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Ethiopia Seeks Bids for Coffee Farm, Other State-Owned Companies
By William Davison
Ethiopia’s government invited bids for six state-owned enterprises as part of a plan to raise 1 billion Ethiopian birr ($55.1 million) this fiscal year by selling assets to private investors.
Among the companies being sold are the 600-hectare (1,483- acre) Arbagugu Coffee Plantation in the central Oromia region, said Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Agency spokesman Wondafrash Assefa. The company grows the Harar variety of coffee in Ethiopia, Africa’s biggest producer.
“We have a program to transfer almost all enterprises aside from the strategic ones,” Wondafrash said in an interview yesterday in Addis Ababa, the capital. A mission of the agency is “to transfer public enterprises to the private sector because of the free-market policy” of the government.
Ethiopia is selling assets to private investors to help finance a five-year growth plan under which it will spend 144 billion birr this fiscal year on industries including housing, transport and energy. Last year, the government sold Meta Abo brewery to Diageo Plc (DGE), the world’s largest liquor maker, and Harar and Bedele breweries to Heineken NV (HEIA) for a total of $485 million.
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