By Nizar Manek, 21 June 2017
- Program part of economic initiative in volatile Oromia state
- Alleged land grabs, marginalization sparked protests from 2015
A central Ethiopian region that’s seen almost two years of sporadic anti-government protests is planning a new private oil company and is in talks to import Middle Eastern crude, part of an economic initiative authorities say will address some of the roots of the unrest.
Oromia Petroleum Share Co., the planned venture, will import the oil via Djibouti, process it at a new large-scale refinery and distribute it to gas stations owned and operated by local youths, Tekele Uma, head of the region’s transport authority, said in an interview. Potentially creating more than 50,000 jobs, it will build a transportation network initially benefiting farmers and manufacturers in the Oromia region who send their products to the capital, Addis Ababa, and other cities, he said.