Ethiopian Business Review

Samson Berhane

Samson Berhane


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Africa Falling into Chinese "Debt-Trap"

Sunday, 16 June 2019 00:00 Published in Topic

China’s rapidly rising economic and commercial relations with Africa have received much global attention in recent years. Over the last twenty years, China has climbed from being a relatively small investor in Africa to becoming its largest economic partner. Most importantly, China’s billions of dollars in aid and financing have helped many African countries, including Ethiopia, to pursue their most ambitious infrastructure development projects. However, as debt to the Asian Giant piles up, some experts fear the cost. EBR’s Samson Berhane investigates.

Hilina Belete is one of the few entrepreneurs in Ethiopia who have managed to take a family business to the next level, making it a successful and strong contender in the food industry. She is the CEO of Hilina Enriched Foods Processing, at which she worked in various posts before taking it over from her father. It took Hilina more than a decade to be what she is today. When the 32-year old entrepreneur took the CEO post, the company was not well-known as it is now. But after a joint venture agreement with ONYX.S.A.S (Group Nutriset) of France, overseen by Hilina, the company pioneered the production of high quality nutritional and fortified foods for both the institutional and commercial market in Ethiopia and East Africa region. This includes Plumpy‘nut (RUTF), Plumpy’ sup (RUSF), Sheba Peanut Butter and Sheba Peanut Splits. With hundreds of employees and through its network of local suppliers, Hilina attempts to fill the gap in the country’s efforts to raise food security.

As one of the youngest CEOs in Ethiopia, Hilina believes investors are not still aware of the big opportunities in the country’s food sectors. Mentioning the challenges she faces to get raw material, Hilina thinks ventures should be incentivized to invest in the food sector. EBR’s Samson Berhane sat down with her to learn what makes Hilina tick.

Doubting Danger

Sunday, 16 June 2019 00:00 Published in Focus

Investors Fail to React to Political Risks

During the political unrest that has plagued the country over the last three years, many businesses were burned, looted and damaged by protestors. Investors lost hundreds of millions of birr in property. Capitalizing on these opportunities, insurance companies have started introducing new policy known as political violence and terrorism insurance. At first, there was high demand for the new policies, but that was short lived. The renewal rate is low, while new investors are disinterested in the coverage. EBR’s Samson Berhane explores.