Throughout history, Ethiopians have fought with external enemies numerous times but also frequently with each other. Even after the birth of modern Ethiopia, war, insurrection, and rebellion has continued. This infighting has drained the nation’s resources and withheld it from development and progress. Not long ago, Ethiopia hosted one of the bloodiest civil wars in history. The military spending during in the 1970s and 1980s drained the national budget and left Ethiopians to crawl into the poverty trap.

During the 5th national election held in 2015, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and its allies scored a landslide victory by winning all the seats in Parliament as well as in regional and city councils. A year after EPRDF achieved this clean sweep, however, a series of nonviolent protests sparked off in the nation, later turning deadly. Witnessing this in a country run by a government supposedly almost unanimously elected by voters just a year prior was surprising for Ethiopians and the international community alike.

Only few countries have endured continuous and crippling high inflation rates like Ethiopia has in the past 15 years. The average annual inflation rate in this period was 16.4Pct and peaked above 20Pct in 2008, 2011, and 2020. Recall that when inflation spiked in 2008, food prices in Ethiopia rose by a staggering 92Pct within a single year.
Over the last 12 months alone, general and food inflation rates rose by 20.4Pct and 23.1Pct, respectively, according to the Central Statistics Agency.

Ethiopia has been impelling for the expansion of Djiboutian ports to accommodate its mushrooming foreign trade on top of exploring alternative sea gates, including the purchase of a stake in Somalia’s Berbera port. The country is also under negotiations with Eritrea to develop the ports of Massawa and Assab. The recent establishment of a one-stop border post (OSBP) between Kenya and Ethiopia alongside the completion of the Hawassa-Moyale road project provides Ethiopia, with its heavy and increasing dependence on imports, another option with Lamu, Kenya’s second largest port after Mombasa.

Ending the conflict with Eritrea, as well as implementing reforms that strengthened public institutions and broadened the political space are among achievements of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) administration. In addition, the homegrown economic reform agenda that outlined macroeconomic, structural, and sectoral reforms is expected to pave the way for jobs creation, poverty reduction, and inclusive growth.

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