December 14, 2019 / 12:04 PM / a month ago

Ethiopia to get $3 bln loan from World Bank

Visitors are silhouetted against the logo of the International Monetary Fund at the main venue for the IMF and World Bank annual meeting in Tokyo,file. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Friday that Ethiopia will receive $3 billion from the World Bank to help strengthen reforms in its traditionally state-controlled economy.

Two days ago the International Monetary Fund said it had reached a preliminary agreement for a three-year, $2.9 billion financing package to support Ethiopia’s economic reforms.

Abiy did not give more details on the World Bank funding. He said on his Twitter account that unnamed development partners have pledged more than $3 billion in addition to the World Bank and IMF funding.

The money will go toward macroeconomic, structural and sectoral reforms, he said.

“This reaffirms both Governments’ and donors’ partnership to transition Ethiopia to a prosperous and peaceful nation,” Abiy wrote.

Ethiopia’s State Minister of Finance Eyob Tekalign Tolina, did not say when World Bank funds will be released, but told Reuters that once approved, the World Bank loan would also be disbursed over a three-year period.

The World Bank Ethiopia office did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Abiy promised to open the economy to private investment when he took office in 2018, aiming to modernise banking and telecoms and help provide jobs for more of Ethiopia’s 105 million people.

Reporting by Giulia Paravicini; additional reporting by Omar Mohammed in Nairobi; Editing by George Obulutsa and Grant McCool

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