Ethiopian Business Review

Premier Reshuffles Cabinet

Thursday, 16 August 2018 22:43 Published in News

In a session held today, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reshuffled his cabinet, of which half are women, a move said to be the first of its kind in Ethiopia.

Ministry Warns Consumers Not to Use Classy

Thursday, 16 August 2018 16:43 Published in News

The Ministry of Trade has warned consumers not to use Classy Water, whose products were found to be in violation of the requirements of the Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise.

High-End Men Barbers Burgeon

Thursday, 16 August 2018 16:43 Published in Focus

Lately, Addis Ababa has witnessed a boom in high-end men’s barbershops, which have distinct features such as neat rooms, wider spaces and attractive interior designs. With a unique marketing strategy, this new kind of barber, which usually charges between ETB70 and ETB150, is seemingly popping up in every new building. As it becomes one of the quickest-growing professions in the capital, the new trend is now starting to appeal to more and more of the city’s residents, as Ashenafi Endale reports.

Noah Real Estate Inaugurates 120 Apartments

Thursday, 16 August 2018 13:43 Published in News

Noah Real Estate inaugurated 120 apartments, built at a cost of ETB200 million.

Tens of thousands displaced in Deadly Violence

Thursday, 16 August 2018 13:43 Published in News

More than 10,300 people have been displaced because of the recent violence in Burayu and Ashewa Meda, the National Disaster Risk Management Commission announced.

Unraveling Local Sourcing Problems

Thursday, 16 August 2018 13:43 Published in Investment

Nation Continues to lose billions to raw material imports

In recent years, domestic sourcing, a procurement strategy adopted by companies to purchase their inputs,  is gaining momentum due to the fact that localisation brings cost-savings across the supply chain, especially in light of climbing costs in traditionally low-cost regions. However, although many multinational and local companies are investing in the country, Ethiopia lags behind in this regard. Even though the lack of raw materials on the local market has forced companies to lean towards imports, the scarcity of foreign currency is putting extra pressure on their survival. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale investigates the difficulty faced by manufacturers due to low level of raw materials sourcing from domestic suppliers in Ethiopia. 

The Irony Behind Wheat Scarcity

Thursday, 16 August 2018 10:43 Published in Focus

Why Ethiopia imports huge amounts of wheat while endowed with vast suitable land for farming 

In recent years, wheat shortages have been getting more and more severe in urban areas like Addis Ababa, putting pressure on local businesses engaged in wheat processing, as well as residents.  On the other hand, close to 10 million people who have been struck by drought and displaced by internal political conflicts have to wait for months in order to receive wheat. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the fundamental reasons behind wheat scarcity in Ethiopia. 

Eritrea Hopes to Rise

Thursday, 16 August 2018 07:43 Published in Topic

Before the 1880s, Eritrea was part of Ethiopia. It was the advent of colonial rule that created a historic divide between them. Global developments after the second World War and diplomatic efforts by Emperor Haileselassie helped the reunion of the two countries in 1952 through federation. However, the federation was abolished in 1962 and subsequent internal power struggles ignited the Eritrean liberation movement. In a war that spanned for 30 years, Eritrea finally became an independent state in 1991.

The two countries established formidable relations since then. That close relationship, however, was short lived, because of a bloody two-year war between the two countries brokeout in 1998. 

With the coming of a new leadership in Ethiopia, the two countries have now started a new chapter after two decades of a no-peace no-war situation. Eritrea, whose economic growth has been highly constrained because of the hostilities with Ethiopia over the past 20 years and UN sanctions, is now one of the least developed countries in the world. Even though it is difficult to access up to date data, estimates by the World Bank shows that over 60Pct of Eritreans live in poverty. The government’s isolationist policy, which has highly discouraged the private sector, has contributed for its deteriorating economy. EBR Staff Writers visited the state of Eritrea last month to compile this report. 

Inadequate infrastructure continues to undermine the competitiveness of African countries in the global arena. Despite being blessed with ample mineral and other natural resources, the continent has the lowest infrastructural development in the world in areas like energy, water, sanitation, transportation, and communications technology.

Ethiopia, Eritrea Should Reunite

Thursday, 16 August 2018 07:43 Published in Interview

Tamrat Layne, 63, was Prime Minister of the Transitional Government of Ethiopia, serving from June 1991 to October 1995. He became a member of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Party (EPRP) while a teen, and later defected with 36 other comrades to form the-then Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (EPDM), in 1982. 

After ten years of guerilla fighting, his party, which allied with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to form the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in 1989, ousted the Dergue military regime on May 28, 1991. A few years before their victory however, the Oromo members of his party left to form the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO); similarly, fighters from the southern Ethiopian region also left to form several ethnic based parties. Finally, when almost all other non-Amhara members evacuated the EPDM, the party retitled itself as the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) in 1994.

With the adoption of a new constitution in the same year and subsequent change of the form of government from presidential to parliamentary, executive power was vested in the Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, President of the Transitional Government and chairman of TPLF & EPRDF, while Tamrat became deputy prime minister and minister for defense. He stayed in that post for less than two years, before being sacked and dismissed from his party and government posts in 1996. Four years later, he was convicted by the Federal Supreme Court on corruption charges and sentenced to 18 years in prison. He was accused of involvement in an alleged 16 million-dollar deal with a firm to ship Ethiopian textile products and exports of 1,000 tons of state-owned coffee through a bogus firm. He claimed that all the accusations were baseless and untrue. 

After serving 12 years in prison, Tamrat was released in 2008 and has since been living a deeply religious life in Colorado, in the United States. He also operates two orphanage centres in Addis Ababa and Sekota, a small town in the state of Amhara. He travels around the world to make speeches, and offer trainings to government officials, business leaders, and nonprofit organizations in Europe, Asia, and Africa on leadership and management. 

Tamrat sees the recent developments in the country positively. While he believes the changes brought about by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration are encouraging in widening the political space, he still seems worried about the factions within the ruling coalition, which he believes may put the country in jeopardy. He cautions that the changes that have been achieved because of the popular movement should be institutionalized. EBR’s Amanyehun R. SiSAY sat down with him to learn his views about the current political situation in the country. Excerpt:

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