UAE pledges 3 bln USD investment scheme to support Ethiopia’s forex woes

Saturday June 16, 2018

Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday signed a 3 billion U.S. dollars loan and investment agreement that would help ease Ethiopia’s ongoing foreign currency shortage.

The agreement signed between the two countries’ leaders on Friday, which includes a one billion U.S. dollars foreign currency support, was made as UAE’s Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, made a state visit to the East African country.

According to the agreement signed in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, UAE will deposit 1 billion U.S. dollars in the National Bank of Ethiopia that mainly aimed to alleviate Ethiopia’s ongoing foreign currency shortage, state affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) reported.

The 3 billion U.S. dollars loan and investment agreement signed between the two countries was made amid Ethiopia’s recent announcement to partially privatize its major state-owned enterprises as a solution to the serious shortage of foreign currency.

Yinager Desie, Commissioner of National Planning Commission, noting the ongoing foreign currency demand as “a pressing challenge,” indicated that the decision to partially privatize the state-owned enterprises would generate large amount of foreign currency to tackle shortage.

Investments in industrial park development, Ethiopia’s manufacturing sector, healthcare as well as hospitality sector are said to be UAE ‘s major areas of interest through the remaining two billion U.S. dollars.

The Crown Prince, who commenced his two-day state visit to Ethiopia on Friday, also held talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, on various bilateral and regional issues that were aimed at strengthening socioeconomic as well as political ties of the two countries, it was noted.

Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates also on Friday inked a treaty to waive visa requirement for diplomats from both counties.