Creating conditions for foreign direct investment in Ethiopia

Improving the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ethiopia is a passion of Minister of Trade and Industry, Teka Gebreyesus Entehabu. Today, this Australia Awards alumnus is proud to see real results emerge from work in this area, including improved government accountability and transparency.

Teka built his skills and knowledge to formulate, implement and evaluate policy while studying in Australia. He relies on these skills and knowledge for his work in Ethiopia. Teka graduated from Murdoch University, Perth, in 2013, with a Master of Arts in Public Policy.

Teka’s public policy reform began when he was Deputy Commissioner at the Ethiopia Investment Commission (January 2016 to January 2109), where he focused on promoting investment in his home country. While Deputy Commissioner, the Prime Minister put Teka in charge of creating a transparent and accountable system to improve the flow of FDI.

The work was important because Ethiopia’s investment portfolio was poorly coordinated between government ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ethiopia Revenue and Customs Authority, Investment Commission, and Document Authentication Agency. This poor coordination resulted in lack of transparency and accountability in the public sector.

Teka says his studies in Australia also improved his research skills, which he uses to provide sound and implementable policy recommendations to the Government of Ethiopia.

With support from other government officials, Teka has established a one-stop online portal in the Commission. This portal provides information on opportunities and encourages international investors to invest. Potential investors use it to review incentives available and complete the steps required to invest.

Teka’s work has increased FDI and better job opportunities with investors now knowing where to go to conduct investment business. This has improved government transparency and accountability. ‘Public satisfaction has increased by 20 per cent and job opportunities by 10 per cent,’ says Teka of the portal’s value.

In early 2019, Teka was appointed State Minister of Trade and Industry and continues to improve the trade environment. One milestone was waiving 150 per cent of export tariffs imposed on semi-processed leather and hides to increase export earnings.

Alumnus Teka Gebreyesus Entehabu

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