Ethiopia hosted the first of a kind annual banking forum aimed at providing a platform for the financial services industry professionals and leaders. The event held on May 21, 2022, at the Economic Commission for Africa conference centre was organized by Kehali Strategic Advisory Services PLC following the announcement that the Ethiopian banking sector opening up to foreign banks is imminent. In addition, the National Bank of Ethiopia has also recently mandated that all banks, insurance companies, and microfinance institutions fully digitize their operations. Bank executives, industry experts along with other stakeholders discussed the future of the banking sector, business fundamentals, regulatory framework and competitive environment, the strategic implications/options for foreign banks seeking to enter the Ethiopian market, the partnership/competitive opportunities possible between local and foreign banks as well as the benefits to the full range of consumers of banking products/services among others. The financial sector liberalization is expected to open the door to building Ethiopia’s financial infrastructure, a critical missing link in the development and growth of a large and vibrant private sector that can propel Ethiopia’s economic growth and development. It will change the Ethiopian economy by rebalancing the role of the state and the private sector, it
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