Improving "private sector competitiveness" as well as increasing access to financing will help drive "sustainable economic growth" while reducing poverty, according to the Obama Administration. Consequently, it is launching the Finance and Business Services (FaBS) Project to achieve such goals -- in Ethiopia.
The U.S. must step in to help because of the global economic downturn and the restrictive economic policies enacted in response to those changes, according to Solicitation #SOL-663-12-000013:
Despite impressive growth over the past 5-7 years, Ethiopia’s private sector continues to struggle as a result of an inefficient business climate as well as a number of firm/industry bottlenecks. Particularly during the past two years, with the economy showing strains associated with the global downturn, escalation of prices for major import products and resultant restrictive monetary policy by government designed to help contain the impact of the global crisis and associated inflation, the prospects for private sector growth appear to have stalled according to some, or to have diminished according to others. With credit growth continuing to decline, an already challenged business environment has become even more challenging during the past couple of years.
The U.S. Agency for International Development will carry out the 2-5-year program with private contractor assistance at an estimated cost -- if all options are exercised -- of $22 million.