Addis Ababa, April 23, 2021 (Walta) – Ethiopia and the World Bank Group have signed a total of 907 million USD financing agreement aimed at availing financing to SMEs, mitigating expansion of COVID-19, and increasing access to reliable electricity.
During the signing ceremony, Finance Minister Ahmed Shide said the World Bank Group remains a reliable partner of Ethiopia for several decades.
“Access to distributed electricity and lighting with 500 million USD loan financing aims to increase access to new and improved electricity services for households and smallholder farmers etc. through on-grid, off-grid, and mini-grid solutions by leveraging public and private delivery modalities,” he elaborated.
While the second project with 207 million USD is tailored to provide upfront financing for vaccine acquisition and deployment to enable affordable and equitable access and equitable deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, according to ENA.
Ahmed pointed out that the project will support the government’s efforts to deliver the vaccine besides strengthening the vaccination and regulatory system.
The Minister further stated that the third project with 200 million USD by providing credits to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)s will expand access to financing and enable business continuity and job protection.
The World Bank remains an indispensable partner in supporting Ethiopia’s development efforts, Ahmed said, and added “these projects we are signing are further testimonies of the bank’s commitment to continue supporting development endeavors in the country.”
World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Ousmane Dione said on his part that the project represents the World Bank’s continued support to Ethiopia’s national electrification program and is aligned with our commitment to support Ethiopia’s resilient recovery from COVID-19.
He appreciated the exemplary commitment of Ethiopia to support SMEs and excellent implementation record and impressive results achieved so far, and added “this why we are adding an additional 200 million USD to this project.”