Ethiopia’s PM to attend investment forum in Berlin as country opens up

Ethiopia’s PM to attend investment forum in Berlin as country opens up

Today, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin to discuss, trade, economic and

Ethiopia telecommunication

Photo: Reuters/Tiksa Negeri

Today, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin to discuss, trade, economic and social issues.

His visit to Germany is part of a broader tour to lift his country’s image that will also include an engagement with the Ethiopian diaspora in Europe and participation in the G20 Compact with Africa Conference.

When Ahmed came to power in April, he promised a “new political beginning”, hinting at the liberalisation of state-owned entities. This promise was realised in part in early June, when he announced the opening of Ethiopia’s state-owned telecommunications services and airline to both domestic and foreign private investment. However, liberalisation will only be partial, with the state retaining the majority share in each of the reformed entities.

Expect the talks to build bilateral cooperation with respect to the opening of Ethiopia to foreign investors, particularly in the telecommunications industry, an area where Germany has shown strong interest. The meeting is unlikely to precipitate liberalisation in closely guarded areas, such as the financial sector, but as Ethiopia starts to open up it is likely to experience significant growth due to the stagnating effect of government ownership regulations.

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