ADDIS ABABA-- The government of Ethiopia plans to boost exports in order to reduce the current debt burden which the country faces, according to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Co-operation.

Ethiopia's risk of external debt distress has remained moderate since the 2015/2016 discal year although the burden has reached a total of 26 billion US dollars, which indicates high risk in debt distress, says the Ministry's Communication Director, Haji Ebsa.

Based on a Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA), Ethiopia's external debt risk was low from 2012 to 2015; moderate in 2016 but high in 2017 because of the poor performance of the country's export trade, he told a media conference here Tuesday. The export sector had performed below projections, he said.

The country recorded close to three billion USD in exports in 2017/18 fiscal year, while the nation imported 56 billion USD worth of products at the same time, Haji said, adding that the huge trade deficit had forced the country to face external debt pressures.

In this regard, Ethiopia plans to increase the quantity of exports to ease the current trade imbalance, he added.

in this regard, a study has been finalized to implement a Public-Private Partnership policy with a loan of 1.7 billion USD obtained from the African Development Bank (AfDB). The policy is an infrastructure delivery mechanism to facilitate initial pilot projects and public services which can benefit the private sector experience and investment.

Sub-Saharan African nations are at growing risk of debt distress because of heavy borrowing and deficits, despite their overall economic growth, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).