Ethiopia’s Sectoral Economic Growth, Sustainability

At the end of the 2008/09 fiscal year, for the first time in Ethiopian history, agriculture gave way to service as the biggest contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Experts argue this was unhealthy because economic theories suggest a healthy structural transformation of a growing economy shifts focus from agriculture to industry and then to service. That was why the service sector’s extraordinary growth was like “putting the cart before the horse”. Accordingly the administration of the late Prime Minster Meles Zenawi took a series of policy measures to adjust the growing economic imbalance. Samson Hailu, EBR’s Research Editor, writes about the implications of these policy measures for the current business slowdown in the country.


Go Beyond Your Comfort Zone, Claim Your Rights Fully!

Meaza Ashenafi, 50, has become a face of the Ethiopian Women’s struggle for equality. A lawyer by training, she accomplished tangible results for the cause of women. In 1995 she founded the Ethiopian Women Lawyer’s Association and led it to magnificence during her eight years of dedicated service. In addition to her accomplishment, for which she was awarded the 2003 Africa Leadership Prize, she mobilized 12 professional and business women in 2008 to establish Ethiopia’s first bank dedicated to financing enterprises initiated or led by women. EBR’s Amanyehun R. Sisay, talked with Meaza about the state of women’s rights in Ethiopia, and her innovative bank.


Cheque Clearing System Chokes Business Activities

For decades Ethiopia’s financial sector was defined by costly and risky cash and cheque based transactions. So when the National Payment System (NPS), which was supposed to clear and settle payments electronically, was launched in June 2011, it was seen as a transition to modernity.


Surge to 29 from Two a Decade Ago

The number of African billionaires in the Forbes richest people list of 2014 has surged to 29 from only two a decade ago, in 2003. The two people listed then were both from South Africa and its has been growing diversified and reached 20 last year.


Is It Causing Business to Slow Down in Addis Ababa?

Over a million city dwellers are taking money out of their meagre monthly salaries hoping to soon own a condominium house. Over the past six months, 4.1 billion birr has been mobilized through the program. Although saving often leads to investment, it has forced house-seekers in Addis Ababa to prioritize and cut spending. This is contributing to a stall of business in the Capital writes Berihun Mekonnen, EBR Staff Writer.


Ethiopia’s Textile Industry Lags behind

At a time when the government is only left with a year and half to fulfil its export targets set in the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), the textile sub-sector, the third largest manufacturing industry in the country in terms of value addition after food processing and beverage and the leather sub sectors, registered another dissatisfactory export performance in the last six months of the current fiscal year. The nation’s six month export revenue released by the Ministry of Trade (MoT) last February revealed that textile companies operating in the country exported only USD57.5million worth of garments and textiles. This has increased the combined export revenue from the sub sector to USD301.9 since the launching of GTP.


Recently it has been common to see a long queue of vehicles around petrol stations in Addis Ababa searching for fuel, particularly gasoline, commonly known as ‘benzene’. People including taxi drivers and other private vehicle owners run here and there filling up their tanks if they get lucky. The lineups near the stations have exacerbated the high traffic jams that are already annoying people throughout the city.


The Evolving Culture of Tipping in Ethiopia

In one of the recent hits of Woody Allen’s thrilling movies ‘Blue Jasmine’, (winner of this year’s Academy Awards for best actress and nominated for best picture and best screen play); there is a scene where the leading character, a sophisticated but broken woman is baby sitting her nephews. She takes them out to a restaurant and tells them to be generous when they are rich and advises them particularly to be kind to waiters, saying: “Tip big boys; tip big, because you got good service and they [waiters] count on tips”.


“We could see her do something special in anything from 1,500m to 10,000m, but certainly in the 5,000m,” the legendary British athlete Paula Radcliff, commented on BBC sport, about Genzebe Dibaba, after she broke three world records within 15 days, last February.

Until relatively recently, countries’ so-called middle-income transitions were largely ignored – in part because what was supposed to be a transition often became a trap. A few economies in Asia – particularly Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan – sailed through to high-income status with relatively high growth rates. But the vast majority of economies slowed down or stopped growing altogether in per capita terms after entering the middle-income range.
Today, investors, policymakers, and businesses have several reasons to devote much more attention to these transitions. For starters, with a GDP that is as large as the combined total of the other BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa) plus Indonesia and Mexico, China has raised the stakes considerably. Sustained Chinese growth, or its absence, will have a significant effect on all other developing countries – and on the advanced economies as well.

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