Last week, Finance Minister Ahmed Shide conversed closely with Ousmane Dione, the World Bank's country director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Sudan at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, on Africa Avenue (Bole Road). The occasion marked the launch of the World Bank's Country Climate & Development Report (CCDR) for Ethiopia, which pronounced the country's need for 27.6 billion dollars in financing over the next quarter-century to combat the effects of climate change.

The report paints a grim picture of Ethiopia's escalating climate risks, forewarning that these could exacerbate existing issues. Amid these concerns, World Bank economists reiterated the call for Ethiopia to embrace greater economic liberalisation and a market-led policy approach as antidotes. The Finane Minister of a country with disproportionate efforts in responding to climate change effects, Ahmed stressed his country's need for "adequate financing" to support its green economy. The discussions come at a time when Ethiopia is also engaging with senior representatives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), negotiating to finalise a set of economic reforms. These reforms are crucial for accessing a much-anticipated 3.5 billion dollar package. Speculation around foreign exchange liberalisation has been rampant, with no clear direction from the central bank, despite forecasts from credit rating agencies, such as Fitch, anticipating a gradual depreciation of the Birr.

These signal a busy period ahead for Minister Ahmed and his team as they deal with international finance, climate change, and economic policy reforms.

PUBLISHED ON Mar 02,2024 [ VOL 24 , NO 1244]

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