Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has held discussions with the new World Bank Group (WBG) President Ajay Banga on expanding the global lender’s scope of partnership with Ethiopia.
The PM received World Bank Chief Banga, who embarked on his two-day visit to Ethiopia on Monday afternoon.
Abiy also provided an overview of the overall economic reforms underway and the progress of Ethiopia’s homegrown economic reform agenda, per his office statement.
Later, Abiy says the World Bank “will be instrumental to our economic growth in expanding its scope of partnership with Ethiopia.”
The PM expects “increased concessional financing, robust investment financing through” International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of WBG with a focus on private sector development.
The ongoing World Bank Chief visit follows the signing of a $400 million financing agreement between Ethiopia and the World Bank as well as WBG’s approval of another $730 million grant for the Addis Ababa-Djibouti corridor upgrade plan.
During his stay, Banga plans to visit textile and shoe manufacturing facilities, malt production operations with ties to local farmers, and speak with CEOs and business leaders “as part of a broader effort to increase private sector investment”.
He will also meet with African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat to discuss ways to strengthen partnerships and collaborations between the World Bank and the African Union.
Banga’s first trip in Africa since he took over his new job last month is part of his ongoing global tour “that is at the center of a mission to write a new playbook for the 78-year-old institution,” the World Bank said on Friday.