Privatization of Sugar Plants, Telecom Well Underway, Says Finance Ministry

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ENA January 24/2020 The privatization of Ethiopian Sugar factories and Ethio Telecom is well underway, according to Ministry of Finance. 

Ethio Telecom and Ethiopian Electric Power are among state-owned companies that will be put up for privatization. In addition, the government is working for full or partial privatization of sugar and other manufacturing industries.

In an exclusive interview with ENA,  Public Relations Director at the ministry, Haji Ibsa, said extensive studies have been conducted, particularly on countries that successfully undertook  privatization, before the decision to privatize state-owned enterprises.

Presently, activities have been underway to finalize the privatization of about six sugar factories. The target is not only import substitution of sugar but also production of quality sugar for export.

“The study to identify and transfer of the six sugar factories is completed,” according to the director. “ We have been witnessing plenty of interests from well competent global companies that want to take over the sugar factories based on the data obtained from our request for information.”

According to Haji, the privatization of the sugar industries and telecom are expected to be finalized in the third quarter of this Ethiopian budget year.

The director stressed that the level of competition and quality with regard to Ethiopia’s telecom sector is incomparable even with some of neighboring countries like Kenya.

“Privatization takes its own time,” Haji noted, addign that “We have invited the World Bank and other well-known experts to conduct study on what we have been lacking in the various sectors. For instance, the difference between our telecom sector is incomparable with other countries like Kenya,” the director elaborated.

The process related to Ethiopian Airlines has almost been stalled as the company is a  productive and profitable organization at international level, according to the director.

The Government of Ethiopia announced its plan to partially and fully privatize major state-owned enterprises on June 5, 2018.

Accordingly, sugar plants, industrial parks, hotels and other manufacturing enterprises could be transferred to the private sector partially or fully, while the government retains stakes in Ethio-Telecom, hydropower plants and maritime transport enterprises.