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HomeEthiopian News"Be Ready. Foreign Nationals Will Be Allowed To Own Property In Ethiopia"...

“Be Ready. Foreign Nationals Will Be Allowed To Own Property In Ethiopia” : PM Abiy Ahmed 

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s “home-grown” economic model is taking a full neoliberal turn. “Mamo will do it.”

Foreign national property ownership
PM Abiy Ahmed during a meeting with businessmen, last week. (Photo : screenshot from EBC video)


Toronto – Abiy Ahmed’s administration’s “home-grown economy”  is taking another neoliberal turn – perhaps far right. As has been the case in the past, the Prime Minister exploited public meetings to hint about the critical juncture policy change that could turn out to be very controversial, to say the least. 

“Foreign nationals property ownership is in the final stage for legislation to be enacted,” Abiy Ahmed said this past weekend during a “discussion” with businessmen whom he labeled as “relatively honest taxpayers.” 

He did not provide an adequate hint as to whether there would be exceptions or conditions of property ownership in Ethiopia. 

“We will change two things. First, we will legislate for foreign nationals to own property. Second, brands that were restricted from entering the country so far will be allowed [to operate in the country] like Starbucks he said .” 

He also said that there would be a reform in the banking sector. “That is why Mamo [ Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia] came and I hope he will do it. There is something that we have to be decisive about.” Abiy Ahmed told the business community members during the meeting. Mamo Mihretu, NBE governor, used to work for the World Bank. 

What is the change that is coming in the banking sector? It has been making news for some time now that foreign banks will be allowed to operate in Ethiopia and the Prime Minister confirmed it.  However, he refrained from highlighting the other “little change” that the government is planning to make in the sector. 

What Abiy Ahmed said during his meeting with the selected business community regarding upcoming changes attest that the economic policy his government has been framing as a “home-grown economy” is taking a radical neoliberal economic policy within the context of the Ethiopian economy.  And his strategic communication about his economic policy reform came at a time when  International Monetary Fund (IMF) senior officials were in the country for a conversation with the government. 

Kenya was used as a reference for the new home ownership right for foreign nationals. Kenya’s land ownership policy for foreign nationals is based on a 99-year lease. To cite another example, Canada, with its huge land mass and less than 40 million population, has restricted the purchase of residential property by foreign nationals. Abiy Ahmed’s new policy could certainly help ease the foreign currency shortage in the country, but what it entails in the long term does not seem to be considered.  

Abiy Ahmed’s government’s signs of neoliberal economic policy were revealed when he set up an “advisory board” for his plan to privatize key national assets within a year after he took power.  The telecom sector in the country, which used to be restricted, was privatized for under $1 billion when Safaricom was allowed to operate in the country. There has also been a rumor that his government has plans to privatize a portion of Ethiopian Airlines. 


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  1. This idiot needs more money to kill Amharas, evict the poor because he considers them as rats that don’t deserve dignity to live in their own country and work on his vanity projects. Foreigners should be extremely guarded because there is absolutely no guarantee on a penny that will be returned back for their investment and the tugs of this catastrophic government will confiscate their hard earned money not to mention the instability of a war mongering regime whose days in power are numbered.

    • Ted,

      A backward Idiot like you calling our king an Idiot? come on I see your are unable to understand such transactions, but it is ok to ask people who understand it. Stop guessing wrong, some of us here understand Dr. Abiy’s move and it is one of the great moves we have been witnessing nowadays for mama Ethiopia. No relationship with your Shifta business.

  2. It would be more to the point if the PM had any consideration of returning the properties of so many Ethiopians who had their properties nationalized by the Derg. That is something that is long overdue.

  3. The despot’s oromumma banana republic is cash strapped and on the brink of collapse.

    With out the rule of law and due process, there is no guarantee that contracts and investments signed by foreign nationals will get legal protection.

    And this guy and his criminal mafia wretches stink up a whole town through their filth.

    The diasporas from the beautiful motherland, Ethiopia, Be aware!!!!!!

    This vagabond, his embezzlers and looters ARE AFTER ONE THING!!! YOUR WALLET!!!!!

    የሌባ አይነ ደረቅ መልሶ ልብ ያደርቅ::

    This buffoon is just bluffing. Has nothing to offer, just empty promises and platitudes and lies, and more lies just like he has done for the past 6 years.

    Does not know how to run a “kiosk”, has zero entrepreneurial and managerial experience His pet projects after projects have been just massive failures.

    ምን አይነት ፋራ የሆነ ሰውዬ ነው እባካችሁ??????

  4. I think it is much better than giving land and business to clueless dullard ethnic thugs – foreigners will at least be fair to all Ethiopians in employment – not likr the rampant fillup of all federal officesd with nincompoops from one ethnic group (and buffons like that). Some of the abiy worshippers can beter use other fora where they can be heard – like stupid teddy red line above (BTW, what’s u=your red line? is it already passed or shuld we wait for some time…

  5. What is ‘controversial’ about allowing foreigners to buy and develop property? This dirt seeking is getting childish.

  6. The concept itself is not bad but there are three big problems. First, every r past regime in ethiopia including this one are no true believers nor consist when it comes to private wealth and property ownership or entrepreneurship ideas and state policies in promoting the sector. If anything, they see it as an easy prey to loot privare sector when it suits them and the irst opportunity arises. Second, socially and culturally speaking, majority of ethiopian people are strong beliervers of only government and state sponsored investment and development . which iis totally wrong. So, it will take big effort and public and cultural education over long periond of time to prove and show otherwise. Third, none of the past ethiopian regines corrected past mistakes and wrongs done against private investors whether local or foreigner and other policy failures of the private sector to protect their rights or honor the agreement terms made with the previous regimes.. So there is glaring of policy inconsistency,, huge trust deficit and big ctedibilty gab there.


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