June 11, 2019 / 8:20 AM / 8 days ago

Ethiopia forecasts 9% growth, plans higher spending in 2019/2020

A general view shows the cityscape of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia’s economy is projected to grow by 9% in 2019/2020, finance minister Ahmed Shide told lawmakers on Tuesday as he presented plans to raise spending.

Ahmed proposed 386.9 billion birr ($13.48 billion) in government spending for 2019/2020, which if approved will be 12% higher than 2018/19’s 346.9 billion birr figure.

Lawmakers from the ruling coalition, who dominate parliament, are expected to approve the plans over the next few weeks.

The International Monetary Fund projected the country’s growth for 2019 at 7.7% in April.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018 and embarked on ambitious reforms, including proposals to open up the state-owned telecoms firm and the national carrier Ethiopian Airlines to private investors.

Reporting by Dawit Endeshaw; Writing by Omar Mohammed; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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