National Bank of Ethiopia runs out of money

Elias Kifle | December 14th, 2011

[Updated with some corrections]

By Elias Kifle

Natinal Bank of EthiopiaAn Ethiopian man named Yared (his real name is withheld for his safety) went to Ethiopia a few months ago to sell his family house after his parents moved to the U.S. One of the reasons he decided to sell the house was that after hearing about the recent land ownership decree, he realized that a few years from now the house will have little or no value.

Yared succeeded in selling the house for 2 million Ethiopian birr. The buyer, probably some fool from the Diaspora, deposited the money in Yared’s account at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), which is run by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE).

After removing his furniture and handing over the house to the new owner, Yared went to the CBE to withdraw his money and either deposit it in a private bank or convert it into hard currency in the black market so that he can bring it to the U.S.

To Yared’s shock and surprise, the CBE management told him that the bank doesn’t have the money to give him and that he has to wait. When Yared asked how long he has to wait, the managers told him they don’t know.

Yared told an Ethiopian Review associate that he has been sitting in Addis Ababa for the past 3 months waiting for the bank to give him his money.

Ethiopian Review has been reporting that the financial system in Ethiopia is in deep crisis. Ethiopia’s central bank, the National Bank of Ethiopia, is running out of money because of huge number of borrowers who stopped making payments, not to mention the massive corruption that has been going on in the bank. NBE is also the personal piggyback of Meles Zenawi and Azeb Mesfin.

Those who are close to the regime know about the financial crisis and are getting their money out of the country as fast as they can.

The Woyanne junta recently ordered National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) to print 50 billion birr [read here] to in preparation for further devaluation of the currency.

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