285 investors lose agri-business investment license

In 2017, a US based Ethiopian News outlet reported most of those who appropriated land for agri-business in Gambella region were TPLF affiliated mean for whom a loan was arranged from Development Bank of Ethiopia

agri-business _ Ethiopia _ Gambella
Gambella regional state president, Umod Ujulo. Photo credit : ENA

April 21, 2020

Since about ten years ago, Gambella regional state-granted agribusiness license and land for nearly 705 investors. Almost 40 percent of them failed to honor their investment commitment so much so that some have not even started work in nine years. Now the region’s government is acting on it.   

Two hundred eighty-five investors who appropriated land for agri-business in the Gambella region of Ethiopia are expropriated, and the regional authority cancels their business license, state media Ethiopian News Agency reported on Tuesday. 

The region’s top authority, Umod Ujulo, told journalists that the business license is revoked because they did not start active investment nine years after appropriating land for agribusiness and getting licenses. 

“The regional government was compelled to take the measures because the investors have not started development work in the appropriated land which is over 210,570 hectares of land,” Umod Ujulo is cited as saying. 

Some of them have started some work. Others have not started work at all and did not pay a land tax for a long time. 

Moreover, Gambell regional state president said 36 of the “investors” took a loan from the Development Bank of Ethiopia and disappeared without a trace. 

Ujulo Umod is the Director of the Investment Agency in the region. He said his office repeatedly tried to reach out to the investors, whose licenses are now canceled, to inform them that they need to start working on their investment project but to no avail. 

Now the regional state is calling on those investors who have an interest in investing in the region in a wide range of sectors.   

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