Uganda, Ethiopia, Egypt… the hidden cost of internet blackouts

African Report | Communication technology is a double-edged sword. It can empower people to access and share information globally, or be used as an instrument of political and economic control. While hopes were raised by the Arab Spring a decade ago, the years since have seen multiple internet blackouts in many African countries. In the […]

World Bank questions Ethiopia’s stance in telecoms competition

Capacity | The World Bank has warned the government of Ethiopia not to take measures that hinder the development of telecoms in the country. It is criticising the restriction of digital financial services to Ethiopian firms and nationals and a ruling limiting investment by independent cell tower companies, obliging the new entrants to use the […]

S&P joins Fitch in downgrade of Ethiopia on potential debt restructuring

(Reuters) – S&P Global Ratings on Friday downgraded Ethiopia’s long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings to ‘B-’ from ‘B’ on potential debt restructuring, announcing the move days after Fitch Ratings downgraded the country. “Exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ethiopia’s structurally weak external balance sheet has deteriorated further, in our view”, […]

Ethiopia in debt restructuring, downgrade after printing money, despite low deficit

ECONOMYNEXT – Ethiopia had been downgraded to ‘CCC’ from ‘B’ by Fitch Ratings after it applied for ‘Paris Club’ debt relief having printing money through central bank advances, despite relatively low government debt and a budget deficit of only 2.8 percent of gross domestic product. The “Common Framework for Debt Treatments (G20 CF) goes beyond […]

Conflict in Tigray: Implications for Ethiopia’s International Standing

Charged Affairs | Since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed office in April 2018, experts have optimistically predicted the country’s emergence as a regional power. Factors such as a large population, rapid economic growth, and a reform-minded head of government seemed to support this proposition, until recent instability in federal relations threatened an upset to Ethiopia’s […]

Ethiopia dollar bonds drop after Fitch downgrade

NASDAQ | Ethiopia’s sovereign dollar bonds dropped nearly 2 cents after Fitch downgraded the country to CCC, citing the government’s plan to make use of the new G20 common framework to overhaul its debt burden. The country’s outstanding 2024 bond XS1151974877=TE dropped to as low as 92.06 cents in the dollar, according to Tradeweb data, […]

Ethiopia debt restructuring plan faces hurdles of transparency

The African Report | Ethiopia’s plan to seek debt restructuring under a G20 common framework agreed in November triggered a sell-off in African debt at the end of January on fears of a contagion effect. The framework enables debtor countries to seek an IMF programme to strengthen their economies and renegotiate their debts with public […]

Fitch Downgrades Ethiopia to ‘CCC’ – Rating Action Commentary

Fitch typically does not assign Outlooks or apply modifiers to sovereigns with a rating of ‘CCC’ or below. KEY RATING DRIVERS The downgrade reflects the government’s announcement that it is looking to make use of the G20 “Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI)” (G20 CF), which although still an […]

Desert Locust situation update 4 February 2021 – FAO

FAO | Numerous immature swarms persist in southern Ethiopia and Kenya. There has been increased swarm movement in Oromia (East Harerge, Bale, Borema, Arsi) and SNNP (South Omo) regions of the south. The few swarms that moved to northern Ethiopia (Afar and Amhara) continued to Eritrea and reached the Red Sea coast where they were controlled. In Kenya, immature swarms continue to spread westwards […]

Ethiopia Faces a New Crisis

Bloomberg | First there was a war, now Ethiopia faces a debt crisis. The nation’s request to restructure its external debt under a Group-of-20 program highlights how much circumstances have changed for the country and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in just over a year. In 2019, Abiy won the Nobel Peace Prize for ending two decades of […]