Ethiopia says drought to have no impact on GDP growth forecasts

* Ethiopia is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies

* Many still depend on rain-fed agriculture

* Aid agencies say Ethiopia needs $600 mln for crisis

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA, Nov 12 (Reuters) – Ethiopia has kept its economic growth forecast at 10 percent for the 2015/16 fiscal year despite a drought, its finance minister said, adding it was affecting agricultural areas only and he did not expect to divert resources from the budget to respond to it.

Failed rains during both the spring and summer have had devastating consequences for the Horn of Africa nation, creating food and water shortages. The government and aid agencies say Ethiopia needs $600 million to cope with the crisis.

Although it has some of the highest economic growth rates in Africa, Ethiopia’s economy still depends heavily on rain-fed farming, which employs some three-quarters of the population of more than 90 million.

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