World Bank President, Ajay Banga, is in Ethiopia for a two days official working visit. His visit was announced last week when the World Bank, virtually amid the Russia-Africa Summit, signed a $400 million finance agreement with Ethiopia.
His focus during the trip is said to be job creation for the youth and women in the country.
On his first day in the country, he met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Minister for Finance, Ahmed Shide and President of National Bank of Ethiopia, Mamo Mihretu who also used to work for the World Bank.
From the report by state media, Mr. Ajay thinks that Ethiopia is building an economy that is capable of resisting challenges which he sees, reportedly, as “admirable.”
After meeting Mr. Ajay, Abiy Ahmed wrote on his social media page “…Together with World Bank President Ajay Banga we visited two industries actively producing in one of our nationwide industry parks. Ethiopia has great potential and is creating a conducive environment for more investments in various industries.”
EBC, Ethiopian State media, cited ENA to report that PM Aby Ahmed briefed Ajay Banga about changes made to the “Home Grown Economic Plan”
Abiy Ahmed told Mr. Ajay, “Ethiopia has built and operationalized 13 industry parks that have enabled full time employment for thousands. We have also built and operationalized agro-processing industry parks.”
Abiy took Ajay on a tour of the Bole Lemi Industrial Park on the outskirts of Addis Ababa city.
According to EBC, Ahmed Shide and Ajay held a discussion that was focused on the reform to “the Home Grown Economic Plan” and development sectors that Ethiopia is “prioritizing.”
Mr. Ajay reportedly said the discussion he held with Ethiopian officials were productive and an agreement was reached on issues that they work together.
He is also cited as saying that “Ethiopia is a key country for the World Bank,” and that they will work together in the years to come in finance, professional support, and other partnership areas.
When the now-defunct EPRDF picked up Abiy Ahmed to lead Ethiopia following Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the official U.S. dollar exchange rate was about 28 birr. Currently, Ethiopian banks are exchanging $U.S. 1 with over 54 Ethiopian Birr.
There are unconfirmed reports that the world bank is pushing Ethiopia to further devalue its currency. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed removed the Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia, Yinager Dessie, and replaced him with former World Bank Employee, Mamo Mihretu.
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