Ethiopian Business Review

Ethiopia offers financial incentives such as tax reductions and holidays, as well as custom duty exemptions to companies engaged especially in manufacturing activities. But incentives are given and monitored in a scattered and uncoordinated manner. To address the issue, the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) is currently establishing a directorate that will follow up and monitor the proper use of incentives, which have been exposed to abuse. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with Mulugeta Beyene, director of the newly established Manufacturers and Duty Free Support Directorate at ERCA to learn more about the government’s plans to enforce proper usage of incentives. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018 15:00
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Born in Aksum, in the state of Tigray, Selome grew up with parents who were both teachers. This contributed to her outspoken and outgoing personality. After completing her primary and secondary education in Addis Ababa, she went to Addis Ababa University during the Dergue regime. But she didn’t finish her studies. Instead, she went to Eastern Europe and enrolled at the University of Belorussia, in the then-Soviet Union. After her third year, Selome dropped out and went first to West Germany, and then South Hadley, Massachusetts where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations. 

She moved to Boston, Massachusetts, working in the Ethiopian Community Centre as a Refugee Programme Coordinator for a few years, and went to Washington DC to work in the Ethiopian Community Development Council. There, she was recruited by the EPRDF-led government which took power in Addis in 1991. She was invited to return home and work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a press counsellor. Soon, she was assigned to assist in setting up the Ethiopian embassy in Washington DC and worked in the Embassy for six years as Press Counsellor and then Political Counsellor.

Upon her return home, she became the first general manager of Ethiopia Radio and Television Agency (ERTA), after the Agency was detached from the then-Ministry of Information. Despite criticism, Selome introduced influential television programmes such as ‘Aynachin’ which were able to challenge government officials and hold them accountable. Unlike its conventional practice of serving as the mouthpiece of the government, ERTA during her tenure became an institution servicing public interest. 

Selome also served as the government’s spokesperson during the Ethio-Eritrea border war in 1998. Since then, she has been vocal about issues related to women’s empowerment, and masterminded Yegna, an all-female acting and pop group established with the aim of reaching and empowering young women. EBR’s Samson Berhane visited her workplace, Emerge Consultancy, where the mother of two is producing a new radio show, to learn about Selome’s career trajectory. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018 09:00
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Kebour Ghenna Desta is a household name in the Ethiopian business community. He served as President of the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce for four years, from 1997 to 2001; and also as President of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce. Not only that, Kebour is a multidisciplinary professional known for his active role in media leadership, having established the oldest English business newspaper,  Capital, in 1998. He also founded and still serves as the Executive Director of Initiative Africa (IA), a non-governmental organisation known in recent years for organising the Addis International Film Festival (AIFF), Ethiopia’s annual week-long event showcasing documentary films from around the world. 

A regular guest speaker at high profile continental and national business and social gatherings, Kebour is known for popularising the tag word loosely translated as ‘it is possible’, which later became a key note identifier of Haile Gebreselassie, Ethiopia’s most famed athlete-turned-business mogul.

Kebour is also Executive Director of the Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI), a non-profit apex organization of national chambers. The continental body, currently based in Addis Ababa, was established in 2009 to promote public policies that foster continental economic integration, competitiveness, and sustainable growth. 

He has had a front-row seat to the developments and challenges of the private sector for over two decades, and regularly reflects about the sector and overall development endeavours in the country on social and mainstream media platforms. EBR’s Amanyehun R. SiSAY met with the soft spoken and optimistic business leader to discuss the political turmoil that has been plaguing Ethiopia in recent years. The following is an excerpt:

Sunday, 15 April 2018 03:00
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