Economists underscored the need to give a great deal of attention to the development of human resources and regular revision of policies with a view to create a much more favorable investment environment and build a better economy in Ethiopia.
The economists also said that in order to reduce the loss of resources, government project management should be reviewed stressing the need give due attention to the fight against corruption.
In her opening speech while addressing the joint session of the 6th tenure and 2nd year of the House of Peoples’ Representatives and the House of Federation on Monday, President Sahle-Work Zewde highlighted the challenges the country has faced and achievements registered in various sectors during the 2014 Ethiopian fiscal year.
According to the president, ensuring sustainable development, reducing waste of resources, enhancing the management of government development projects in order to increase their effectiveness and efficiency are some of the government’s focus areas during the current Ethiopian fiscal year.
The president has also said efforts will be exerted to attract potential foreign investors by promoting the country as an investment destination.
The economists told ENA that the issues listed as the government’s focus areas for the current fiscal year in the economic sector are appropriate and commendable.
The renowned Ethiopian economist, Costantinos Berhetesfa (PHD) said efforts have been made to promote investment in Ethiopia noting the available policies and strategies.
The construction of infrastructure projects in the country like that of roads and industrial parks are positive, he mentioned.
He further stated that the outbreak of the COVID pandemic and the instability in the country may pose threat to investors.
However, the economist said that the government’s ‘Ten-Year Perspective Development Plan’ (2021 – 2030), which supplements the existing vision for a ‘Home-grown Economic Reform’ agenda, will help the investment in the country indicating the human resources gap may be a challenge to expand investment.
In a bid to further enhance the efforts to make Ethiopia a business-friendly country, public administration and development administration should be thoroughly explored.
“Without human resources, there will be no investment. There should be people in each district who can talk and assist investors. They must be able to support investors. They should also be able to control whether the investors are engaged in the permitted area or not. The skills, education level and experience of the people assigned in the district level should be known.”
The other economist, Dereje Dejene pointed out that the main roles of the government are to create a favorable investment environment, to build basic infrastructure and attract local and international investors in order to ensure economic development.
According to him, the construction of the industrial parks has made it possible to address many of the challenges regarding infrastructure bottlenecks stressing the need to continously revise investment policies.
“Continuous revision of policies should be carried out – each bottleneck should be checked. Another thing is that there should be adequate provision for infrastructure. This is how investment will be attracted. The issue of peace and security is also another dimension. Of course, the peace and security situation worries most investors. I hope that Ethiopia will be at peace this fiscal year. If there is peace and expansion of basic infrastructure, we will have the opportunity to attract the best investors. This will create great job opportunities for citizens, generate income and make the economy vibrant.”
The economists further stressed the need to prevent corruption in order to reduce the loss of public resources. They further said that it is necessary to prevent corruption by carrying out intensive civil society and investigative journalism activities.
Completing projects within the scheduled time frame and budget will help reduce wastage of resources, they said.
The projects initiated by the Prime Minister can be a model for effective implementation of project management in addition to the income they generate, the economists added, urging the pertinent public office to regularly monitor the projects to ensure their effectiveness and efficiency.