Ethiopian Business Review

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. 

Thursday, 16 August 2018 13:43
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If anything has cast a pall over the Ethiopian economy, it is the foreign currency shortage, which reached historic lows just three months ago. This has prompted businesses to look for alternative means to alleviate the problem, such as transacting using diaspora accounts. The accounts are offered to non-residential Ethiopians, as well as Ethiopian-born foreign nationals who have been working and living abroad for more than a year. This has opened a window of opportunity for legal as well as illegible account holders to access foreign currency without waiting for the approval of  letters of credit. EBR’s Samson Berhane reports. 

Thursday, 16 August 2018 07:43
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For a long time, rural poverty has been a big concern in Ethiopia. Compared to rural standards, the urban population, which was estimated at over 20 million last year, might live in better conditions.  But, recently, poverty among the urban population reached a point where it can be considered a crisis. Due to this, the World Bank, in partnership with the Ethiopian government, implemented the first Urban Productive Safety Net Program last year, at a cost of USD450 million, to reduce urban poverty. EBR’s Samson Berhane evaluates the success of the program.

Friday, 10 August 2018 18:00
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Is it the Magic Bullet for Africa's Industrialization?

The African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) was signed by 44 African countries, including Ethiopia, in May 2018, and will cover a market of 1.2 billion people and a gross domestic product of USD2.5 trillion once it is implemented. In terms of numbers of participating countries, ACFTA will be the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization. The creation of a free trade area is expected to boost the current intra-Africa trade, which stood at 13Pct. Although officials stress that it will be a beneficial for Ethiopian goods to penetrate other African markets, many are concerned over the competitiveness of the private sector in the local market, let alone outside the country. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale reports.

Friday, 10 August 2018 18:00
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Ever since the Food, Medicines & Healthcare Administration and  Control started implementing a new rule that requires the inspection of 18 food items, such as pasta, noodles and edible oil, imported into the country, businesses are crying foul over the surge in laboratory cost. The new measures, which are said to be part of the Authority’s five-year plan, forces importers to wait weeks in order to get test results, as well as raising the cost of laboratory tests. For a single 20-foot container, the cost of testing has increased by an average of 14pct, reaching as high as 100Pct, depending on the nature and type of imported food items. This has discouraged many importers and supermarket owners engaged in the wholesaling and retailing of food products. EBR’s Samson Berhane spoke to retailers, importers and government officials to explore the issue. 

Thursday, 02 August 2018 22:24
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Why Converting Great Idea into Reality is Defficult for entrepreneurs in Ethiopia

Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which is often initially a small one. The experiences of many successful countries reveal that when entrepreneurs create new businesses, they, intensify competition, and even increase productivity through technological change. This high level of entrepreneurship, in turn, translates directly into high levels of economic growth. Despite this fact, the level of entrepreneurship remains insignificant in Ethiopia. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores why it remains undeveloped in Ethiopia. 

Thursday, 02 August 2018 22:24
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The agriculture sector in Ethiopia is dominated by small holder farms that depend on rain. However, low and erratic rainfall has resulted in limited agricultural productivity and food security. To reverse this state of affairs, the government adopted the development of irrigation farms as a key strategy. But not much change has been observed in expanding irrigation. As of now, only 2.6 million hectares of land have been irrigated so far, out of 15 million hectares cultivated by small scale farmers. The use of irrigation in medium and large scale farming is also insignificant. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale spoke to commercial and small scale farmers as well as government officials, to shed light on the issue

Friday, 06 July 2018 16:18
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The Struggle of medium Enterprises to Graduate to the Next level

With a plan of spurring economic growth, and creating huge employment opportunities, it has been almost 12 years since the government adopted a strategy to develop medium, small and micro enterprises. Close to a million such enterprises have been formed since then. Nonetheless, their efficacy has not always been in line with the plan outlined in the strategy, due to multifaceted barriers. This holds true especially for medium enterprises that graduated before 2015/16, because of a lack of relevant policy and institutional structures. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale, reports.

Friday, 06 July 2018 15:55
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Companies can use all the five promotion mixes: sales promotion, advertising, personal selling, public relation and direct marketing. In recent years, commercial banks in Ethiopia have been using sales promotions in the form of prize linked saving and remittance lottery programmes to reach out to customers.Although the strategy appears to be effective for some banks, its impact in helping commercial banks unleash their full potential is debatable. EBR’s Samson Berhane reports.

Sunday, 03 June 2018 13:49
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