America’s International Private Enterprise Center opens office in Ethiopia

The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) of the United States of America has opened a new regional office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“CIPE’s specific mission is to promote the mutually reinforcing connections between democracy and robust private sector activity. CIPE’s fundamental premise — that political freedom and economic freedom are inextricably linked — is extraordinarily relevant to supporting Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s commitment to provide the fullest political and economic opportunity for all of Ethiopia’s citizens.,” said Michael Raynor, Ambassador of the United States in Ethiopia, Speaking at the launching on Thursday.

CIPE [SIPE] is one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy, a non-governmental institution that’s largely funded by the United States Congress to support democracy around the world. CIPE’s mission highlights the importance to democratic institutions of creating an environment where business can thrive.

“A supportive business environment, in turn, is essential to attracting the kinds of commercial activity that foster large-scale job creation, meaningful technology transfer, training and capacity-building for workers, responsible environmental standards, fair labor practices, and win-win outcomes for both businesses and the people of Ethiopia,” Ambassador Michael Raynor, said.

In August, CIPE and the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed a memorandum of understanding that reflects the strong commitment of both parties to supporting economic and democratic reforms.

CIPE’s new regional office will allow it to enhance its activities in Ethiopia and to build upon its past successes, which have focused since 2011 on strengthening Ethiopian chambers of commerce.

During that time, CIPE has partnered with the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations to support more than fifty member organizations across the country, while providing training to over five hundred members, according to Ambassador Michael Raynor.

“We look forward to seeing much more from CIPE in the days ahead, and the timing couldn’t be better. With Ethiopia’s youth accounting for over two-thirds of the population, pressures for job creation and economic opportunities will only grow,” he said.

Prime Minister Abiy has highlighted the need for significant economic reform to meet these rising demands, and CIPE, and the organizations it supports, can play a key role in that effort.

In the end, private sector businesses generally know what’s best for accelerating private sector growth.

“…Ethiopia’s exciting new emphasis on free-market economics can only benefit from the perspectives of people who are experts at paving the way for the kinds of broad-based economic growth that can tap into the tremendous potential of Ethiopia’s young people. Business associations can play a constructive role in Ethiopia’s broader society as well, by encouraging sustainability and corporate social responsibility. This is an area where the United States can add significant value,” Ambassador Michael Raynor.

He further stated that by helping to strengthen chambers of commerce and other economic and democratic institutions, CIPE will be promoting the kinds of economic opportunity that will allow all Ethiopians to benefit from sustainable economic growth and rising prosperity.