Ethiopia to reduce stake in major enterprises

The Ethiopian government has resolved to offload shares to end its monopoly over major state enterprises.

The ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition made the decision at a meeting in Addis Ababa on Tuesday.

The corporations targeted in the new strategy include Ethio Telecom, Ethiopian Airlines, electric power generations and shipping lines and logistics firms.

The EPRDF Executive Committee meeting resolved that shares in the companies be offered to both local and foreign investors, with the government maintaining a majority stake.

Foreign currency

The decision will enable the government to mobilise financial resources for other investors, help solve the current foreign currency deficiencies and strengthen the role of the private sector in the economy, according Communications minister Ahmed Shide.

The EPRDF Executive Committee also resolved to sell wholly or in part, the state-owned sugar factories and fertiliser production projects.

Many of Ethiopia’s development partners, including the World Bank, have been nudging the government to liberalise the telecom and finance sectors in particular.

Was timely

Addis Ababa has, however, been reluctant arguing that the various sectors performed better under state control.

Mr Ahmed said the government previously played a greater role in the economy as the private sector was still maturing.

He noted that the decision to adjust to the current situation was timely, following the development of the Ethiopian private sector.

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