Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed delivers a speech during the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly of the Heads of State and Government, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Feb. 17. (Courtesy photo)
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed delivers a speech during the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly of the Heads of State and Government, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Feb. 17. (Courtesy photo)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Saturday called for reforms to the international financial system to enhance access to finance for developing countries.

“The international financial architecture treats the world unequally, resulting in inadequate and expensive access to finance for developing countries,” he said at the opening of the at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

Africa’s population is expected to reach nearly 2.5 billion by 2050, boasting the youngest population globally, which positions the continent for significant economic growth, he said.

“Africa’s growth should be of global importance. Africa needs to develop, build infrastructure, ensure food security, strengthen health and education systems, and create jobs. All of these require long-term financing,” the Ethiopian prime minister said.

Ahmed urged major international financial agencies to consider the realities faced by today’s world, particularly for middle- and low-income countries.

Serving as Ethiopia鈥檚 third prime minister since 2018,聽 Ahmed was awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea”.

Ahmed served as the third chairman of the that governed Ethiopia for 28 years and the first person of Oromo descent to hold that position. He is a member of the Ethiopian parliament and was a member of the , one of the then four coalition parties of the EPRDF, until its rule ceased in 2019 and he formed his own party, the Prosperity Party.

In June 2020, Ahmed and the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) postponed parliamentary elections because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The postponement was criticized, especially from the opposition, and raised questions about the delay’s constitutional legitimacy. 

An election was eventually held in 2021. The African Union described the election as an improvement compared to the 2015 election and positive overall, urging the government to continue the commitment to democracy.

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