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Ethiopia : Impacts of price hike become a concern for human rights group

Ethiopian Human Rights recommends coordinated actions from government bodies to control what many describe as an “insane” price hike for food items

Price hike _ Ethiopia
Bati Market ( Photo taken in 2010. Source : Tour Travel Guide)


The rising cost of living in Ethiopia has been affecting the majority of Ethiopians, impacting their lives  in different ways. The issue has now become a concern for human rights organizations in Ethiopia. 

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission on Monday said price hiking is affecting the rights of citizens to have adequate food. Furthermore, the commission said that it is impacting other economic and social rights of citizens. 

However, the commission saw in a positive light measures being taken by the government to ease the situation. 

In the midst of the spiraling cost of living that affected the absolute majority of Ethiopia with meager income,  the Federal government introduced measures like allowing duty-free imports for food items and easing value- added tax for food produced locally.

 Despite all that, many still live under challenging circumstances. 

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, recommended for government actions to be coordinated between different levels of government. 

It also recommended measures to ease the price hike to be implemented in a way that benefit those affected most by it. 

Continuous evaluation of the measures being undertaken to ensure efficacy and further actions to ensure that government initiatives are working are also recommended. 

There have been reports that in many cases the rise in the cost of living across Ethiopia are linked to price gouging and other forms of sabotage. 

Federal and regional levels of government have been taking measures to discourage businesses engaged in artificially manipulating prices.

Satirical contents among Ethiopians on social media, for several months now, are either about the war that TPLF triggered or the out of control price spike for food items and other basics. 

On Monday, for example, many Ethiopian Facebook users had a way to vent anger about the new prices for onions. “Those of you who do not like onions are blessed” is the reaction when the price went up to 60 Ethiopian birr for just a kilo of it.   

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  1. Price hikes are a serious issue that needs the immediate attention of the seems there are no serious moves made yet.

    suppliers should be scrutinized (there are allegation some politicians with business interest are behind price hikes)
    blacklist retailers (no business wants bad reputation)
    price capping essential goods.
    make price gouging and stockpiling illegal and prosecute those who engage in these practices rigorously. long term imprisonment ,fines and stripping trading license.

  2. Prices of goods and services (commodities} are influenced by many factors. In times like this in Ethiopia : devastating war by the terror group draining the economy, limited production of life sustaining goods, limited means of delivery of products, etc. Merchants in times like these do what they have done through out history: hoard products, charge throat cut prices. Some use the economic power they have to sabotage and destabilize and others for pure greed.
    To counter the greed of merchants to the detriment of the consumers organizing consumers and producers Co-operatives with a strong governmental oversight is one of the ways to go about the price hikes. The organizing of Co-operatives would help gauge the price of the products by first, eliminating the middle men between the consumers and the producers, second, having central stores within the proximities of the consumers and the producers thereby reducing the cost of transporting goods and passing the saving from it to the consumers by reducing the price. I am sure there are functioning Co-operatives in Ethiopia, but do not know under what government entity they are provided direction, instructions, supports , regulations and so on.
    In the absence of Co-ops. and structured markets, what the commenter above suggested would likely give some relief to the consumers that being drained by greedy merchants.


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