The Role of Public Enterprises in Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s economic policies of the past two decades indicate the growing role and significance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Essential services such as electricity, telecommunications, shipping and logistics, and transport are mainly provided by SOEs. In addition to giant public enterprises, like Ethiopian Airlines, Ethio Telecom, and Ethiopian Electric Power, there are also SOEs engaged in railways, industrial parks, hotels, sugar, and other manufacturing industries. Although SOEs are increasing in the volume of transactions they involve, most remain inefficient and unable to service their debts. Their accumulated debt is especially skyrocketing, putting a huge stress on the national economy. The current accumulated debt of 21 SOEs is ETB846 billion, which is more than half of the total national debts. EBR editors explore the issue.