Ethiopian Business Review

Berihun Mekonnen

Berihun Mekonnen

EBR Staff Writter

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Seeing how the newly constructed eight lane road on Africa Avenue is swamped with cars at rush hours gives an indication as to what is happening in the city’s car market. Every day more than 40,000 cars of different models and brands pass through this corridor alone. Yet this is not unique to this specific street. Every major road in the city is seen crowded with cars almost all the time. As the number of urbanites who are joining the ranks of the middle class is increasing so do the number of cars.

Liberalization: The Only Way Out

Thursday, 15 August 2013 00:55 Published in Interview

Many obstacles challenge foreign trade in Ethiopia- Logistics and transportation being the major bottlenecks. As much the logistics and transportation sector has undergone reforms, the sector continues to pose a critical challenge for the country’s foreign trade. In this exclusive interview, Berihun Mekonnen, Ethiopian Business Review’s senior editor sat down with Kassahun Abberu (PhD), Director of Transit, Shipping and Transport at Akakas Logistics PLC, a company which he cofounded in December 2000, to discuss the challenges and remedies for the complications in the sector, among other issues.Born in Dessie in 1958, Kassahun received his PhD in Transport Economics from Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration in 1992. His decades of portfolio include responsibilities at technical and managerial levels at the Federal Express, Hungary, Nib Transport Company, Ethiopian Amalgamated Ltd and others.

Kassahun argues that liberalizing the Logistics and transportation sector would solve the current logistics problems, which has been exacerbated as the government monopolized the sector: Excerpt:

It has been widely recognized that the Ethiopian international trade has been in trouble for so long despite the growth it has been registering. The time consuming and costly customs clearance process, the weak and poorly coordinated logistics and transport services and the underdeveloped warehouse and inspection mechanism among others have been obstructing the performance of the sector.