Africa-Press – Ethiopia. Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Professor Mengistu Ketema pointed out that Ethiopia has a number of viable opportunities to avert the possible economic challenges that the nation might encounter due to the undue pressure by some western countries including the US.
The CEO suggested ways of sustaining the resilient economy of the country.
Mengistu told ENA that apart from intensifying diplomatic works to prevent external pressure and economic sanctions on the country, the Government of Ethiopia, pertinent institutions and stakeholders have to take concrete measures to sustain the resilient economy.
Improving productivity and product quality, diversifying products, expanding domestic and international market destinations, substituting imports and reducing wastage in all areas are vital ways to avert the economic challenges ahead, he said.
“We have to diversify products and market destinations in the country and in the international market and be selective in our imports to minimize the risk of foreign currency shortage and the use of local products has to be encouraged. We also need to reduce resource wastage and fight corruption together and minimize wastage in agricultural production, including post harvest loss.”
Mentioning the suspension of Ethiopia from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) as an example of external economic pressure on Ethiopia, the CEO said such decisions will affect the country’s export earnings and the citizens engaged in the production of export products.
“Last year alone, Ethiopia earned 525 million USD from the export of products to the US markets in general. Out of this, about 238 million USD was earned from AGOA,” the CEO pointed out, adding that the suspension will not only affect the export revenue, but the livelihood of the workers engaged in the production of the products.
“Ethiopian workers engaged in the production of the products will be affected, especially those who work in the industrial parks, particularly those who were producing leather products, textile and others.”
Mengistu has also called for the use of locally produced products to substantially reduce imported goods.
The mobilization of resources from the Diaspora is encouraging and has to be sustainable, he noted.
“Now is the time to divert the challenge to an opportunity,” Mengistu further pointed out, adding that the developed countries that are exerting pressure on Ethiopia’s economy overcome such challenges with the commitment of citizens.
“We as citizens of Ethiopia have to be very much committed to overcoming the possible economic challenges, but diplomatic works have to be done to reverse the decision,” he added referring to the U.S. suspension of Ethiopia from AGOA.
Ethiopia has been benefiting from AGOA since 2000 and was expected to stay in effect until 2025.