Ethiopian Business Review

Tegbaru Belete Program Leader of the Ethiopia Soil Information System

Soil acidity has been a big concern in Ethiopia for a long time. Although the problem has been known for over a decade, the level of action taken by the government was minimal. To avert this problem and develop policy to help farmers improve their yield, the Ethiopian Soil Information System (Ethio SIS) was launched by the Agricultural Transformation Agency in 2012, to bolster the growth and transformation of Ethiopia’s agriculture sector. Tegbaru Belete, program leader of the project, sat down with EBR’s Ashenafi Endale to talk about some of the ins and outs of the project and how the soil acidity problem can be solved.

Monday, 15 October 2018 09:00
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Martin Plaut is not new to the geopolitics of the Horn of Africa, having amassed more than three decades of experience in the region, starting as a journalist with the BBC World Service in 1984. He has reported from most of East Africa, as well as some parts of West Africa, and but his specialty lies in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa. He later served as the Africa Editor for the BBC World Service News and published extensively on African affairs. Currently, he is working as an adviser to the United States Department of State and Senior Researcher at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.
Plaut has also advised the government of the United Kingdom in matters of the Horn of Africa. His research interests are African politics and economics, colonies and colonization as well as emigration and immigration. He is the author of “Understanding Eritrea: Inside Africa’s most repressive state (2016), “Promise and Despair: The First Struggle for a Non-Racial South Africa”, and recently he authored “Robert Mugabe” with Sue Onslow.
However,“Understanding Eritrea” is his most famous book. In the book, Plaut, a veteran observer of Eritrean affairs, produced valuable reading for all those interested in better understanding Eritrea and provides an all-encompassing coverage of history. His latest book, which he authored with Onslow in 2018, is a biography of Robert Mugabe, former president of Zimbabwe. The book describes Mugabe’s formative experiences as a child and young man; his role as an admired Afro-nationalist leader in the struggle against white settler rule; and his evolution into a political manipulator and survivalist.
All of his works, including those related to the Horn, were initiated because of his engagement in the region for over three decades, and his relationship with known figures in these countries and of course partly due to his academic interest. Even after retiring from the BBC, Plaut is still active in the politics of the Horn of Africa; a region which he believes has assets beyond its strategic location. He has observed the increase in influence of global and regional powers in the Horn of Africa, which he believes was driven by diverse factors. Despite the increase in the influence, Plaut still believes that most nations in the Horn are keen to preserve their autonomy. He shared his opinions and concerns in an exclusive interview with EBR’s Samson Berhane.

Monday, 15 October 2018 09:00
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Eyob Tesfaye (PhD), a macroeconomist and policy analyst, is among the few scholars who are known for voicing their concerns about the well-being of Ethiopia’s economy. He has served in different governmental positions, including as the Director-General of the Public Finance Institutions Supervisory Agency and Director of the Academy of Financial Studies at the National Bank of Ethiopia. He has been an external examiner of post graduate students at Addis Ababa University and advisor to post graduate students of the London School of Economics and Georgetown University.

Eyob, who is now Program Director at the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) believes Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed (PhD), inherited an economy in shambles from his predecessors, and is facing an uphill task. According to Eyob, the PM should devise a plan to put the economy back on track and address the problems that have deterred structural transformation, adding  that the Prime Minister should have his own economic road map, even though it is too soon to conclude whether or not the government should continue with developmental state model. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with him to discuss the flaws in the economy and the recent reforms.

Sunday, 16 September 2018 06:00
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