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Ethiopia continues its economic ascent (World Finance)
October 9, 2018
By Elizabeth Matsangou
From the article:
Ever since horrifying images of famished children hit our screens back in the 1980s, there has been a stigma attached to Ethiopia – one of a deeply impoverished nation, strangled by starvation. And, for some time, it was. But what may not be as widely known today is the utterly remarkable progress Ethiopia’s economy has made over the past decade. The country has in fact achieved double-digit GDP growth on average for the last 10 years (see Fig 1). Yes, Ethiopia has come a long way in a relatively short period of time, and yet, it’s still just at the start of its extraordinary story.
Perhaps what had been missing from the tale until now was a charismatic protagonist. Enter Abiy Ahmed, as of April 2, Ethiopia’s 15th prime minister. Abiy has taken the country by storm, and in just a few months has achieved what most leaders could only hope for during an entire tenure: establishing peace with neighbouring Eritrea; rousing a disenchanted population; pushing forward with key infrastructure development; opening up the economy to further financial investment; and winning support from the Ethiopian diaspora.
Unsurprisingly, with such triumphs in tow, Abiy has enraptured the Ethiopian diaspora – an important vehicle for foreign investment. “There’s just so much positive energy around the new prime minister,” according to Vijaya Ramachandran, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Global Development. “I think there’s an enormous amount of hope that he can bring stability to the region, that he can mobilise investment, and certainly I think the diaspora is enthusiastic – everybody wants to help him succeed.”