Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has set out a bold new plan that will double jobs created in 2019-20 as he implements a reform agenda that opens up the economy for more foreign investment.
Africa’s second-most populous nation hobbled by political woes will probably create 3 million jobs in the year starting July 8 compared with 1.4 million in the previous 12 months, Abiy told lawmakers in the capital, Addis Ababa.
Most of the jobs will come from small businesses, he said.
While Ethiopia’s economy is among the world’s fastest-growing, and the government estimates it expanded 9.2% in 2018-19, at least 11 million people, about one-tenth of the population, are unemployed. Some 2 million join the job market every year.
Since taking office last year, Abiy embarked on a political and reform agenda that will see the government open up sectors including financial, telecommunication and power for more foreign investment.
Companies such as Orange SA and MTN Group Ltd. have expressed interest in the market, while Coca-Cola announced a $300 million expansion plan in the country.
“Our development and growth will be measured by the number of jobs created,” Abiy said. “Ethiopia is a country of young people, above everything they want modern systems, jobs, clean and comfortable living conditions.”