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Corporate Governance in Ethiopia


Since 2018, Ethiopia has undergone several holistic policy and legislative reforms. In light of this, several laws that have aimed at easing doing business have been enacted. The enactment of the new Commercial Code; Movable Property Security Rights Proclamation; Public-Private-Partnership Proclamation; Capital Market Proclamation; the revision of different investment regulations and the Ethiopian Civil Societies Proclamation, as well as the ratification of the New York Convention are among many others.

The Ethiopian Government passed the Capital Markets Proclamation No. 1248/2021 to set up a local capital market with a clear set aim of developing the national economy through mobilizing capital, promoting financial innovation, and sharing investment risks. The Government has also set up a project team that has been working to draft proper directives for approval by the Board of Directors of the Capital Market Authority to supply detailed guidance and requirements to enable the effective implementation of the Capital Market Proclamation. The Ethiopia Capital Market Authority (ECMA) disclosed that it has finalized preparations to start operation within the coming two years.

According to this 2020 Proclamation, privatization is a transaction that results in either the sale of assets or share capital of a public enterprise in full or in part to private ownership and control. The Proclamation considers extensively pre-privatization activities, public enterprise restructuring, and other activities before privatization. Essentially, the Proclamation provides for the procedure of conversion of a public enterprise to a share company, valuation of public enterprises, and issues relating to post-privatization

On 30 January 2020, Ethiopia enacted a New Investment Proclamation. The major development in this new investment law is the shift from the positive listing of areas allowed for foreign investors to a negative listing which is broader. The government has also opened up previously closed sectors to foreign investment. In addition to this, these legislations lay down procedures for handling investors’ grievances and for resolving investor–state disputes, principally through domestic institutions.

Revising the old Commercial Code that has been in effect since 1960 has brought one of the major legislative changes.  In this new Code liability limited partnership (LLP) has been recognized as one form of business organization.

Ethiopia ratified the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in 2020. The Convention applies to arbitration agreements and arbitral awards made only after Ethiopia acceded to the Convention.

The Ethiopian Commercial Code of 2021, the Banking Business Proclamation No. 592/2009, Bank Corporate Governance Directives No. SBB/62/2015, the Insurance Business Proclamation No. 746/2012 and the Commercial Registration and Business Licensing Proclamation No. 980/2016 are the principal sources on corporate governance.

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