Ethiopian Business Review

For the Love of the Game

Saturday, 15 June 2019 18:00 Published in Sport Biz

In Ethiopia, there are many English Premier League enthusiasts. Manchester United and Arsenal in numbers of fans in the country. However, football clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City are now gaining momentum and attracting a growing number of supporters in Ethiopia. In fact, supporting football clubs in the English Premier League, is now advancing to new heights after Manchester City’s supporters in Addis Ababa took the initiative to create a connection with the club in England. Also known as Man City Addis, the fan club now has 240 registered Manchester City fans that pay a 10 euro membership fee each year. EBR Adjunct Writer Abiy Wendifraw looked into the activities of the fan club.

Jigjiga

Saturday, 15 June 2019 12:00 Published in Investment

Rising From the Ashes

The two-century old Jigjiga has been the capital of the state of Somali for twenty years. Home to more 300,000 people, the city is known for being a center of the contraband and khat trade. But trade activities have slowed down in recent years, mainly because of administrative measures and civil violence. Although the city was rocked by some of the worst incidences of violence in the country nine months ago, Jigjiga and its residents are now trying to heal from past wounds. EBR’s Samson Berhane, who visited Jigjiga, reports.

Inside the Growing Betting Market

Saturday, 15 June 2019 06:00 Published in Focus

Sport betting is becoming popular and expanding at an astonishing rate in Addis Ababa. Despite the fact that it is a new phenomenon in Ethiopia, it is quickly gaining momentum. Motivated by this demand, many companies are starting to invest in the sector, which requires moderate capital. EBR’s Kiya Ali explored the nitty-gritty of sport betting and its growing acceptance in Addis.

Struggling to Find a Foothold

Saturday, 15 June 2019 00:00 Published in Topic

The Fight to Develop Commercial Farming

Commercial farming, which dates back to the imperial era in Ethiopia, has gone through many ups and downs. Even though the government gave local and foreign commercial producers the green light to start producing around five years ago, many of the companies that leased land and took loans from the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) have left the sector altogether, citing difficulties with developing their land for production. However, this has left DBE unable to recover the billions of birr it disbursed to commercial farmers. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explored the problems facing commercial farming, and the potential in its future.

Khalid Bomba is the CEO of the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), which he has helmed since its establishment in December 2010. In that time, his name has become synonymous with the revitalization process in Ethiopian agriculture. 

His road towards agriculture was not a direct one. A graduate of Swarthmore College in the United States, he also holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics. He also spent over ten years working in corporate finance, and on sovereign debt issues at JP Morgan, and at other private sector institutions. He was regional director for African countries at the Global e-Schools and Communities’ Initiative, a UN-ICT Task Force, and finally, senior agricultural development program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, after which he was tasked with establishing and leading the ATA, which was financed by the Ethiopian government as well as institutions like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Agency is tasked with crafting policy instruments to forward agricultural development in the country, based on research analysis, as well as helping to provide support and education for those in the sector, operating as something between a public institution and a private business.

Even though Khalid believes that science should be the ultimate decider of the country’s policy direction, the agriculture sector in Ethiopia still relies on tradition wisdom and methods. However, Khalid argues, with the finalization of the soil map, one of the ATA’s grand projects, agriculture will come around in the next few years. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with him to find out more.

Looking Inward

Saturday, 15 June 2019 00:00 Published in Investment

Demand for Locally Made Leather Bags Surges

Ethiopia’s locally made leather handbag market is rapidly evolving as new designers enter the market. People commonly carry locally produced handbags, which are now available in different sizes and captivating designs, contrary to trends just a few years ago. Although there have been shortages of raw materials, many are capitalizing on the opportunities and investing in the sector as EBR’s Kiya reports.

Local Edible Oil Producers Thrive in Hard Times

Saturday, 15 June 2019 00:00 Published in Investment

The local edible oil industry is thriving. Reversing the decades-long preference for imported brands, more local oil brands are now available in major trading areas. As consumers start to become wary of the health implications of imported palm oil, opportunities are opening up for local producers. However, the rise in the numbers of local producers does not mean their market share has improved. Because of the low level of attention given to the area by the government, local producers are facing shortages of raw materials. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale spoke to consumers, producers, government officials and experts to shed light on the matter.

Stretching Through Life

Saturday, 15 June 2019 00:00 Published in Society

The Rising Popularity of Physiotherapy and Chiropractic Clinics

As people in urban areas such as Addis Ababa find themselves grappling with changing lifestyles and income levels, they are also becoming aware of the benefits of physiotherapy clinics. Once the domain of clinics and hospitals providing limited services to people with disabilities or those involved in accidents, physiotherapy education and services are spreading throughout the country. As the demand increases, the number of clinics is also steadily increasing, although insiders say there is a long way to go. EBR’s Menna Asrat reports.

Behind The Laughter

Saturday, 15 June 2019 00:00 Published in Art & Life

A decade ago, there were almost no Ethiopian sitcoms being broadcast on television or the internet. But for the past two years, the number of sitcoms is growing dramatically.  On top of putting a smile and laughter on the face of viewers, sitcoms serve as a platform to criticize social and political related problems. Yet, behind the laughter and criticism, producers of sitcoms has to stride an arduous journey as EBR’s Kiya Ali found out.

Fresh Development Plan for Ethiopia

Saturday, 15 June 2019 00:00 Published in View Point

Currently Ethiopia’s economy seems to be at a crossroads. Due to the unrest that began in the state of Oromia and spread throughout the country, and the existing ethnic conflict in some parts of Ethiopia, people seem to be losing hope in the new government bit by bit. Massive amounts of capital are fleeing out of the country. If this situation is not controlled in a timely manner, and urgent action is not taken, irreversible physical, social, economic crises might be on the horizon. 

Of course, everybody should give the government some room to work, and trust in the peace process. But it is the time for the government to develop a fresh business development plan, which will enable everyone to contribute and benefit from the country’s development. 

The peace and development of the country depends on the economic progress. My stay in Ethiopia for the last seven years enabled me to understand the political, economic and social fabrics of the country and recommend ways to renew Ethiopia’s business development profile, with experience from the models put into place in China.

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