For developing countries, foreign currency is a necessary component to the success of manufacturing, overall industrialisation and greater inclusion into the global economy. Specifically, manufacturers, the purported backbone of what the Ethiopian government hopes to be a robust industrial sector, need foreign currency to import materials that are central to their enterprises. However, the country is facing a severe shortage of these funds, a dynamic that isn’t likely to change soon. To put the demand in perspective, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia approved USD3 billion in foreign currency requests in two months, whereas the Bank earned that amount in the first six months of the current fiscal year. Furthermore, the government has meagre foreign currency reserves. So what’s being done to mitigate the situation? EBR’s Ashenafi Endale spoke with key insiders to learn more about the implications of the shortage and its potential solutions.