Ethiopia: Scholars Blame Lack of Transparency in Trade System for Economic Sabotage

Addis Ababa — The lack of transparency in the Ethiopian trade system has created room for economic sabotage in commodities, scholars in the area said.

The scholars emphasized on the need to create strong economic institutions to ensure fair and reliable trade competition.

The targets of the economic sabotage are coffee, leather, metal, fuel, sugar and edible oil, among others, they added.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, the scholars said the number of saboteurs is on the increase in particularly commodities that have high demand due to the fact that the country follows free market system.

Berhanu Yadete, an economist at Unity University, said increase in the number hoarding traders that hide commodities to later sell them at high prices is dangerous to the country's economy.

Assistant Professor Kassa Teshager of Ethiopian Civil Service University said on his part that there are institutions, which lack transparency and legitimacy. Yet, they create artificial shortage and become rich at the expense of consumers.

According to him, there are institutions that use the government as cover to increase prices. Unless the system stops these from practicing such deeds economic sabotage will ensue.

"We need institutions which implement laws and regulations to tackle challenges such sabotages," Kassa stressed.

Economics Lecturer at same university, Nezid Nasir on his part blames oligopoly for the economic sabotages that are creating pressure on the government.

He proposed increase in the number of importers in the market to provide the most of the demanded products in plenty.

The scholars underscored that the government should make the market system transparent to prevent few organized groups from deciding prices in the market.

Inadequate importers, long chain of trade, and weak monitoring institutions have caused sabotage in the economic system, according to the scholars.

They also pointed out that the government should closely monitor and implement the laws to ensure fair and competitive market system in the country.

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