By Binyam Tamene ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - A U.S. management consultancy has won a short contract to run Ethiopia's just-launched state-owned cash-and-carry chain, officials said, the first such concession given to a foreign company by a country that tightly controls its retail industry. A.T. Kearney will run the Alle wholesaler for two-and-a-half years, similar to other management deals that have on rare occasions been offered to foreigners in other prized but protected areas, such as telecoms. Ethiopia's fast-growing market of 90 million people has lured foreign investors, including from Sweden, Turkey and India, to its manufacturing and agri-business sectors. But laws prevent international firms from entering sectors viewed domestically either as cash-cows or as politically sensitive. Before Monday's launch of the wholesaler Alle, Reuters revealed that Ethiopia - once run by communists - was pushing the door ajar to foreign retailers by offering management deals although it is keeping the state in control. [ID:nL6N0OC2RQ] "We are an independent management company," said Mirko Warschun of A.T. Kearney, which had advised on setting up Alle. "Our work on behalf of the Ethiopia's Ministry of Trade gave us the opportunity to take this much further - to reduce food price inflation and modernise trade," he said, in comments at the Alle launch late on Monday. Ethiopia has said it needs to modernise its supply and distribution networks and encourage competition to cut costs and keep down inflation, which leapt to 40 percent in 2011 when food prices surged and government price caps led to hoarding. Trade Minister Kebede Chane said Ethiopia had looked into opening up the market to international companies such as Walmart as well as launching a state-owned "Walmart-like company". "The current unfortunate status of Ethiopian businesses, which are not ready to compete with international (companies) like Walmart ... made government lose interest in the first option," Kebede said at the launch. Ethiopia's private sector is not yet three decades old. During the 1970s and 1980s, the country's communist leadership - best known for "Red Terror" purges and a 1980s famine - nationalised businesses and ran the economy into the ground. While Ethiopia is now among sub-Saharan Africa's fastest growing economies and its fifth biggest, it has spurned the liberalising approach of other African markets. It has held control of its telecoms monopoly and kept foreigners out of retail and banking, while opening up its manufacturing industry to help create jobs. Although Alle is state-owned, the government promises it will be run like a private firm. The wholesaler's interim director, Nuredin Mohamed, forecast Alle would control about a quarter of the wholesale market. Ethiopia's leading commerical bank, the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia was financing 600 million birr ($31 million) of the 1 billion birr start-up capital, he said. A.T. Kearney's Warschun dismissed worries that other wholesalers would be crowded out. "There is huge opportunity for other competitors in the market because Ethiopia is growing, the market is growing, the middle class is developing," he said. ($1 = 19.5625 Ethiopian birrs)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- Washington Examiner
Who wears short shorts?
- E! News
The 22-year-old singer, whose real name was Emani Johnson, died after experiencing a "tragic accident," her manager told E! News.
The former Trump White House press secretary earned a blistering two-word rebuke from Mary Trump, the ex-president's niece.
- NBC News
One employee on TikTok described the new shorts as "like underwear."
- Yahoo Movies
Jamie Lee Curtis on 'Halloween' beginnings, why Arnold didn't want her for 'True Lies' and her secret text code with Lindsay Lohan
Jamie Lee Curtis talks "Halloween," "Trading Places," "A Fish Called Wanda," "True Lies" and more in our new episode of "Role Recall."
Before and after photos of the course reveal dramatic change.
It's possible that all six drivers from the DSR's dominate 2020 campaign will be off the roster before the start of 2022.
- Associated Press
It only took about a day after Chase Elliott wished Kevin Harvick “a merry offseason and Happy Christmas” for NASCAR's reigning champion to get the zinger on merchandise on his official website. It's the kind of trolling that typically would infuriate Harvick and incite another round of retaliation in his raging feud with Elliott. Elliott need not worry: NASCAR squashed this rivalry in a conference call with both teams before the drivers even arrived at Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday's opening race of the third round of the playoffs.
- NBC Sports BayArea
Here's what the Dodgers had to say about Wilmer Flores' check swing that ended the Giants' season.
- USA TODAY Sports
Three prominent college football head coach positions are already open. Which ones could be next and how much would it cost to fire current coaches?
- Washington Examiner
LONG BEACH, California — Crane operators who belong to a powerful union and earn up to $250,000 a year transferring containers from ships to trucks are worsening the supply chain crisis that threatens Christmas by goofing off on the job, frustrated truckers told the Washington Examiner.
- Yahoo Life
Content creator Mia Khalifa on how she reclaimed her power after leaving the adult film industry.
- Kansas City Star
The MLB rulebook is fuzzy about what is a check swing.
- NBC Sports BayArea
Hopefully, the missed calls don't have a decisive impact on the game's outcome.
- Business Insider
Jeffrey Epstein believed he could make a deal with prosecutors by revealing the secrets of Donald Trump or Bill Clinton, a new book says
A new book by Michael Wolff reveals Jeffrey Epstein's thinking in the final months of his life, including his desire to make a deal with prosecutors.
The pandemic has changed attitudes and priorities around work, and there are signs that many have moved on to an alternate economy, writes Lisa Beilfuss.
- Car and Driver
As we learned at the Toyota Tundra launch, it's not just the tires. The driveshafts are a big problem—literally.
- Women's Health
The 37-year-old actress was totally naked in a few outtakes from the shoot. She credits the Tracy Anderson Method (and spinning) for keeping her fit and strong.
- Fox News
Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac opened up about what led to the filming of their full-frontal nude scenes in "Scenes from a Marriage."
A New York Police Department (NYPD) officer caught in a deadly love triangle has been charged with murder after allegedly killing her ex-girlfriend’s new lover on Wednesday. What happened: Yvonne Wu, 31, who works at the 72nd Precinct in Sunset Park, allegedly broke into the Bensonhurst home of her ex-girlfriend, Jenny Li, before shooting her and her new lover, Jamie Liang. Li, 23, reportedly arrived home with Liang, 24, around 5 p.m. Wu, who was off-duty at the time, allegedly broke into the residence at 19th Avenue and 79th Street through an unlocked back door.