Ethiopia budget to expand by 22 pct

June 11, 2011

Although still one of the world’s poorest countries, the Horn of Africa nation says its economy has grown by an annual average of 11 percent over the past five years, one of the continent’s highest rates.

Ethiopia devalued its currency by 10 percent in 2009 to boost foreign reserves.

The first draft of the 2011/2012 (July 8-July 7) budget shows spending up by 22 percent from the $5.7 billion endorsed in 2010/2011.

Domestic revenue accounts for more than 67 percent of the proposed budget, with the rest generated from external loans and grants, the draft says.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and his council of ministers passed the proposal late on Friday and it will be presented first to a parliamentary committee, before Meles presents it to parliament for approval in early July, finance ministry spokesman Haji Ibsa told Reuters.

Addis Ababa has been attracting interest from investors, many from China and India, looking to its agriculture, oil and gas exploration and hydropower sectors.

Opposition parties say the ruling party inflates the country’s growth figures to attract investment and that growth has not filtered down to the poor in a country where last year, 13 million out of 80 million people needed foreign food aid.

While the government forecasts growth of 11.4 percent this year, the International Monetary Fund says it will be only about 7.5 percent.

The Washington-based body predicts the figure will slow to about 6 percent in the 2011/12 fiscal year, due to high inflation, restrictions on private bank lending and a trickier business environment.

Ethiopia’s year-on-year inflation rate surged for a second straight month to 29.5 percent in April, from 25 percent a month earlier.

Of the total budget, 48.7 billion birr will be used to improve health, infrastructure and education services, according to the proposal.

Ethiopia has spent over $3.6 billion on the construction of roads over the last decade.

Regular spending is up by 35 percent to 23.3 billion birr.

“We have a very efficient tax system now and we are confident we will hit the target,” said Melaku Fenta, Director of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority. – Reuters


4 comments on “Ethiopia budget to expand by 22 pct

  1. We shouldn’t forget the buying power of the money has decreased by the same percentage so I don’t think we can say budget increased. 80 billion a year ago is the same as 100 billion now. Correct me if i am wrong.

  2. belai,
    why don’t you challenge Dj in a rational way instead of being sarcastic?..isn’t he right to say 22% increase against 30% inflation is rather a decrease not an increase?

Comments are closed