News: Addis Abeba Trade Bureau to outsource distribution of subsidized food items among other six major services

The management of the recently inaugurated agricultural products market center in Kolfe Keranio sub-city is one of the services to be outsourced to a third party (Photo: Addis Abeba Trade Bureau/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – A week after the Addis Abeba City Administration Cabinet decided to outsource part of municipality services, the Addis Ababa Trade Bureau is gearing up to outsource six of its 11 major services to a third party.

The bureau recently announced that it is in the final stages of outsourcing six major services, including the distribution of basic food items, the management of market centers, business registration and licensing, market price research, and postal message services.

Among these services, the distribution of basic commodities, business registration and licensing, and the management of the market centers will be prioritized during the outsourcing process, according to Alemayehu Dechassa, coordinator of the outsourcing committee.

The Bureau operates 140 cooperatives within the capital to distribute subsidized food items such as sugar, cooking oil, and wheat flour. In the previous year, these cooperatives sold 1.4 million quintals of sugar, 90 million liters of edible oil, and 1.9 million quintals of wheat flour.

In recent years, the Bureau has been exploring the possibility of outsourcing the distribution of subsidized essential food commodities to a third party. Makiba PLC, a company equipped with a digital tracking system, has been responsible for delivering key food items like sugar, cooking oil, and wheat flour directly to households in the Kolfe Keranio sub-city.

Last week, the bureau decided to expand this technology-assisted door-to-door distribution of essential goods to include Lideta and Nefas Silk Lafto sub-cities, starting in December 2023.

The Bureau is also in the process of building market centers in five different locations across the capital. Recently, the agricultural products market center in Kolfe Keranio sub-city was officially opened, with Adanech Abiebie, the city’s mayor, in attendance. This market center houses a total of 79 retail shops that are equipped with cutting-edge price-display LED screens.

According to Alemayehu, the Addis Abeba City Administration Public Service and Human Resource Development Bureau, responsible for coordinating the outsourcing activities at the city level, is now reviewing the bureau’s proposals. Once a decision is reached, the outsourcing process will move forward.

The Addis Abeba Trade Bureau’s decision to outsource these services comes a week after the Addis Abeba City Administration Cabinet’s landmark decision to outsource 46 municipal services to third-party organizations last week.

Last week, Hikma Keyredin, head of the Civil Service and Human Resource Development Bureau, disclosed that five offices and hospitals under the city administration will be outsourcing some of their services to private institutions. These include trade, transportation, housing development, and management bureaus, as well as the Construction Licensing and Inspection Authority and the Motor Vehicle Licensing and Inspection Authority.

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Yekatit 12 and Ras Desta Damtew Memorial hospitals, which fall under the Addis Abeba Health Bureau, are also set to outsource certain services. AS

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