Aliko Dangote, 58, is Africa’s richest man, with an estimated net worth of more than USD20 billion, according to Forbes. He’s the president, founder and chief executive of the Dagnote Group, which focuses on commodity manufacturing. The Nigerian businessman began his career in the 1970s as a trader of sugar, cement and rice before venturing into full-scale manufacturing. As the head of a multinational corporation, Dagnote now has his eyes set on Ethiopia, where he is launching a cement manufacturing plant and aspires to venture into fertilizer and sugar industries. He recently visited the progress of his soon-to-start production cement plant in the Adda Berga Wereda of West Shewa, near the capital Addis. EBR’s Amanyehun Sisay spoke with the world-renowned businessman during his visit about his latest projects and how he hopes to create more jobs for Africans in the future. The following is an excerpt.


As Wedding Prices Rise, Couples Search for Alternatives

The inflated cost for wedding ceremonies can be intimidating for couples who may be burdened by spending large amounts of money on a one- or two-day ceremony, especially for younger couples who may not have established careers.. Some couples, however, are looking for alternatives: ways to save money but also preserve memories of their union. As a result, some couples decide to only have their photographs taken in studios and in front of outdoor landscape in traditional wedding attire in order to memorialize their marriage. EBR’s Fasika Tadesse spoke with brides and grooms who considered studio photos as a replacement of a wedding party as well as photographers about a trend that seems to be on the rise in Ethiopia.


The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) was the sleeping giant in the financial sector of the country for decades. Its operating procedure was highly bureaucratic. Often, its staffs used to leave the Bank in search of better prospect to grow. Many senior managers in Ethiopia’s financial sector are in one way or another has an opportunity to work in CBE. They used think that it has nothing new to introduce. Now, that seems thing of the past as the bank is in the process of implementing drastic changes in the way its handles its business in the past six year. The work the bank is currently undertaking seems restoring hope that was once lost for its more than 22,000 employees. EBR’s Pawlos Belete dig deep into what CBE is doing and what it means for the rest of the financial sector.


Ethanol for Foreign Currency, for Environment

The Ethiopian government will for sure fall short of the goal it set to produce 181.5 million litters of bioethanol fuel by the end of the current fiscal year. So far, the country has only managed to produce 13.5 million litters of the much needed product. However, that isn’t deterring industry insiders from finding ways to produce more ethanol blended fuel, which is a ‘cleaner’ source of energy than normal fossil fuel. Ethanol blended fuel helps reduce carbon emissions from vehicle use. Ethanol is produced as a by-product of sugar cane and, according to EBR’s Ashenafi Endale, Ethiopia’s sugar industry is looking to meet the demands of the government. Still, many roadblocks stand in the way of the nation is trying to achieve its goals of using bioethanol as a means of creating a ‘green economy’.


Unlike the past currently products made in Japan are among the few products that are sought after their high quality standards not only here in Ethiopia but also around the globe. The underlying reason behind such a dramatic turnaround is their workplace philosophy called Kaizen. Almost six decades after the Japanese started implementing it; Ethiopia is trying to adapt it. EBR’s Pawlos Belete explores what it means, how it is being adapted and the results achieved so far in his report.


If you’ve walked the streets of Addis Ababa or other major cities in Ethiopia, it’s likely that you’ve seen plastic bags and other materials accumulate on street corners and sidewalks. Not only is this waste unsightly, but it also poses grave environmental and health risks. This increased waste, analysts say, are due to two major factors: the increased use of plastic bags and a weak waste management system in major cities. EBR’s Meseret Mamo spoke with waste management experts, urban dwellers and government officials to learn more about this growing problem and what’s being done to stop it.


The number of gymnasiums where people exercise has been growing exponentially in Addis Ababa. In the 200/12 fiscal year, only 29 business licenses we issued for gymnasiums – the following year, that figure rose to 103. Currently, there are 305 gyms operating in the city. Health, general well-being, and stress relief appear to be the main reasons why people decide to frequent gyms. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale spoke with gym goers and owners in order to learn about what appears to be a booming fitness sector that shows no signs of slowing down.

MILAN – When World War II ended 70 years ago, much of the world – including industrialized Europe, Japan, and other countries that had been occupied – was left geopolitically riven and burdened by heavy sovereign debt, with many major economies in ruins. One might have expected a long period of limited international cooperation, slow growth, high unemployment, and extreme privation, owing to countries’ limited capacity to finance their huge investment needs.

When people think of innovation they often think of new technology. However, innovation is a process of converting ideas into goods and services that have recognizable values that persuade consumers to pay for them. In order to be called innovation, ideas must be produced with an economic cost and must satisfy a specific need.

Ending extreme poverty and building shared prosperity across the developing world are noble goals; but they are also expensive, requiring financing on a scale far greater than what governments in developing countries, their donors, and local financial institutions are able to provide.

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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