s request, etc.

    1). TPLF-EPLF Duo Era [1991-1998]: The Egypt-backed Duo invaded-and-occupied Ethiopia in 1991. Then, they declared Derg Era debt Null-and-Void! Soon, they became overnight millionaires running multi-million dollar enterprises. They co-terrorized & co-looted till 1998. In 1998, they went to war over the share of the loot and Badme’s gold.

    2). TPLF Era [1998 – 2018]: Only TPLF knows how much it borrowed/looted. GFI said that TPLF stole ≈$12 billion from 2000 – 2009: gfintegrity.org/?s=Ethiopia+ Mind you, NBE’s gold bullion reserve was taken to Tigray & returned as gold mined in Tigray. We were also told about ≥10% economic growth for >2 decades & the B+ Credit Rating!

    3). Abiy Era [2018 – ∞]: TPLF fled to Tigray cash in bags! Overnight, the ≥10% economic growth & B+ Rating plunged to ‘Undetermined.’ Worse, to accelerate Ethiopia’s collapse, the WB/IMF/etc. ordered Ethiopia to pay higher & faster denying Ethiopia debt restructuring options. That was the WSW’s plot to bring Ethiopia to a screeching halt & bring TPLF back.

    4). Adding Insult to the Injury: ∑ [COVID; Drought/Locust; Ethnic Proxy Wars (Tigre/Oromo/Amara/etc.); Drastic Birr devaluation; WSW’s Embargo/Sanctions, loan/aid/trade/travel cancellation; ad nauseam]. The Sum could have collapsed Ethiopia. Result: The WSW could have taken over Ethiopia and given Ethiopia to Egypt & TPLF!

    WSW*: White Supremacist West

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