Known as the “horn of Africa,” Ethiopia is now the continent’s fastest growing economy, and Ethiopian ambassador to Ghana, Regassa Kefale, has announced he is hopeful Ethiopia will meet its goal to become a middle-income country by 2025.
At Ethiopia’s 27th National Day in Accra Tuesday, the ambassador said the country’s rapid economic growth would set the stage for it to chase its developmental agenda called the Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II). The plan has four key targets: (i) maintain a GDP growth rate of 11 percent, (ii) expand education access, (iii) maintain a sustainable democratic system and (iv) preserve macroeconomic stability.
“Ethiopia’s past national development plans, including the current Growth and Transformation Plan II, have placed focus on delivering broad-based development, reducing poverty and achieving sustainable development goals,” Kefale said at the event.
Kefale’s announcement comes on the heels of the 29th African Union Summit, where President Akufo-Addo and Ethiopian president, Mulatu Teshome pledged to strengthen bilateral ties.
President Akufo-Addo and Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome
“[History] encourages us to do more and also allows us to strengthen the bilateral relations between our two countries. We need to deepen the ties between Ghana and Ethiopia in the areas of trade, investment and education, and we need to visit each other often,” Teshome said at the summit held last year.
He continued: “Economic diplomacy is now the pillar of relations between countries,” and said he was hopeful that the bond between Ghana and Ethiopia would grow stronger.
Ethiopia ranked as one of the world’s poorest countries last year, with an international poverty rate of 30 percent. But a recent IMF report predicts its economy will grow 8.5%. With a healthy array of industrial production sites, the country is currently undergoing major infrastructure projects, including the Grand Renaissance Dam and an extensive railway network.
International brands like H&M, Guess, J. Crew and Naturalizer have also discovered Ethiopia’s potential and conducts business there, although those reasons could be due to the country’s cheap labor rates.
"(Ethiopia) has had a very high growth rate and I think that's a result in large part of a very concentrated effort by the government to boost industrial production and manufacturing," Vijaya Ramachandran, an economist at the American think tank Center for Global Development (CGD) told CNN.
Kefale agrees. “We are committed to the realization of the socio-economic transformation of the continent through Agenda 2063 with a view of bringing real difference in the life and well-being of the people of Africa,” he said.