ADDIS ABABA, October 16, 2008 (AFP) – Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said Thursday that the economy would not be devastated following the global financial crisis, despite a possible cut in aid and investment flows.

“In general, we don’t expect drastic effects on our economy, our financial structure is not as liberalised as those of affected countries and the economy is not intertwined to Western economies to face a crisis,” Meles told parliament.

“But that said, the whole situation goes hand in hand with economic recession, which could lead to a decrease in foreign investment and aid. On the other hand, we could benefit from a decrease in petrol price,” he added.

The global credit crunch has caused the worst crisis in decades in Western financial institutions and while Africa has so far been spared, observers argue that the flow of money from rich countries to Africa could slow down. Africa’s economy accounts for little more than two percent of world output and is heavily reliant on remittances and aid from developed countries.