Numerous multilateral organisations, including the World Bank and African Development Bank, note that corruption is a severe hindrance to a country’s development goals. Despite this reality, corrupt practices manifest themselves in a number of ways in Ethiopia – perhaps most notably in the misuse of public funds used for mega construction projects. In some cases, monies that were given to these projects go missing, unaccounted for, or are misallocated, resulting in delays or overspending. These phenomena are especially problematic, as publicly funded projects are meant to benefit the general population and are usually beholden to strict deadlines and budgetary constraints. In fact, according to the Auditor General’s Report, the Ministry of Education and a number of public universities have mismanaged around ETB2.08 billion in the 2014/15 fiscal year. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale consulted stakeholders and research to gain more insight into the potential mishandling of public funds and offers this report.


With over 60 companies, Mohammed International Development Research and Organisation Companies (MIDROC), which is owned by Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi, is the biggest private investment conglomerate in Ethiopia. Five of the companies were grouped as ‘MIDROC Technology Group’ under the leadership of Arega Yirdaw (PhD) in 2000. The number of companies in the Group has since increased to 24, employing over 8,000 Ethiopians. Last year, these companies, mainly MIDROC Gold, exported USD300 million, over 10Pct of the total export revenue the country received.
Having lived, worked and been educated in Ethiopia, the UK and the US, Arega says business has to be human centred. At MIDROC, he has established a culture of lifelong learning, which he has done himself, attaining two PhDs, the latest in educational leadership two years ago.


How Beneficial Will They Be?

Hotel management contracts are arrangements in which an international hotel company (the owner) agrees to give a company operational control over a hotel (the operator) in exchange for a fee. These contracts are often beneficial for developing countries, as the owner often assists in the development of the hotel. Some, however, say they may hamper the work of small, local hotels. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie spoke with a number of stakeholders to explore the potential promise and pitfalls of these agreements.


A number of satellite-based television channels have emerged in Ethiopia in recent months, some of which have enjoyed widespread popularity. Experts say this is a positive trend, as these channels increase economic development through advertising and creating new markets. Still, some argue that these networks may have a negative impact on developing countries, especially since many programmes come from foreign countries and don’t take into account the local cultural context. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie spoke with key stakeholders to learn more about the driving force behind television network development in Ethiopia and the potential economic and societal changes it may bring about.


While the country’s export sector has never performed up to the government’s expectations, figures from last fiscal year paint a grim picture. In 2015/16, Ethiopia earned USD2.8 billion from exports – about half the planned amount – and less than the roughly USD3 billion collected in previous fiscal years. As the government continues pursuing the GTP II, the export sector is at a crucial juncture – how to effectively address the problems that plague it, including fluctuating commodity prices in the international market. Experts offer a number of solutions, from diversifying exports to fixing key policy issues. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale spoke with exporters, government officials and economists to learn about the intricacies of this key economic issue.


At the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which took place in Nairobi, Kenya in late August, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged USD30 billion in investments throughout Africa. This will help the East Asian nation increase economic ties with the continent, which lags far behind its regional neighbours. For example, China and India, two of Ethiopia’s biggest investment partners, have operational investments worth ETB15.9 billion and ETB5.8 billion, respectively, while Japan had ETB50.2 million. Now that Japan has expressed interest to invest in Africa, how much could Ethiopia benefit? EBR’s Samson Hailu delved into the matter and offers this report.


Ethiopia is in the midst of an infectious disease outbreak. Known locally as acute watery diarrhoea (AWD), it’s now spreading throughout the capital and some regional states. While there are no official figures that document the extent of the epidemic, some organisations estimate that more than 2,000 people have been infected, resulting in nearly 20 deaths. Central to the problem of infectious disease epidemics is public health infrastructure and proper sanitation. EBR adjunct staff writer Meseret Mamo spoke with government officials and public health specialists to learn more about the extent of the outbreak and the nation’s response mechanics to halt the epidemic.


Ethiopian sport associations have long been plagued by lack of finance. A dearth of funds means teams aren’t able to provide equipment for players or engage in tournaments that help develop crucial skills. While breweries have sponsored teams and clubs for years, now more companies are engaging in local sports. Abiy Wendifraw, EBR’s adjunct staff writer, delved into the topic deeper to learn more about this growing trend and the potential benefit it will bring to sports and businesses.

Between 2010 and 2014, Africa’s economic growth was an over-studied phenomenon. A cursory glance at any financial publication during this period and one would have been inundated with overwhelming analysis and statistics on Africa’s progress and future potential. The topic was so ubiquitous that the global conference industry was thriving on just one subject – African development. However, by 2015 the euphoria seemed to have all but evaporated.

The Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential race in the United States have shown, among other things, that public distrust of global integration is on the rise. That distrust could derail new trade agreements currently in the works, and prevent future ones from being initiated.

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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