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On the evaluation of the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) top government officials insisted the technology sector should get proper attention for the expected economic growth. The officials expressed their frustration on the expected achievement of the GTP. They have also stressed about reality of growth figures stated by the government.
Those who claimed that the country has to give attention for technology development claimed that the IT development has to be managed properly. “The country has to work on the production of technological products,” a participant who attended the event stated.
A representative from Ministry of Science and Technology said that the country imports USD 2.73 billion of industrial machinery and computers, USD 1.4 billion of vehicle and related equipments and electrical machinery import worth USD 1.3 billion that indicates that Ethiopia have to do strongly on value addition and technological productions. “Otherwise it would be difficult to fill the trade balance,” he said.
It has been presented by a representative of National Planning Commission that the GDP share in the 2016/17 budget year that the agriculture, service and industry sector has 36.3, 39.3 and 25.6 percents respectively.
25.6 percent of industry sector share of the GDP has also included construction and mining sector, which indicated that the manufacturing sector is minimal.
It has been reported that the manufacturing industry share is 6.4 percent that may include the mining sector, while the construction sector is 18.2 percent at the 2016/17 year.
“It is misleading that the industry sector is going to take over the economy since the manufacturing industry is not showing a sign of growing,” a participant said.
The leather and textile sector did not succeed as expected, according to the participants. They even claimed that it failed.
According to the document presented on the discussion, the actual achievement of the manufacturing industry is 27 percent in terms of export earnings in the 2016/17 budget year.
The plan was to earn over USD 1.3 billion, while the revenue earned in the stated period was USD 360 million, which was USD 377 million in the 2014/15 budget year. Potential manufacturing sub sectors textile and leather sector registered growth of 33 and 41.8 percents respectively.
According to the initial plan at the end of the GTP period in 2020 the export earnings have to reach USD 3.55 billion, which is almost tenfold of the revenue in 2016/17.
A participant says it is impossible to narrow the trade deficit by exporting primary goods. “We need to work on import substitution at least on some basic commodities like wheat, sugar and edible oil,” they added.
Participants also stressed their concern on the credibility of the figures given by the government. Some of the participants said that the GTP II would not be attainable as GTP I, which the government claimed that it achieved the first five year plan.
Participants recommended that revising the institutional capacity of government organs that are working for the implementation of the GTP. They reminded the projects that was commenced in the first GTP but never finalized until now.
One of the participants stated that he could not believe that banks follow the policy of the government in terms of loan provision. He reminded the loan provision that gave for rain feeding agricultural projects at Gambella region, while almost all of them failed.
“It has to be seriously revised, the monitory policy management in relation with the macro economy policy of the country,” he added.
Yinager Dessie (PhD), Governor of National Bank of Ethiopia, told Capital that study is under way to see challenges on the policy management.