June 20, 2024

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IMF Ethiopia talks

IMF Briefs about Talks with Ethiopia

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Julie Kozack, Director of the Communications Department at the IMF briefed on Thursday about talks with Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and general economic situation in the world. She announced that a staff level agreement had been signed with Sri Lanka.

Ethiopia has been in talks with IMF for more than a year. Ethiopia wants a bailout package of more than $3 billion. They two sides have held several rounds of discussions in Ethiopia and abroad.

An IMF staff team led by Mr. Alvaro Piris, IMF’s Mission Chief to Ethiopia, visited Addis Ababa from March 19 to April 2, 2024, to hold discussions on the Ethiopian request for IMF support for their reform program. Later a senior Ethiopian delegation led by Finance Minister Ahmed Shide and National Bank Chief Mamo Mehretu visited Washington and met with IMF and World Bank officials last month.

Briefing about talks with Ethiopia, Julie Kozack, Director of the Communications Department at the IMF said, “An IMF mission visited Addis Ababa from March 19th through April 2nd to hold discussions on the authorities’ request for IMF support for their program. Discussions then continued during our Spring Meetings, which were held here in Washington in April and have been continuing virtually since then. As these discussions evolve, we will continue to provide updates. What we can say is that we have made substantial progress towards establishing how the IMF can support the authorities’ economic program, and we will continue to work closely with the authorities in these virtual discussions.”

While IMF claims that substantial progress has been made in talks with Ethiopia, some issues are still undecided. One of the key issues is Ethiopian currency birr’s real value. IMF wants Ethiopia to devalue its currency significantly. Ethiopia has been reluctant to devalue birr.

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IMF wants Ethiopian currency to be devalued by 60%