By Staff Reporter
August 28, 2018 - The government of Ethiopia has closed more than 100 businesses which were allegedly involved in black foreign exchange market in the busiest commercial area around National Theater in the capital city, Addis Ababa.
The closure was carried out with the assistance of members of the federal police who seized tens of thousands of Birr, Dollar and other currency notes following unannounced search raid. They searched pockets, safe boxes and drawers of shop keeprs and owners who were normally licensed to sell ready made clothes.
The government in Addis Ababa led by Dr. Abiy Ahmed had once again warned those individuals who are involved in dollar exchange in the black market and advised to use commercial banks for exchange.
Following the $1 billion assistance it got from the government of Saudi Arabia two months ago to deal with the nation’s foreign exchange crisis, the dollar exchange rate in Ethiopia’s black market has gone down to almost at par with commercial banks.
When the government issued the warning, one dollar was exchanging for more than 36 Ethiopian Birr in the black market. Since then it has gone down to 28 Birr per dollar. Indeed the exchange rate has been on the rise these days until the action was taken by the country’s Ministry of Trade.
The raids have continued since Monday in many places where black foreign currency markets are common in the capital city, if not in cities in the countryside.
“The shops are closed due to illegal trades” the notice paper posted on the doors of shops by the ministry reads.
It is to be recalled that commercial banks all over the country have seen marked inclrease in foreign currency inflow following the government crack down on black market activities.