Shebele Transport to be privatized

The Ministry of Public Enterprises (MoPE) plans to fully privatize Shebele Transport S.C. A tender will be open until the end of June to sell around 100 trucks owned by the last government owned transport company.

Shebele Transport S.C. was part of Cargo Fleet Enterprise along with COMET and Bekelcha Transport Companies.

Three years ago MoPE sold Bekelcha Transport Share Company to Tikur Abay Transport at a cost of 325 million birr. COMET, was merged with other entities to form Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE) in 2011.

Shebele Transport S.C. employs 350 people and has been publicly owned for 25 years. Once it is sold PPESA will not own any transportation company.

Wondafrash Aseffa, Public Relations Head at MoPE told Capital, “It is the only transportation company owned by the government, so to serve the public better we opened a tender to sell it to a private company. We told the bidders to present the necessary proposal to participate in the tender and I hope we will be successful in selling it.”

According to Wondafrash, all existing workers will be transferred to the company who will buy Shebele.

“Just as we did when we transferred Bekelcha S.C, all the drivers, management workers and staff of Shebele will be fully transferred to the new company because it is one of our obligations to care about workers when we privatize state owned companies,” he added.

Shebele Transport S.C. has transported millions of tons of goods from the dry port to the city since its establishment.

MoPE also tendered for sale 60 percent of Ethiopian Pulp and Paper Factory SC based in Wenji. State owned Ethiopian Pulp and Paper SC is the only company that produces paper by importing the raw material from abroad. The Ethiopian paper market is almost fully dominated by imports. With the growth of manufacturing in Ethiopia, more paper is needed to package products. According to information obtained from the Ethiopia Revenue and Customs Authority, in 2015 Ethiopia imported 70,000 tons of paper worth two billion birr. The nation’s paper demand is growing by 10 percent every year.