Ethiopia 2013/14 Budget to Focus on Infrastructure

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Reuters

Ethiopia’s economy is expected to maintain a growth rate of 11 percent in 2013/14 with plans to upgrade infrastructure given prominence in its annual budget, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on Thursday.

The Horn of Africa nation has in recent years embarked on ambitious infrastructure projects to improve its economic competitiveness, including a multi-billion dollar plan to increase energy output by building a hydro-power dam on the Nile.

” Ethiopia’s GDP grew by more than 10 percent during the past two years and we expect to maintain high growth in 2013/14,” Hailemariam told parliament.

The IMF said in a statement on Thursday it expected Ethiopia’s economy to grow 7 percent in 2012/13.

The budget of 154.9 billion birr ($8.3 billion) for the 2013/14 fiscal year that runs from July 8 this year to July 7 next year will also focus spending on health, education in one of Africa’s poorest but among fastest-growing economies.

Ethiopia has spent over $3.6 billion on road construction over the last decade and its expenditure will amount to 29 billion birr in the current fiscal year.

Hailemariam said the government expects its 2013/14 national budget to have a 3.3 percent deficit of gross domestic product, from 3.7 percent a year before.

Hailemaiam said the budget would be funded 79.1 percent from domestic sources and the rest would come from foreign loans and aid, in the country that is a big recipient of aid.

Ethiopia’s growth has been driven by expansion in services and agriculture, with the main exports including coffee, horticultural products and livestock.