Some businesses in Ethiopia’s increasingly restive Oromia region are feeling the heat of the renewed anti-government protests.
Local media portal, The Reporter Ethiopia, disclosed that a newly built cement manufacturer, Habesha Cement SC, had been forced to shut down after their premises was inundated by protesting youth.
The CEO of the Habesha Cement SE, Mesfin Abi, later confirmed to the portal that they shut down operation on Tuesday due to the security situation.
“More than 20 youngsters from the locality and other places occupied the mining area hampering our operation. We are working with the local community and administration to amicably solve the problem,” he was quoted to have said.
Ethiopia economic growth faces political and commodity price risks: Moody's – africanews https://t.co/a5JjDXCN7A
— Ethiopian News (@ethiopican) August 6, 2017
Habesha Cement SC was established almost a decade ago but built its cement factory near the town of Horleta in Oromia State at an estimated cost of $140 million dollars. The facility was opened by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in April 2017.
The plant has the capacity to produce 1.4 million tons of cement per annum. Ethiopia is the East Africa’s biggest economy after beating Kenya early this year. International finance organizations have also given it positive forecasts for this year and the next.
In a related development, five trucks belonging to the Dangote group have also been torched by protesters. Three were burnt last week in the town of Gebreguracha whiles the other two were set ablaze earlier this week in the town of Ambo, where government forces killed 10 protesters.
It is not the first time that the Dangote group has been attacked. In October 2016, the company’s properties were attacked in spreading violence in the Oromia region, which events led to the imposition of a state of emergency lifted in August 2017.