Are the “Salad Days” for Private Banks Ending?
Teklewold Atnafu, the longest serving governor of The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), in his speech on financial liberalization in the country, at the eighth general assembly of the Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA) on July 15, 2000 asked the assembly, “Have we created, through financial sector liberalization, a diversified and deep financial system?” and answers himself “Obviously, there is still a long way to go in this respect. We still don’t have active money and capital markets. The types of financial instruments remain limited. The sector is not well diversified in terms of financial institutions. Competition in the sector is far from being fierce.” Fast forward 13 years and almost nothing is changed, except may be for the competition part, and his institution’s Neanderthal nature and the stifling directives it formulated through the years are partly to blame. And now the sector is facing yet another obstacle.