If former Minister of Finance Sufian Ahmed had said the foreign exchange shortage is structural and will remain with Ethiopia for decades to come, that is precisely what Eyob Tekaleign (PhD), state minister for Finance, would want to see changed. The foreign exchange crunch should stop defining the Ethiopian economy, Eyob declared early on last week, standing before members of the international community, briefing them on the new economic reform agenda conveniently characterised as “homegrown”. The audience was receptive to the "ambitious" reform the administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) rolled out and agreed it is "doable".
"The Reform Agenda is our pro-job, pro-growth, and pro-inclusivity pathway to prosperity," said the Prime Minister. "Join us on this path." In the making for over one and a half years, the tabled reform agenda sees a major departure from the previous dogmatic approach in its aim to rebalance macroeconomic fundamentals and sustain growth. A team of experts from the Ministry of Finance, the macroeconomic team of the Prime Minister, and the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) designed the plan to be implemented in the next three years. In his address to the international community, the Prime Minister praised members of this group as "Ethiopia's finest minds."
Ethiopia in partnership with the private sector is working to supply renewable energy for agro-processing industrial parks at a cost of 1.8 billion dollars. Ethiopia opened up its energy sector to private investors to meet demand and create credible power sustainability. The participation of the private sector is vital to meet the growing electricity demand in the country, according to Abraham Belay (PhD), CEO of Ethiopian Electric Power.
The projects that will be implemented within the public-private partnership (PPP) programme will focus on generating power from hydropower, solar and geothermal energy, Abraham said. The opening up of the power sector is very important to attract more investments, increase the production capacity of the nation and to avoid unforeseen project delays, Abraham added.
17 British energy organisations will be visiting Ethiopia next week as part of the Energy Catalyst Mission, the UK Embassy in Ethiopia announced. The organizations will meet their Ethiopian counterparts in the energy sector to understand the opportunities for collaboration between Ethiopia and the UK.
"The key objectives of the mission are to help companies applying for Energy Catalyst Round 7 to get an understanding of the energy access issues in Ethiopia and gain links to potential partners", reads the flier of the program.
Source: UK In Ethiopia@UKinEthiopia
In taking the privatization process further, the Ethiopian government has officially extended an offer to at least 12 global companies to submit financial and technical proposals in order to engage in the power production and operations. The Minister of Finance (MoF), Ahmed Shidie, presenting his Ministry’s 10 month report before the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) said that a feasibility study is being undertaken to implement the Public-Private Partnership framework to allow the private sector step-in selected energy and transportation projects which used to be considered as a strategic area fully controlled by the government.
Currently, the board of PPP is undertaking evaluation of projects which includes six solar projects and three hydroelectric projects. Based on that, two projects named Gad and Deucheto Solar Energy projects which have a combined capacity of generating a 250 MW of electricity are in the pipeline with an estimated cost of USD 265 million. Hence, Request for Proposal – RFP, has been sent to 12 international companies to submit their financial and Technical proposals.