Berihun Mekonnen

Berihun Mekonnen

EBR Staff Writter

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As the Ethiopian government seeks to transform the economy into one that’s rooted in manufacturing, the simplicity for local investors to access finance is becoming easier said than done. That’s because banks have made it complicated to access loans to start businesses because they rely much on technical knowhow and skills to approve requests for financing that many local business owners don’t possess. As the result, it is the foreign investors who are tapping the available financial resources in government banks. This has further crippled the weak and fragile local private sector. EBR’s Berihun Mekonnen reports that government should work in building the capacity of the local investors to access finance. It should also encourage the way foreigners invest in the country to be more in the form of joint venture with local investors. Such approaches in the early 1980s helped local investors in South East Asia to learn important business skills from international investors.

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: 

The 20th FIFA World Cup has kicked off on 12th of June at Arena de Sao Paulo, in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, with a flamboyant opening ceremony and a game between the host nation and Croatia. Thirty two nations, including five from Africa, will battle for the championship trophy. But rather than the ecstasy of the game, the riots and demonstrations in several host cities and the cost benefit analysis of hosting the game have attracted the more media attentions than the game itself.

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