Photo: DCA Founder and CEO Sophia Bekele speaking during the African Women’s Forum Special Program, Crans Montana Forum, #CMF17 Barcelona (Spain).
Sophia Bekele, an Ethiopian native with American nationality has won a milestone legal battle against Ethiopia’s Central Bank – that is the National Bank of Ethiopia – whose decision led her to lose shares she inherited from her late father, the Founder of both United Bank and United Insurance, at an undervalued rate at both institutions.
Ms. Bekele, a global entrepreneur and the CEO of DotConnectAfrica (DCA) Group – one of the contenders for the dotAfrica top-level internet domain – lost her inherited shares after they were to be auctioned by the United Bank and Insurance Companies.
She was one of the thousands of foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin who have lost shares after the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) instructed banks and insurance firms to auction shares under their holdings but pay them at par values of initial formations. The balance between par value and current market offers was transferred to the national treasury. Ethiopia has laws that ban foreign nationals from owning shares in the financial sector,” states Addis Fortune
”Although many have objected the decision and grumbled about its fairness, Sophia is the first to challenge central bank’s decision with her lawyers taking the case to the Lideta First Instance Court.”
Sophia has appealed for the return of her auctioned shares and has also requested the Court to order for the transfer of her shares.
In their ruling, the Judges ordered United Bank and insurance Companies to reinstate the shares while allowing Sophia to transfer them to a third party of her choice.
However, the lawyers representing National Bank of Ethiopia were displeased with the ruling and have appealed to the Federal High Court on November 27, 2017. The matter is yet to be heard and determined by the higher court even though it was admitted.