Ethiopia’s Commercial Code was enacted in 1960 and many argue that it’s time to revise it to better reflect the changes the country has experienced and current international economic and political dynamics. But what’s the best way forward? Government officials state that they’re working to codify new laws that will govern business practices – and that they’re drawing on internal experts to do so. However, others argue for better transparency and that calling upon international experts from more sophisticated economies – whether they’re Ethiopian or foreigners – will only help to better align the policies with the best practices of other countries. EBR’s Bantayehu Demile spoke with leading experts and researched the nuances of the issue to explore the tensions around the possible revision of the Commercial Code.


The 21st Conference of the Parties (COP), which convened in Paris last December, made history as the first time in which a global consensus was reached to flight climate change. Chief among the outcomes of the meeting was increased funding from developed countries to help emerging nations implement programmes to fight and curb carbon emissions. However, these funds haven’t been of much help to African countries, which have had difficulties accessing these monies in the past. In fact, according to the Climate Policy Initiative, countries in Asia and Western Europe received USD 119 billion and USD93 billion, respectively, to pursue green initiatives. Africa, however, only garnered USD2.3 billion for their projects. As the Paris Climate Conference provides new funding opportunities, what needs to take place for countries like Ethiopia to benefit? EBR’s adjunct staff writer Meseret Mamo spoke with insiders to learn more about the challenges of accessing competitive global financing and what’s being done to improve the country’s chances.


Ethiopia’s 1960 Commercial Code is undergoing revision. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is leading this effort; one the private sector hopes will alleviate bottlenecks that hamper doing business.
This is not the first time the government has considered amending the Code. The MoJ and the Justice and Legal Systems Research Institute (JLSRI) attempted revisions in the past.
Also, in July 2008, the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (AACCSA) released a document on the private sector’s concerns over the draft proposed by the MoJ.


Ethiopia’s export performance falls short of the government’s plans. The country hoped to earn USD5.04 billion by the end of last fiscal year, but made less than 60Pct of that amount. For this year, the plan is USD6.5 billion and so far the six-month performance is less than the nation received last year during the same period. A number of structural issues have hindered the sector’s performance, but one has become more prevalent in recent years: exporters not honouring trade agreements with foreign countries. Exporters say that there are systemic reasons why they’re unable to honour trade agreements that have largely to do with the cost and quality of local products. Others, however, argue that this isn’t a sufficient excuse and that breaching contracts will create a negative image of the country’s already struggling export sector. EBR’s Asehenafi Endale spoke with key stakeholders to learn more about the intricacies of the issue and what’s being done to address the underlying problems.


Ethiopia hopes to increase private saving from 16.6Pct to 18.7Pct of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020. This task, however, may prove cumbersome, given that real interest rates in the country have been below zero for years, which doesn’t bode well for people looking to put their money in banks. Even the World Bank has hinted at the adverse effects of this reality on Ethiopia’s development prospects. EBR’s Bantayehu Demlie spoke with banking sector experts, customers and academicians to learn more about this complex issue and offers this report.


Mekelle is Ethiopia’s second largest city and is the seat of the Tigray Regional State. Over the last two decades, the city has witnessed an impressive amount of investment, especially in the service and construction sectors, which has brought in ETB5.7 and ETB6.6 billion in registered capital, respectively. In this way, the town is perhaps the most promising location for business outside of the nation’s capital. Still, local investors say that they face issues like a lack of finance and a dearth of quality raw materials, which hinder their abilities to operate their companies at full capacity. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale visited Mekelle and spoke with local business owners and regional government officials to better understand the issues plaguing investors and what’s being done to mitigate these problems.


According to the Central Statistical Agency (CSA), there are 2.5 million working women of child-bearing age in urban areas in Ethiopia. For many women, they’re the primary or sole breadwinners of their family, which often includes young children. Day-care centres provide women an alternative to hiring maids, relying on family, or having to sacrifice work in order to care for their children. EBR’s adjunct staff writer Meseret Mamo spoke with working mothers, day-care service providers and government officials to learn more about what’s being done to develop and regulate this nascent industry.


St. George FC, one of the most popular teams in the Ethiopian Premier League, has enjoyed many successes and endured its share of tribulations during its 80 years of existence. But one thing that still eludes the club is success on a continental level. EBR’s adjunct staff writer Abiy Wendifraw spoke with team administrators to learn more about it’s storied past and its plans to bring itself to the next level of success.

Globalisation has created a highly interconnected world. The increased flow of trade, investment and people, sustained by rapid transport and communication, is one of the features of the globalised world – one that provides immense potential for economic growth and development. However, countries should be competitive to tap the maximum benefit that globalisation brings forth.

Over the last 35 years, Western democracies have seen a rapid rise in political instability, characterised by frequent shifts in governing parties and their programmes and philosophies, driven at least partly by economic transformation and hardship. The question now is how to improve economic performance at a time when political instability is impeding effective policymaking.

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


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