Ethiopia seeks to privatise state-owned sugar mills

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Ethiopian authorities have put eight state-owned sugar milling companies up for sale to private investors.

In a statement by the Ministry of Finance, the government says the sale will enable those companies to meet local demand for sugar and cut imports.

The Horn of Africa nation produces 1.35 million tonnes of sugar annually, which meets about 60% of local demand.

With privatisation, the government hopes to reduce its reliance on imports at a time when the country has suffered a foreign currency crisis.

READ ALSO:  Ethiopian Airlines pilots ‘overshoot runway after falling asleep’

Data from United Nations Comtrade shows the country spent $347 million (£293 million) on sugar imports in 2020.

A bid to sell national telecommunications company, Ethiotelecom, was abruptly called off in March, with the government citing an “unfavourable global and local economic environment”.

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