Ethiopian Business Review

Eleni Z. Gabre-Madhin (PhD) is one of the most well known Ethiopian economists living today. The Stanford-trained businesswoman is perhaps best known for conceptualizing, founding and running the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX), which provides buyers and sellers of agricultural products an organized marketplace in which to trade goods. She’s received numerous awards and accolades for her work in agricultural economics, including being invited to participate in the 2012 G8 Summit, where she spoke to world leaders about how the private sector can help reduce poverty and food insecurity. She’s also given ‘TED Talks,’ in which she’s spoken about the merits of opening commodity exchanges throughout Africa. EBR’s Amanyehun Sisay spoke to her about the new company she founded, eleni LLC. She says Africa needs more exchanges to modernize agricultural marketing, help reduce food insecurity and improve the lives of farmers across the continent. Her economic philosophy, she says, is rooted in having Africans solve Africa’s problems. The following is an excerpt.

Tuesday, 09 December 2014 12:00
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Agriculture is the foundation of Ethiopia’s economy, accounting for nearly half of the country’s GDP, 80Pct employment and export volumes. Yet, the sector has been challenged by periodic drought,  land degradation and low productivity. Even if there are attempts of using modern technologies in recent decades, they could not bring about big impact on agricultural growth. However, since 2011, the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Regional Bureaus have been undertaking national soil fertility mapping, which is an inventory of landscape features, farming systems, general soil properties and soil fertility status for each agricultural woreda in the country. The end result will help to determine what mineral to include in the fertilizer to be used for each woreda. Instead of using Urea and Diamonium Phosphate (DAP), the two widely used fertilizers for decades, the Ministry plans to import seven different raw materials to blend according to specific needs of each woreda. Reports indicate that the new blended fertilizer helped boost production by about 80Pct in some demonstrations.  

In this interview with Tekalign Mamo (Professor), Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture and State Minister, Amanyehun R. Sisay talks about the progress of the soil fertility mapping project and other pertinent issues regarding Ethiopian agriculture. 

Monday, 15 September 2014 03:00
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Addis Ababa has been undergoing reconstruction in the past several years. Highway constructions carried out by the City’s Roads Authority has changed the face of the metropolis for good. Even if the end result of the reconstruction is hoped to smooth traffic flow and upgrade the standard of the city, the process has disrupted the comfort of city dwellers and challenged businesses and transport service providers. EBR’s Berihun Mekonnen sat down with Fekadu Haile (Engi.), General Manager of Addis Ababa City Roads Authority (AACRA) and discussed about ongoing road projects, challenges of remaking the city and prospects ahead. Excerpts: 

Friday, 15 August 2014 03:00
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