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Ethiopia to sell off, privatise some state-owned firms

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Ethiopia is open to selling off a host of state-owned firms, either partially or entirely, as part of a major economic reform drive designed to “unleash the potential of the private sector”, its information minister said on Wednesday.

In an interview with journalists, Ahmed Shide said the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed – which has announced a stream of reforms since coming into office in April – would retain majority holdings in the state-run airline, logistics, telecoms and energy companies.

However, everything else from hotels to sugar farming to cement production could be up for sale, with the sole exception of the tightly controlled financial services sector whose fate was yet to be decided, he said.

“The main objective of this is to encourage private sector development in the country,” Ahmed said, making clear that Ethiopia was turning the page on decades of reliance on the state to drive economic growth in the nation of 100 million people.

“The role of the private sector is very fundamental. We did a lot of state development projects. Now we need to unleash the potential of the private sector,” he said.

Ahmed did not give a time-frame for the privatisations.

 

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PM Abiy reiterates Ethiopia’s decision over latest clampdown.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has finally spoken on ongoing anti-corruption and rights abuse clampdown stating that there was not going to be any backing down let alone retreat.

A statement from the Abiy’s office issued in Amharic tasked citizens to rally behind the development as a means of ridding the country of lawlessness and criminal elements.

State-affiliated FBC reported that the statement titled, ‘Let’s Fight (the) Cancer,’ said the government was bent on bringing people behind injustices to book.



The statement said the underlying objective of recent arrests was to get rid of Ethiopia criminals. “… criminals do not care about ethnicity, country, or morality; they only care for themselves.

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“The key to justice is to create a system for innocent citizens to live in freedom and dignity while criminals are held accountable and punished in accordance with the law,” the statement read in part.

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Since early this week, authorities have announced the arrest of over sixty former military and intelligence officials arrested in connection with rights abuse in prisons and gross corruption in the military run business conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation, MetEC.

A former head of MetEC, Kinfe Dagnew; and a former intelligence chiefs, Tekleberhan Woldearegay and Yared Zerihun have all been detained and put before courts in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Head of security at the state monopoly, Ethio Telecom, Gudeta Olana, has also been arrested as has head of the entity and brother of ex-MetEC boss, Essayas Dagnew.

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New Zealand denies refusing refugees with holiday visas entry.

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, on Friday, rejected allegations that the country’s government was blocking refugees who wished to travel into the country from Nauru on visitor visas.

Nauru’s president, Baron Waqa, also claimed in an interview with Australian media that he had also personally brokered a deal for New Zealand to accept 80 refugees currently located on the island.



“It’s incorrect to say that there is some kind of agreement for 80 specific individuals to take residence or visit,’’ Ardern told media at the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

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“The request did not ask about whether refugees could visit New Zealand on holiday visas,’’ he added.

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The country assessed all applications for visitor visas on a case-by-case basis. This applies regardless of a person’s country of origin or nationality.

The country is under pressure to transfer the remaining 30 children from the island.

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