Misgivings Put AfDB's $1.24b Ethiopia Projects at Stake

Dec 25 , 2023

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signalled potential disruptions in its Ethiopian operations, worth an estimated 1.24 billion dollars, blaming safety concerns for its international staff. This followed an incident where Ethiopian security forces detained two international staff of the Bank, whose investigation the AfDB claims was not satisfactorily resolved by Ethiopian authorities. The detained staff was released after the interval of Ethiopia's high-ranking officials, including President Sahleworq Zewdie and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD), in November. After the incident a high-level inquiries force chaired by Teklewold Atnafu, monetary policy advisor to the Prime Minister, has been established to probe the case, sources disclosed. AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina (PhD), expressed dismay at the lack of communication from the authorities in Addis Abeba. “We remain particularly concerned that the Ethiopian government has not shared any report, or details of investigations with the Bank,” Adesina said in a letter he issued. The Bank’s decision to withdraw its international staff, albeit temporarily, brought to light the rising security concerns expats feel. Adesina disclosed that the international staff would resume in-country operations once the government provides transparent details of its investigations and the measures taken in response to the incident. While the Bank's Ethiopian office will continue to operate, it will do so under an Officer-in-Charge, with the locally recruited staff remaining employed.


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