The Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi announced the R44 billion budget for 2010/11 last Thursday. The 20 percent increase, from R36.4 billion in 2009/10, represents the biggest budget ever passed by the country's parliament and the largest spending in this area by any African country.
“We are working hard to electrify rural towns, and a large amount of our development spending will go on roads,” said Zenawi.
Breaking down the budget, Zenawi said more than R13 billion will be spent locally by Ethiopia’s nine federal regions, R6.8 billion will go to the country’s road network, and the rest will be spent on electrification.
Zenawi said at least 10 percent of the total budget has been allocated to developing the country's strong agricultural sector, which relies heavily on agricultural exports, while defence spending will increase by 10 percent to R2.5 billion.
R20 billion will go to development spending, an increase of 23.4 percent, while regular spending is up 17.2 percent to R9.2 billion.
Domestic revenue accounts for R23 billion of the budget and R8.5 billion comes from aid. The R11.5 billion deficit will be paid by foreign loans and grants, said Zenawi.
Edited by Ellie Duncan
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