By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
September 12, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) — Meles Zenawi, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia said his country is expected to achieve the World Banks’s (WB) lower-middle income level classification by 2015, under the recently launched development and transformation plan – a new strategy aimed at creating an ambitious 15% growth in the Ethiopian economy over the next five years.
Conveying good wishes for the Ethiopian New Year 2003, which was celebrated on 11 September, Meles said that his country will join the lower-middle income category, provided that the nation successfully implements the five year growth and transformation plan set by the government.
He went on to say that – “Ethiopia will then be among the upper-middle income countries in the world in ten years from now.”
Meanwhile, Ethiopian President, Girma Weldegiorgis said he is certain that Ethiopia will meet the five year development plan. He urged all Ethiopians to join hands and actively participate in the implementation of the transformation plan. He Joined Meles is wishing all Ethiopians a prosperous and peaceful year.
The new plan also predicts a huge expansion in infrastructure, with the country’s power production set to increase from 2,000MW to 10,000MW and the construction of 2,395 km of railway lines.
If the plan succeeds by the end of 2015, the Ethiopian government says it may not need any more foreign food aid.
For operational and analytical purposes, the WB’s main criteria for classifying economies is terms of gross national income (GNI) per capita using the World Bank Atlas Method.
Based on its GNI per capita, every economy is classified as low income, middle income (subdivided into lower-middle and upper-middle), or high income. Other analytical groups based on geographic regions are also used in the classification.
The groups are quantified as follows: low income, $995 or less; lower middle income, $996 - $3,945; upper middle income, $3,946 - $12,195; and high income, $12,196 or more.