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Economy - Development

Ethiopia "on path to reach MDGs"

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

© Eskinder Debebe/UN Photo/afrol News
afrol News, 22 September
- Prime Minister Meles Zenawi says Ethiopia would have no trouble in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He advised other African countries to follow Ethiopia's example by designing their own, proper development policies.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister made the remark while addressing the on-going 65th UN General Assembly being held in New York at a meeting presided over by himself and his German and Norwegian counterparts. World Bank President Robert Zoellick also attended the meeting.

PM Meles felt sure Ethiopia could reach the MDGs based on his country's high and stable economic growth rates. Ethiopia however remains on of the world's poorest countries, with millions of people living in utmost poverty and food security still not being assured.

The self-confident leader nevertheless held other African countries should look to Ethiopia as an example of sound development policies.

He said the failure on the parts of Africa sub-Saharan countries to register an economic development like Asian countries was their "inability to design sound policy and strategies." The "limitation of their implementation capacity" was the other reason for their failure, he added.

But the Ethiopian PM also criticised donor nations and projects. Mr Meles said lack of integration between development projects and the MDGs was the other factor for the low performance. He said the development assistance being provided by donors was not coming on time while the assistance is given with many preconditions.

Mr Meles stressed the need that aid-receiving countries should "operate with their own development policies and strategies so that they can be able to develop the capacity of addressing their problems by their own." Many African countries are said to just follow up on a recipe prescribed to them by the IMF or World Bank.

Ethiopia could be a model to other African countries when it comes to design home-grown development policies, Mr Meles held. These policies, grounded on national priorities, had "managed to attain an 11 percent economic growth in the last couple of years," the PM held.

For other African countries to reach the MDGs, it would be better for their governments to "design their own small-scale projects that can be implemented with less money rather than waiting for unpractical financial pledges from donors," he advised.

The MDGs, approved of by the UN in 2000, aim at drastically reducing poverty by 2015. The goals include halving poverty and hunger, providing universal education, improving child and maternal health, fighting AIDS and promoting gender equality and environmental sustainability.

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