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Ethiopia: The challenges of liberalising the economy

By Samuel Getachew
Posted on Tuesday, 2 March 2021 15:20

A theatrical troupe poses for a photograph on Adwa Victory Day, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (AP Photo)

When it comes to liberalising Ethiopia’s economy, if the government moves too fast, it risks losing the support of local business and the population; move too slow and international investors could lose interest.

The government of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had been trying to find the right pace of reform before conflict in Tigray broke out in November, casting a pall over Nobel Peace Prize-winning Abiy’s plans.

The state has played a major role in Ethiopia’s economic transformation, building industrial parks, modernising the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway and managing a telecoms monopoly and top African airline Ethiopian Airlines.