Ethiopia launches digital platform to guide investors to the country

adult african descent american 1234099The iGuides will help agencies, such as the EIC, to build their capacity, identify further areas for reform and understand investor needs. (Image source: rawpixel.com/Pexels)Ethiopia’s online investment guide, iGuide, was officially unveiled in Addis Ababa on 19 December 2018

The iGuide was developed to help investors discover opportunities in the country, business costs, vital procedures and laws they may need to know before committing their money.

The iGuide covers a wide range of topics deemed relevant to investment consideration and will serve as the first point of contact for domestic and international companies and business people interested in investing in Ethiopia.

The platform highlights the various investment opportunities in the country and provides information on the costs, laws and regulations related to various aspects of investment, such as business set-up, labour, taxation, and access to land.

The iGuide was developed by the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) with support from the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and was designed to attract productive investment into the country.

Investment can create a “win-win” scenario for the private sector as well as the host economy, said Shumete Gizaw, Ethiopia’s minister of Innovation and Technology.

The minister expressed hope that this communication and “empowerment” tool will serve to “enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Ethiopian business ecosystem” and help “build impactful relations” with investors and assist the country in its quest to become a major manufacturing hub.

The digital platform, providing clear, relevant and reliable information, seeks to serve both the national and international investment community.

“Foreign investors rely on the small and medium-sized enterprises in the economy and local business have to be linked global supply chains,” stated Vera Songwe, executive secretary of the ECA.

According to the executive secretary, the platform should also help to promote domestic women-led businesses by providing “digital space in which women can seamlessly interact.”

The objective of the electronic investment platform is to promote productive investments catalysing the structural transformation process in developing countries.

Fitsum Arega, the commissioner of EIC, commented, “The private sector needs to be in the driver’s seat of development. Ethiopia endeavours to address the existing bottlenecks and open up further sectors for private investment, including logistics and telecom.”

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