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The Economist’s first Ethiopia Summit has kicked off Wednesday at the Sheraton Hotel here in Addis Abeba. Part of a series of high growth country summits organized by the Economist bringing together industry and business leaders as well as government officials, the two day Summit themed “Driving Continued Growth,” provides a platform to discuss the factors shaping the country’s growth.

 
Covering a wide range of topics from agriculture to manufacturing to energy, an array panels are structured to deliberate on how the country’s economic potentials could be fully unleashed. Discussions are being held on the sustainability of the state led economic model the country is pursuing, how the substantial market possibilities and the bountiful natural resources can be utilized, how concerns over the availability of financing can be overcome, the bottlenecks are hampering the private sector and how they can be curbed. The summit also provides an opportunity for the international community to meet the local players.

 
In his opening addresses Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn noted the timeliness of the summit as his government is plunging into the second installment of the ambitious Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II).

 
“Peace, security and stability are essential prerequisites” for a thriving economy remarked Hailemariam, thus making Ethiopia a favorable destination for investment. “Ethiopia has a very real and realistic developmental vision,” he said. “We have created space for the private sector. This will continue to expand.”

 
Xan Smiley, Editor at Large at the Economist Magazine conveyed the message of UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron whose government sees its Ethiopian counterpart “as an ally.”

 
Some of the speakers at the Summit include Dr. Arkebe Okubay, special advisor to the Prime Minister, Tewolde Grebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Andualem Admassie, CEO of Ethio Telecom, Carlos Lopes Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and Khalid Bomba, CEO of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency.

 

Photo- Economist Events:
Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegn delivering his opening speech at the Economist’s Ethiopia Summit.

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