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'Shining Beacon of Prosperity': State Minister on Ethiopia's Economic Success, BRICS Role in It

© AP PhotoThe city administration office is seen in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022
The city administration office is seen in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 04.07.2024
The International Monetary Fund recently ranked Ethiopia as Africa's fifth-largest economy. Sputnik Africa discussed with a state minister how the country has achieved such success and what plans it has for the future.
Development success stories will arise from Africa, with Ethiopia standing out as a "shining beacon of prosperity," while the country's admission to the BRICS group highlights its multifaceted global partnerships, Eyob Tekalign Tolina, State Minister of Fiscal Policy and Public Finance of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Finance, told Sputnik Africa.

"I think the economic opportunity, the investment opportunity that Ethiopia brings to BRICS membership, and what Ethiopia gets from the membership are quite significant. So, we see this as a significant sign of the size and capacity of the Ethiopian economy. I think it is a testament to what we've achieved and what we will be able to achieve overall. So we are actively participating in the BRICS club," he said.

He added that Ethiopia maintains strong ties with numerous countries worldwide and is a member of both the UN and the African Union. This historical foundation and current capabilities position Ethiopia well for its role in the BRICS.
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Taye Atzke Selassie at the BRICS foreign ministers' meeting in Nizhny Novgorod. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 11.06.2024
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But how did this East African country achieve such high results? The official recalled that since 2018, Ethiopia has been undergoing extensive economic, social, and political reforms. When Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed office, economic transformation was a key focus of his agenda. This initiative was built on a relatively solid foundation, given the economic growth Ethiopia had experienced over the preceding decades.
"In the last few years, the entire world has suffered from several shocks. This also affected Ethiopia, but we maintained a sizable growth rate, averaging 6.2%. We've managed to double our GDP over the last five years. And that now puts Ethiopia as one of the biggest economies in Africa and the biggest in Eastern Africa," Tolina underscored.
However, Ethiopia does not plan to stop there and plans to open a stock exchange market, among other projects. In order to ensure its stability and integrity, the country will use its experience in the telecom and banking areas. In the telecom sector, the government first established a robust regulatory body—the Ethiopian Communications Authority—to oversee and regulate the industry's liberalization. And in the banking sector, Ethiopia also has a strong central bank responsible for overseeing banking activities, including those in the stock market.

"We have had the experience of the stock market decades back in terms of a modern, vibrant stock market. And this is a new experience. So setting up that independent regulatory authority was a very critical decision point for us. [...] And now that authority is socializing the idea of the stock market. In fact, we expect some of the big state-owned enterprises to be listed as early as September, October, sometime in the first quarter or second quarter of the next fiscal year," the state minister concluded.