Opinion: Mismatch of reports concerning the Ethiopian Economy!
Even as the stark contrasting reports are appearing, the reality must hit the fan. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. For me its a hard time reading about the rising economy, when certain other familiar set-backs are reported. Its like you cannot have rainy-season and dry-season at the same time. You cannot have a giant harvest or a drought from the same land. That just doesn’t happen. If this was different republic’s, different nations and different rulers. Then it would be possible different results. But when were discussing the narrow place. It just doesn’t make sense.
First I will cover that good news, that got Ethiopia on CNN, than after that I will take a report coming from the local ESAT, Tesfanews & AfricaNews. These are striking differences to the narrative coming from CNN. Which doesn’t make sense to me.
“Ethiopia’s economy is predicted to grow by 8.5% this year. The figures signal continued economic expansion following a long period of impressive growth. In the last decade, Ethiopia has averaged around 10% economic growth, according to the IMF” (Giles, 2018). This gives a favorable outlook with a fantastic economic growth. If that was true. Why does this other report says otherwise.
“Dwindling imports of wheat has resulted in scarcity of bread in the capital Addis Ababa and the price of a loaf of the staple has doubled. Authorities say the crisis was a result of the foreign currency crunch facing the country. Long lines at bakeries in the capital is a regular scene and owners of the bakeries told local media that they only get half of the wheat flour in quotas. The bakeries say if the crisis continues, they would be forced to close business” (…) “Plans to import 200,000 metric tons of wheat this year have failed due to foreign currency shortages sparking the bread crisis” (De Birhaner, 2018)
“The situation has exasperated to the point where factories have been forced to operate under capacity, crucial medicines are disappearing from pharmacies and many goods are not found on shelves of supermarkets. The amount of international reserve has dwindled. It only covers 1.8 months of imports by the end of the last fiscal year” (…) “It is fact that Ethiopia’s economy is troubled by a shortage of foreign currency and it is in a position where it cannot be calmed down by the sudden release of dollars. The economy needs a workable solution. This requires looking into every line of the balance of payment account and coming up with strategies to improve them” (Abdulmena, 2018).
“But those at the speech said Abiy did not outline plans to open up new sectors, a move which could also ease a shortage of foreign exchange. Instead, he said state spending on infrastructure, which has crowded out local companies, would continue. Abiy also told the business community that the foreign exchange shortage that has plagued the country will last for years and more cooperation with the private sector is essential to solve it” (AfricaNews, 2018).
Let’s be clear, this is my view of the situation. Because, the narrative of a rising economy, when fellow reports are that the are lines to bakeries for bread, lack of imports of medicine and factories. That cannot create a vast rise of economy as the IMF and CNN reported. That just don’t make sense. How can the economy grow, when public cannot spend their monies or get the needed imported food? That seems like a pointless.
That the lack of foreign exchange in the reserves, that hits the economy. Supermarkets loosing their goods, medicine from the shelves, bread out of bakeries, all of that should be of a failing economy. Not a rising tiger. The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) and the Councils of Ministers has to rig the numbers to the international organizations. Because you cannot have lack of bread, medicine and goods, while also having a high-rising economy. If it was so, then depression of America in the 1920s was the grandest time of the Economy there. But that is just how I view things. Because I don’t have the numbers, but the reports doesn’t make sense.
Its hard to see… rising growth and prosperity, but if it was so, wouldn’t the people have more money to spend at the Supermarket. Not have less products to buy at the Supermarket. Wouldn’t there be more medicine and not less? Wouldn’t the bakeries have bread? Wouldn’t the state have the foreign exchange reserves to import the needed wheat? Then it would be believable. By all means, I want a prosperous Ethiopian Republic. However, the truth cannot be that now. Not during State of Emergency, not during the oppression of the Oromia and Amhara regions. Not during the oppressive behavior and silencing the people. The EPRDF and the TPLF are surely trying to ply the outside world. That is why the ESAT, TesfaNews and AfricaNews not hitting the stands. It is because your not listening to reality, but a narrative creating by the oppressive central government, that doesn’t listen, but only want people to obey. Peace.
Giles, Chris – ‘Ethiopia is now Africa’s fastest growing economy’ (24.04.2018) link: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/04/24/africa/africa-largest-economy/index.html
De Birhaner – ‘The Foreign Currency Crunch Is Bad In Ethiopia That It Has Even Caused Bread Shortage in Addis’ (28.04.2018) link: http://debirhan.com/2018/04/foreign-currency-crunch-bad-ethiopia-even-caused-bread-shortage-addis/
Abdulmena Mohammed – ‘Forex Crunch: Ethiopia’s Immovable Object’ (27.04.2018) link: https://www.tesfanews.net/ethiopia-forex-crunch/
AfricaNews – ‘Ethiopia not ready for foreign investment in telecoms, banking: president’ (24.04.2018) link: http://www.africanews.com/2018/04/24/ethiopia-not-ready-for-foreign-investment-in-telecoms-banking-president/