Contextualizing Ethiopia’s Recent Economic Performance

July 18, 2019


Good morning.
Let me start with two caveats.
  • First, these are my views and not those of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) nor its Executive Board.
  • Second, it has been some 25 years since I last lived here. And here I am, in front of this august assembly of our country’s celebrated economists to tell you what you likely know very well already.

In keeping with our country’s tradition of hospitality, I hope you will forgive the hubris that this entails and allow me to proceed with my presentation.

Known knowns. As I have been reading and learning more about Ethiopia’s economy and preparing this address, there seem to be two important points on which there is broad agreement:

  • Over the last 25 years, Ethiopia has made incredibly important development progress, underpinned by rapid economic growth.
  • Of late however significant macroeconomic imbalances have emerged.

My aim today is threefold:

  •  To put this progress into an international perspective. This comparative perspective is in many ways what the IMF is good at.
  • Second, to consider the factors that have contributed to this success;
  • Finally, I will turn my thoughts on how the challenges that have emerged might be addressed.
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