Ethiopia to donors: Trust our systems

    Sufian Ahmed has been Ethiopia’s minister of finance and economic development for almost two decades, and during that time he has seen his country go from famine and war to halving poverty and achieving double-digit economic growth.

    Ethiopia, one of Africa’s rising stars, has progressed so much that donors like the European Union are starting to provide direct budget support to the government — although not yet as much as Ahmed would like, he said during an interview with Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar at the European Development Days in Brussels.

    “One of the things development partners should look into seriously in the future is to use the country’s system for channeling their resources,” explained the Ethiopian minister. “We are open to discuss with them, to see if there are any weaknesses in our public financial management system, and fix [them].”

    Ahmed asked donors to put more trust in the public systems of their beneficiary countries to make development efforts more transparent and officials accountable.

    He also explained how Ethiopia is not only receiving EU funds, but learning from the experience of the bloc’s new member states to get tips on how his country should proceed in its development strategy, and reminded partners to be more patient with issues such as good governance or human rights when they put conditions on their official development assistance.

    Check out the above video for more insights from the Ethiopian finance and economic development minister and board member of the African Development Bank.

    Devex was at the European Development Days 2013. Check out our coverage of Europe’s leading global development event of the year.

    About the author

    • Carlos Santamaria

      Carlos is a former associate editor for breaking news in Devex's Manila-based news team. He joined Devex after a decade working for international wire services Reuters, AP, Xinhua, EFE ,and Philippine social news network Rappler in Madrid, Beijing, Manila, New York, and Bangkok. During that time, he also covered natural disasters on the ground in Myanmar and Japan.