By Samuel Getachew
October 07, 2020
As part of Ethiopia’s plan to liberalise its economy and boost investment, it is set to open up sectors that were once reserved for domestic investors. The new regulation is an extension of the country’s new investment proclamation, which came into effect earlier this year that gives equal playing field to Ethiopian-born foreign nationals and foreign investors.
“[There are] more opportunities for us as the economy opens up to invest our resources in our birth country, says Addis Alemayehu, an Ethiopian-born Canadian investor engaged in IT and one of the leading Communications firms in the country.
While Ethiopia had encouraged the diaspora to invest in the nation, its relationship quickly soured following questions of human rights and democracy from activists based in western nations.
“We were even banned to sell our own shares in commercial banks when the government abruptly cancelled our rights to do so and we are now back to having been granted rights to own and sell and buy shares in banks” says Bethlehem Seifu, an owner of a digital company engaged in e-commerce.
In the last two years since Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister, the contribution via the diaspora in Ethiopia’s economy has shown a significant growth. Two commercial banks with an aggregate capital of $400m are under formation by Ethiopian-born foreign nationals living abroad.
Annual remittance inflow also averaged $5.5bn over the last years; a significant growth from the $4bn average registered over five years before 2018.