The controversial Nile hydro-power plant is a part of Ethiopia's growth strategy

Ethiopia plans more investment in infrastructure

While Ethiopia’s economy is expected to keep growing, the east-African country plans to upgrade transport and energy infrastructure, it has been announced today.

In a speech to Ethiopia’s parliament, the country’s prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that the biggest portion of the 2013/2014 budget will go into road construction.

Ethiopia has been stepping up its activities in infrastructure modernisation during the past years with a goal to improve the country’s overall competitiveness. One of its projects to increase energy output involves building a large hydro-power dam on the Nile. However, the plans have encountered intense criticism in other countries dependant on the Nile water – particularly in Egypt.

The budget of 154.9 billion birr ($8.3 billion) for the 2013/14 fiscal year that runs from July 8 this year to July 7 next year will also focus spending on health and education.

Despite being one of Africa’s poorest countries, Ethiopia is also one of the continent’s fastest-growing economies. "Ethiopia's GDP grew by more than 10 per cent during the past two years and we expect to maintain high growth in 2013/14," Hailemariam told parliament. According to the IMF Ethiopia's economy is expected to grow 7 per cent in 2012/13

Ethiopia has spent over $3.6 billion on road construction over the last decade and its expenditure will amount to 29 billion birr in the current fiscal year. The country's growth has been driven by expansion in services and agriculture, with the main exports including coffee, horticultural products and livestock.

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