E-transaction Bill to Kickstart Ethiopia’s Economy

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s ambition to establish a digital economy has taken “a crucial step” forward as the Abiy Ahmed’s administration has readied a key Electronic-transaction bill for lawmakers’ approval.

Prime minister Abiy said today the bill would create a “regulatory platform for the use of electronic means in all transaction procedures” when enacted.

The draft proclamation has been a subject of Council of Ministers’ regular discussion last Saturday before its referral to the lower house of Ethiopian parliament.

“When approved by Parliament, the Proclamation will create a thorough regulatory platform for the use of electronic means in all transaction procedures,” Abiy said in a twitted message.

The document will establish a clear legal foundation for government and private institutions to offer digital services including the provision of e-commerce and e-government services.

It could also enable the country to replace trade and public services conducted through paper money into electronic-led transactions facilitating the economy to go digital.

Abiy said the approval of the bill could be “a crucial step in building a modern economy to a prosperous Ethiopia”.

“The law will basically serve as a digital medium for all existing legal frameworks on trade, taxation, recognition of documents, signature seal, witnesses, digital payments, consumer protection & data integrity,” he added.

The approval, however, could be on hold for some time due to ban on public gathering as part of Ethiopia’s coronavirus response.

Parliamentary meetings have been suspended indefinitely since mid-March.

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