In­vest­ment drops by fifth

The Star Late Edition - - COMPANIES -

FOR­EIGN di­rect in­vest­ment in Ethiopia dropped by a fifth in the first half of the coun­try’s fis­cal year af­ter vi­o­lent antigov­ern­ment protests in which for­eign-owned busi­nesses were tar­geted. The coun­try at­tracted $1.2 bil­lion (R15.85bn) in the six months to the end of De­cem­ber, com­pared with $1.5bn in the same pe­riod a year ear­lier, Fit­sum Arega, com­mis­sioner of the Ethiopian In­vest­ment Com­mis­sion, said on Mon­day. He said the gov­ern­ment may miss its an­nual tar­get of $3.5bn, with $3.2bn more likely to be at­tain­able. The gov­ern­ment de­clared a state of emer­gency in Oc­to­ber to deal with un­rest ac­com­pa­ny­ing protests by eth­nic Oromo and Amhara com­mu­ni­ties that had be­gun in late 2015 over the al­leged dis­pos­ses­sion of their land, po­lit­i­cal marginal­i­sa­tion and state re­pres­sion. Busi­nesses in­clud­ing those owned by Nige­rian bil­lion­aire Aliko Dan­gote and Dutch fruit pro­ces­sors were at­tacked dur­ing the un­rest. Se­cu­rity forces killed about 600 pro­test­ers. – Bloomberg

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