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Is Ethiopia’s development plan too “ambitious”?

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DAVOS/AFRICA

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi seemed to anticipate this week exactly what a lot people were thinking about his government’s plan to double the poor country’s GDP and wean it off food aid within just five years.

“I think that this is a very ambitious plan,” he said.

“This is indeed an extremely ambitious plan,” a few minutes later.

And, once more for luck, “We have put in place a high-case scenario which is clearly very, very ambitious.”

So far, so ambitious.

But, after those disclaimers, a man many see as Africa’s most economically literate leader didn’t shy away from saying he thought Ethiopia could get there.

The “base-case” scenario of 11 percent average economic growth over the period was “doable” and the “high-case” scenario of 14.9 percent was “not unimaginable”.

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