ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia passed a new investment law on Thursday, part of a bid by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to transform the Horn of Africa nation’s economy and drive progress toward a middle-income status.
Ethiopia will however not open up its banking and insurance firms to foreign ownership, even as it clears the way for overseas investors to buy into other sectors of its economy.
The law says that banking, insurance, micro-credit and micro-saving services will be reserved for domestic investors.
The country’s banking sector, dominated by the two oldest and most profitable institutions – Awash Bank and Dashen, is still one of the most tightly state-controlled in Africa.
According to the text of the new law, it is aimed at producing an “economic framework that fast-tracks the global competitiveness of the national economy, increases export performance, generates more and better employment opportunities.”
(Reporting by Dawit Endeshaw; editing by Elias Biryabarema, Kirsten Donovan)