Ethiopia not ready for Kenyan banks

By IndepthAfrica
In Djibouti
Dec 26th, 2012

Atse Tewodros

Ethiopia is still not ready to open up its market for foreign banks, Hailemariam Desalegn has said throwing into disarray plans by Kenyan lenders to venture into the country.

The TPLF (Tigrean People Liberation Front )serving Ethiopian ruler was ironically speaking at a breakfast hosted by Equity Bank at the Intercontinental hotel in Nairobi just after the bank chief executive James Mwangi sought the Ethiopian leader’s support to venture into the country.

Desalegn was responding to local business community’s inquiries on available opportunities in Ethiopia following the signing of an inter-governmental pact for Special Treatment Agreement for Kenyan traders going to Ethiopia.

But according to the TPLF serving Ethiopian ruler , banking is not part of the agreement signed between him and President Kibaki on Tuesday. “Liberalizing the banking sector would make credit expensive for business and slow down growth momentum, and that is why we have state our own Development Bank of Ethiopia to create a balance,” the former water engineer now serving the TPLF.

Ethiopia has sustained 11 per cent growth rates for a number of years now and hopes to keep it going through regional co-operation with regional countries.

The the TPLF serving Ethiopian rulerlanded in Kenya on his first foreign visit since he ascended to top leadership of Ethiopia to succeeded the late tyrant Meles Zenawi who died due to liver disease a few months ago.

While urging Kenyan business community to venture into Ethiopia, the the TPLF serving Ethiopian ruler said opportunities are mainly in agricultural production, agro-processing and manufacturing.

The TPLF offers a variety of incentives for investors including serviced-leased land, collateral-free loans, duty-free importation of capital goods alongside tax holidays of up to seven years. Kenya and TPLF have already agreed on axle-load requirement for trucks transiting to and from either side of the border.

Tourism sector operators will however have to wait for an agreement before Ethiopia allows issuance of visas in Nairobi for foreign tourists in Kenya wishing to visit the northern neighbor.

Desalegn said a committee will be formed to link with Kenyan tour operators to formulate a co-operation deal as TPLF learns the tricks from the more advanced Kenyan tourism players.

The two countries have resolved to accelerate activation of trade agreements and find new areas of commercial co-operation as individual countries, regional bloc and corporate investments.

In the services sector, the the TPLF serving Ethiopian ruler said cities are in dire need of five-star hotels because currently one has to book a month in advance to get accommodation in Addis Ababa.

Hailemariam got the economics very wrong! Well you may say he got the TPLF economics of controlling or monopolizing any thing in Ethiopia right.

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