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Addis Ababa city Administration says businesses that hike prices taking advantage of COVID 19 punished

Addis Ababa City Administration “took measures” against businesses that are allegedly taking advantage to COVID 19 threat to increase prices

businesses _ Addis Ababa _ COVID 19

March 16, 2020

It is not uncommon to see business people trying to exploit challenging times as business opportunities in the pursuit of the profit motive. Yet, doing so at the expense of lives while they could save them merely by ethically doing business is against Ethiopian values, without forgetting that so much of it happened over the past thirty years.  

As people struggle to get items essential for COVID 19 prevention, some businesses in the capital Addis Ababa were artificially hiking prices, based on information from state-affiliated media – Fana Broadcasting Corporation.  

Sanitizers, face masks, and alcohol is among items whose prices skyrocketed in the wake of the pandemic.  

Prices of some food items have also seen an exponential price hike in the wake of COVID 19 pandemic. Pepper, essential household items, is a case in point.  

Mesfin Assefa is Addis Ababa City Administration trade office deputy head.  He said that the city administration took measures against sixty-seven businesses that increased prices this week. Those businesses are shut.  Pharmacies that raised the rates of facemask and sanitizers got retributions for their actions. 

The city has formed a task force to identify those businesses that are unfairly increasing prices, and that it will continue to take measures against them, he is cited as saying. 

Apart from that, the City Administration itself is venturing to sell sanitizers in what seems to be a measure to protect consumers from higher prices.   It also says that it is making available sanitizers in Addis Ababa City busses for those who rely on them as a means of transportation.

Coordinating youth volunteers to provide residents of the city with information about prevention measures is another action area that the city administration is working on, according to a statement that it released on its social media page.  

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