Ethiopia's birr black-market evaporates as confidence booms - 7 months ago, 21 July 10:31

By: Reuters

Addis Ababa

A “hard currency amnesty” and reform-driven confidence in Ethiopia’s economy, both at home and abroad, have helped close a once yawning gap between the official and black market exchange rates for its birr currency.

As cash - in some cases briefcases full of dollars - pours into banks, local businesses say they are finally feeling relief from a foreign exchange crunch that had seen some segments of the economy grind to a halt.

Businesses and analysts in the capital Addis Ababa told Reuters on Friday the birr was trading on the parallel market around 28 to the dollar, close to parity with the official rate and 25 per cent firmer than three months ago.

“All of a sudden this is happening,” said one real estate agent whose business had come to a standstill over the past year because the construction sector could not access dollars to import building materials.

“I’m not sure ...
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