A recent survey by the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils rated government lower than either business or media in its ability to respond to global challenges. On one level, this is understandable, given the plethora of challenges that governments face and the lack of long-term solutions to many problems that demand one. But, on another level, the attempt to rate government alongside business and the media is fundamentally misguided: no sector operates at the scale of responsibility, accountability, and expectation that governments do.


It’s the holiday season again! The time of year where almost all local radio stations play traditional songs to hype up listeners and boost the holiday spirit; it is that season where incredibly large numbers of sheep, goats and oxen get ready to go to their new “homes”; it is that season where you will see long lines of women with their ‘netela’ around the gates of ELFORA or other chicken and egg wholesalers; it is that season where you will see a lot of shoppers here and there making sure they have every food and ingredient to cook for the holiday!


Are the “Salad Days” for Private Banks Ending?

Teklewold Atnafu, the longest serving governor of The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), in his speech on financial liberalization in the country, at the eighth general assembly of the Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA) on July 15, 2000 asked the assembly, “Have we created, through financial sector liberalization, a diversified and deep financial system?” and answers himself “Obviously, there is still a long way to go in this respect. We still don’t have active money and capital markets. The types of financial instruments remain limited. The sector is not well diversified in terms of financial institutions. Competition in the sector is far from being fierce.” Fast forward 13 years and almost nothing is changed, except may be for the competition part, and his institution’s Neanderthal nature and the stifling directives it formulated through the years are partly to blame. And now the sector is facing yet another obstacle.


Is Ethiopia’s Public Debt Sustainable?

Neither be a lender nor a borrower, for money you lose both your friend [the borrower] and the money itself” has been one of the famous lines from William Shakespeare’s plays. That was many, many years ago. The game has changed now. Not only people, but countries, including the richest ones on earth, from the United States to Japan, from Australia to the UK, borrow a huge amount of money. They have even established institutions that specialize in lending money in massive amounts. Countries borrow money from these institutions and provide loans to one another.


A Quest to be Equal in the Club of Unequals

It has been a decade since Ethiopia applied and began preparations to become a member of the world’s trade governing body, the World Trade Organization (WTO). It submitted the application for the accession in January 2003. Since that time it has accomplished some of the basic requirements and negotiations to be able to ascend. It is expected to complete the negotiations and be a full member as speculated in the Growth and Transformation plan (GTP) by 2015.


Did Ethiopia Dig Into Mining Too Soon?

People have known that Ethiopia had huge mining potential ever since mineral prospecting began around the end of the 18th century. It was not until 1968 that mineral exploration began when the Ethiopian Geological Survey (EGS), which worked under the auspices of the Department of Mines and Energy, began to survey geological and mineral reserves.


Benishangul Gumuz Creeps Toward Commercial Farming

Since the 16th century the place located in western Ethiopia known as Bela Shangul, meaning “Rock of Shangul” named after a sacred stone found in the mountainous area of the present Benishangul Gumuz Region, is legendary for its vast area of fertile land suitable for agricultural production. The region was also the place where the Berta people originally settled when they arrived to Ethiopia.


The Pride of Made in Ethiopia

Once, some ten – twelve years ago, shoe manufacturing industry owners were at the late Prime Minister’s office to talk about some of the most dreadful challenges they were facing. One of the major grievances they presented to the Prime Minister was that imported shoes have swamped the local market and they couldn’t compete with them. “People are not buying our product and we will be out of business” they told him.


The Tragedy of the Homeless Elderly

Ethiopians are well known for respecting and caring for their elders. Many have worked their entire lives and have given their time, energy and money to their country. However, when the time comes for them to retire, the truth arrives and they are often all cashed out.

Ethiopian Business Review | EBR is a first-class and high-quality monthly business magazine offering enlightenment to readers and a platform for partners.

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