Following the string of liberalization that has been taking place in Ethiopia since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018, Ethiopia is on the way to privatizing all 13 state-owned industrial parks in the country.
Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance, while reviewing last year’s performance of IPDC at an event held at the Hilton Hotel, reportedly claimed, “We are ready to sell the parks if we get a buyer at any point in time.” The ownership transfer can be full or partial, with all models considered, including joint venture arrangements with buyers.
According to The Reporter, the process will be overseen by the Macro Economic Committee, set up by the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance, along with the Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC).
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group focused on the private sector in developing countries, is providing technical assistance, including asset valuation of the parks.
The official story of the IPDC is of their plans to use the proceeds from the sales to build new parks over the next decade and to repay loans taken to build the original ones.
This announcement exemplifies the policy shift toward the privatization of public resources that has been underway for the last four years, beginning with the telecom sector and progressing to the banking sector. As per The Reporter, plans are also being made to enable private entities to provide water utility services through a public-private partnership arrangement.
Source: The Reporter Newspaper
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