In the second part of the interview, President Isaias elaborated on some domestic issues such as the new minimum wage, housing, development programs that are in the pipeline, etc.
Highlights of the interview as noted by Information Minister Yemane G. Meskel :
In the 2nd part of the interview with the local press, President Isaias elaborated on the underlying rationale & phased implementation of the new Salary scale in Civil Service; housing programs for 2020; infrastructural undertakings to enhance wealth creation & priority development projects for 2020.
On the new Salary Scale under phased implementation, President Isaias noted that speculative and illicit trading practices and the ensuing inflationary pressures had rendered the old Salary Scale almost nominal.
In the event, the GOE introduced, in tandem with the redemption of the Nacfa (national currency), a new five-tier Salary Scale ranging from 1,800 Nkf for the lowest rung, to 4,000 Nkf for 1st Degree holders as starting benchmarks pending full appraisal of CPI & other vital economic parameters.
Discrepancies in implementation that may have cropped up in the past for those in the lowest rung will be rectified this year in a retroactive manner, President Isaias underlined. The remaining phase will be implemented with the completion of an ongoing study on relevant economic variables.
On housing, President Isaias noted GOE lofty objectives of launching/incrementally expanding the nationwide program of home ownership was not successful in spite of various initiatives. GOE will pursue this objective with vigor but the focus for 2020 is the completion of those already underway.
On investment, President Isaias stated that the central objective is wealth creation anchored on the fair distribution of earned revenues. In this sense, GOE policy is not skewed in favor of big capital & attaches equal importance to lone or small farmers/pastoralists and other segments of society.
GOE primary focus remains ensuring a conducive environment for wealth creation by addressing infrastructural bottlenecks; i.e.rehabilitation/expansion of vital road networks; securing adequate power supply to eliminate outages and ensuring availability of efficient/effective manpower.
Prioritized development projects for 2020 take into account broader regional cooperation frameworks that are being nurtured. They include rehabilitation/upgrading/expansion of Massawa/Assab Ports and main road arteries; Solar energy as well as Tio Cement Factory & Potash mining.
President Isaias reiterated GOE’s overarching policy of attaching the highest priority to human capital. In this sense, the education system is under review to imbue the youth with employable skills; eliminate wastage; and ensure optimal alignment with the country’s development objectives.