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US To Commit $800m To Ethiopia’s Economic Development

VENTURES AFRICA – The United States is committing $800 million to assist Ethiopia with issues of economic development, education, capacity building, health, among others.

Secretary John Kerry made this known on Tuesday when he met Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn before their meeting in Washington DC.

“Our relationship is strong and productive, and we’re very, very grateful for their leadership most of all at a difficult time in some difficult places,” said Kerry, who noted that Ethiopia has been at the forefront of helping to move the peace process in Sudan and South Sudan.

Desalegn also said Ethiopia was working assiduously to pacify the region, which, according to him is the “basis for all the engagements and economic development that take place.”

He noted that the East African country is seizing the opportunity presented by the US-Africa Summit and business forum to speak to investors as it seeks to attract investments into Ethiopia.

The country is also working very hard to fight terrorism and extremism, Desalegn says.

Ehthiopia’s economy has experienced strong growth over the past decade, averaging 10.9 percent per year in 2003/04 – 2012/13 more than double the regional average of about 5 percent, according to the World Bank.

The country is expected to continue its economic growth as it attracts investments from the US as it has from emerging markets, notably China, Turkey and India.

“However, in order to convert these interests into actual investments, Ethiopia must be more competitive by considerably reducing logistics cost and time,” noted Guang Zhe Chen, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia in a recent World Bank Group report.

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