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Addis Receives Time-limited Liquidity Relief ahead of Discussions on a Wider Debt Treatment

Cash-strapped Ethiopia has secured a $1.5bn debt relief agreement with creditors, its central bank chief said, temporarily easing the country’s financial burden as it seeks a wider funding programme. The accord was announced on Wednesday by National Bank of Ethiopia governor Mamo Mihretu and confirmed in a statement from the Paris Club of creditor nations on Thursday which described it as an “important achievement”. “We’ve been able to achieve an interim debt service suspension and therefore able to save around $1.5bn that would have gone to debt servicing,” Mamo told a parliamentary committee. Ethiopia has said it needs around $20bn to rebuild northern Ethiopia after the war that claimed the lives of around half a million people, according to US estimates. The landlocked country has about $28bn of external debt and is also grappling with sky-high inflation at and a shortage of foreign currency reserves. The debt relief agreement was reached with bilateral creditors, including China which has loaned Ethiopia around $14bn according to analysts.

THE AFRICA REPORT