UNCTAD labels 2016 “a year of living dangerously”
Commenting on the possible economic impacts the ongoing political unrests would create in Ethiopia, Tesfachew Taffere (PhD), a former director of division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programs at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said that it is possible the country would suffer unless the discontents are resolved soon.
In an interview with The Reporter Tesfachew called for all rounded solutions in order to safeguard economic gains. He said that if once disrupted it will require years of laborious efforts to get back on track.
According to Tesfachew, a study UNCTAD conducted on countries that are facing political conflicts manifested in the form of unrests, demonstrations, coup d’états or civil war reveal that 15 to 20 percent of that country’s trade capacities would be affected, if such events continue happening for a year or so. “It would take up to 10 to 15 years to get back to the pre-crisis period”, Tesfachew said.
Tesfachew, who served more than nearly 30 years at the UN, however, refrained from commenting on the nature and causes of the existing political discontents, which have caused deaths and injuries on hundreds of citizens and damages of properties in the country. However, from an economic point of view, he is of the view that the political crisis the country is faced with will certainly result in multifaceted negative outcomes if unresolved in time.
“The moment governments are spending valuable time tackling political conflicts lessening focus on economic developments, the impacts are huge”, he said, describing the destructions Syria is enduring and imagining how long it will take to rebuild the war-torn and besieged country. Hence, he called on every responsible body to reconsider the repercussions of the ongoing political conflicts in the country. He requested the government to devise solutions that give chance for more dialogues and open-minded discussions.
In his capacity as advisor to the secretary general of UNCTAD, Tesfachew and his colleague Padmashree Gehl Sampath, who leads globalization and development strategies division, have presented this year’s Trade and Development Report (TDR). The flagship report UNCTAD launched is dubbed “A Year of Living Dangerously”.
According to the report the experts presented on Wednesday at the National Planning Commission, trade and development in many countries of the world have become more troubled.
Twined with the political conflicts and new emerging challenges that include “Brexit”, global economic growth, commodity prices, industrialization and transformational changes and the like have presented troubling situations.