- The World Bank will continue supporting Ethiopia's development efforts, President Paul Wolfowitz said on Wednesday, expressing confidence that the country was recovering from the political upheaval that caused major donors to suspend direct budgetary support last year.
"I think there is more reason to feel confident that people are learning the right lessons from the experiences of last year," Wolfowitz told reporters at the end of a two-day visit to the country.
The World Bank and Britain in May decided to redirect about US$385 million in direct budgetary support to education and health programmes for Ethiopia. Key aid donors had in December 2005 suspended budgetary support to the Ethiopian government, a consequence of the violent suppression of opposition demonstrations organised in protest at the alleged rigging of parliamentary and local government elections in May 2005.
"During my stay here I have observed that the government is committed to conditionality, transparency and accountability on the use of grant and aid money. The Bank will continue to give its annual US $500 million support to Ethiopia," said Wolfowitz. "The private sector representatives I met here asked the Bank to give them more help and to speed up the involvement of the Bank's private sector arm," he added.
He said political stability was necessary for development and poverty alleviation.
"I am very aware that Ethiopia has been through a difficult year politically, attempting a transition to genuine multi-party democracy, a challenging condition. As a development institution, our focus has to be on development and poverty reduction, but we can't ignore the political matters," he said.
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afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.