Ethiopian Business Review

Access to financial services contributes immensely to economic growth. This is why nations come up with the right mix of policies to expand financial services. Ethiopia, too, has been reforming its financial sector for the last two decades. However, the sector remains immature, even in comparison to other Sub-Saharan African countries.

To ameliorate the situation, the government has been intensifying its efforts to expand financial services. In 2014, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) made it a requirement for financial institutions to increase their branches by 25Pct annually. This resulted in an unprecedented expansion of financial services. A year before that, the bank introduced a mobile and agent banking policy. As a result, close to 2 million clients are now using mobile banking, while 16,000 agents operate in the country.

Furthermore, last April the NBE introduced the country’s financial inclusion strategy, which analyses the state of financial exclusion in the country and highlights the need to create a cogent framework to tackle the problem. EBR explores.

politics in the way of Progress

Thursday, 15 February 2018 00:00 Published in Commentary

There are 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to tackle problems including poverty, hunger, disease, inequality, climate change, ecological degradation, and many others in between. Clearly, 17 is too many. As Frederick the Great supposedly said, “He who defends everything defends nothing.” Similarly, those who emphasize everything emphasize nothing.

The Missing Ingredients of Growth

Thursday, 15 February 2018 00:00 Published in Commentary

Most of the global economy is now subject to positive economic trends: unemployment is falling, output gaps are closing, growth is picking up, and, for reasons that are not yet clear, inflation remains below the major central banks’ targets. On the other hand, productivity growth remains weak, income inequality is increasing, and less educated workers are struggling to find attractive employment opportunities.

Among the common risks investors interested in African countries like Ethiopia often mention are investment protection, dividend (profit) and capital repatriation. A typical concern investors bring up at deal sourcing discussions may include details of a ‘forex-crunch’ they had heard about either from local operators, or fellow investors. Whether these fears be real, perceived, or imagined, what matters is that they make an impact in investors’ minds.

Ever since Donald Trump became the President of the United States of America a year ago, the fate of countries that receive large amounts of aid money has been hanging in the balance. The US President’s campaign promise to cut back foreign aid has caused fear, which was exacerbated in the last days of 2017 when the president threatened to withhold aid to countries who voted in favor of the United Nations resolution rejecting the United Sates’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

Page 2 of 2