Ethiopia Licenses First Foreign Leasing Company

The Government of Ethiopia granted a license to Ethio Lease, the first foreign-owned company to receive a financial services license in the country.

Ethio Lease officially launched today at Sheraton hotel in Addis Ababa, in the presence of Governor of National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), Dr. Yinager Dessie, Ethiopian Minister of Finance, Ahmed Shide, Ethio Lease board chairman Girma Wake and other key government officials.

During the launching ceremony, Dr. Yinager Dessie stated that being the first foreign company to provide equipment leasing services, it is believed that Ethio Lease has a huge potential to boost the economy, while providing significant financial gains for the country.

The Finance Minister, Ahmed Shide on his part welcomed the first foreign-owned financial services company to Ethiopia and this occasion testifies the government is keeping its promise to open Ethiopia to foreign investment.

Ethio Lease, a US-headquartered equipment finance firm, is a subsidiary of Africa Asset Finance Company Inc. (AAFC) that owns and operates a group of companies that provides asset backed lending (ABL) and leasing services throughout Africa.

The leasing concept was introduced in Ethiopia to address equipment and forex shortages and provide easy access to needed equipment, thereby creating local jobs and increasing productivity.

Ethio Lease will offer a wide range of leasing services for multiple sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, energy, food processing (including coffee), among others.

Ethio Lease offers long-term leases known as capital leases, which provide companies and individuals with lease contracts that cover the significant portion of the economic life of the purchased equipment.

Depending on the equipment, Ethio Lease will ensure that companies that lease equipment adhere to proper operations, maintenance upkeep, health and safety, and adequate storage throughout the lease period. The company plans to provide leasing services to address equipment shortages in the healthcare, agriculture, food processing, energy and manufacturing sectors.

Ethio Lease will own and oversee the maintenance including proper use of the equipment, throughout the lease period, providing the lessee with the option to buy the equipment from the company for the residual value, at the end of the lease period.

According to the latest Global Leasing Report by the White Clark Group, the Pan-African leasing market was estimated to be just USD 5.4 billion in 2015, while the International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimated the Pan-African market at USD 40 billion in 2017.

AAFC believes the increased adoption of leasing will be economically transformative and accelerate the development of many African nations and companies.