Ethiopia, World Bank Sign 200 Million USD Loan Agreement to Support Digitization

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May 7/2021(ENA) Ethiopia and the World Bank have signed today a 200-million USD concessional loan agreement that supports the country’s  digitalization program.

The soft loan agreement signed by Finance Minister Ahmed Shide and World Bank Country Director Ousmane Dione will directly contribute to Ethiopia’s 2025 digitalization strategy.

The proceeds of the loan will be used to strengthen the analog foundations of the digital economy, develop capacity of the government to deliver digital services and nurture digital entrepreneurship, and incentivize digital businesses, Finance Minister Ahmed Shide said on the occasion.

Liberalization of the telecom sector is intended to drive economic growth, address binding constraints in the economy and unleash the potential of key economic sectors, he pointed out.

WB Country Director Dione said Ethiopia has registered positive economic growth and poverty reduction over the past few years.

To sustain the achievements, however, it will be crucial for Ethiopia to address key challenges that long undermined its potential, including limited use of the digital space, and the fact that the country is yet to fully leverage technology, he added.

According to the director, the digital foundation project will assist Ethiopia to increase access to affordable, high quality internet services for government, businesses, and citizens.