US to support macroeconomic reform

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The US government via its prominent professionals at Harvard University is providing support on macroeconomic reform under the program called ‘Advancing Economic Diversification in Ethiopia’.
The US government has provided over USD 100 million in new resources directly focused on supporting Ethiopia’s reform agenda. The US has been supportive of steps Ethiopia has taken to reform policy.
The ‘Advancing Economic Diversification in Ethiopia’ initiative that will stay for three years was sponsored by USAID and launched on Friday August 23 at the ceremony held at Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa.
“The U.S. Embassy is deeply honored by the opportunity to facilitate such a partnership, through an extraordinary initiative led by some of the world’s foremost economic experts based at one of the world’s foremost higher education institutions, Harvard University,” Michael Raynor, US Ambassador to Ethiopia said at the launching ceremony.
The initiative is facilitated by Harvard University’s Center for International Development under the leadership of world-renowned Professor Ricardo Haussmann, whose profile indicated that he is Director of the Growth Lab at Harvard’s Center for International Development.
The Ambassador said that the accomplished team and proven methodologies under Haussmann’s leadership have an extraordinary record throughout the world of supporting countries’ efforts to identify promising areas of economic growth, to highlight constraints to such growth, and to devise strategies to address both the opportunities and the challenges.
“Re-setting an economy of Ethiopia’s size and complexity is far from easy work,” he says, “But Ethiopia has much strength to build upon.”
According to the Ambassador first and foremost, it includes an exceptionally accomplished team of economic leaders and experts to drive this transformation. He said that even though the country registered positive economic and social growth recently, these gains were made at the cost of incurring significant external debt, and without commensurate progress in job-creation or private sector investment.
The government of Ethiopia is working to undertake structural changes in its macroeconomic arena and it has expressed it is working on homegrown policies to improve the economy.
Yinager Dessie, Governor of National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), said the initiative is expected to contribute to the policy dialogue and to craft plausible professional recommendations for the new economic reform program, which the country started to implement very recently.
“This economic reform focuses mainly on monetary and fiscal policy stability, structural and sectoral transformation, growth, job creation and poverty reduction,” he said at the ceremony.
He went on to say that even though the economy has grown for 16 years it has also seen some macroeconomic imbalance such as poor export performance and tax collection that needs to be rectified within the coming years.
“We believe our economic reform agenda, which is a homegrown program, will contribute to macroeconomic stability and growth,” he added.
He expressed his hope that the US government initiative will support the implementation of the Ethiopian economic reform initiative.
Yinager told reporters that the initiative started when Ethiopia asked for more help to strengthen its economy.