One major casualty of Donald Trump’s victory in the bruising US presidential election is, without a doubt, America’s soft power around the world. It is a development that will be difficult – perhaps even impossible – to reverse, especially for Trump.


The Need for Evaluation Mechanisms in the Public Sector

Ethiopia’s public-led growth model, while partly responsible for the country’s rapid economic growth, isn’t without its faults. Project delays, cost overruns, and potential corruption all plague large-scale public infrastructure projects. Some economists recommend an evaluation mechanism that allows public entities to better track the progress of their projects. But these, too, aren’t always foolproof. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale spoke with experts to learn more about the promise and limits of employing evaluation mechanisms in the local context.


‘[Ethiopians] will come together to transform the country’

Finding someone who staunchly promotes Ethiopia’s investment potential more than Zemedeneh is a difficult task. For the Ethiopian-American executive, whose client base ranges from Fortune 500 companies throughout the world to Ethiopian Airlines, it is always better for investors to come with a ‘glass half full’ mentality. He says optimism enhances the chance for success.
A regular guest at high-profile gatherings around the world, Zemedeneh has spoken on Wall Street at the New York Stock Exchange, Harvard Business School, the Dubai-Africa Summit, the Saudi-East African Business Conference, the Corporate Council on Africa Summit in Washington and numerous investment promotion summits. He has been interviewed about investment and the state of the Ethiopian economy by acclaimed international news organisations such as the BBC, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera and the Financial Times. In January 2015, he was also named among the top 15 ‘CEOs of Africa to Watch’ by the London-based African Business Magazine.
Zemedeneh argues that the government’s investment in infrastructure is an impetus for industrialisation. He says these investments don’t crowd out the private sector; rather, they create opportunities for it to flourish. EBR’s Amanyehun Sisay sat down with the numbers-driven investment consultant to discuss current investment trends in Ethiopia and the challenges and prospects of the country’s economic transformation.


What Are Its Benefits, Drawbacks?

As competition in Ethiopia’s financial sector increases, banks are looking for ways to maintain a competitive advantage. As a result, some have introduced segmented banking for high-end customers – a form of customer service that revolves around targeting clients with lucrative portfolios. Research suggests that this method helps banks increase their profit, but that it isn’t entirely foolproof. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale spoke with banking insiders to learn more about this form of specialised banking and how it’s being implemented locally.

Ethiopia ranks among the nations that are known for thwarting Internet usage as a mechanism for controlling communication. These interruptions not only quell the ability for denizens to access information, they also cost millions in lost revenue. According to the Brookings Institution, 30 days of Internet interruptions between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 cost the country USD8.5 million in gross domestic product. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie spoke with members of the local business community, government workers and consulted research to learn more about the multifarious effects of hampered Internet usage in the country.


The government hopes to attract 2 million tourists per year by the end of the current Growth and Transformation Plan. That’s roughly double the current amount – and research suggests that tour operators may be the key to helping the country reach that goal. However, insiders say that the industry is filled with challenges that prevent operators from achieving their full potential, thereby thwarting the sector’s overall promise. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie spoke with key stakeholders and consulted research to learn more about the key role tour operators play in this pivotal sector.


Government officials have made no secret of their desire to have the manufacturing sector be a strong component of Ethiopia’s quest towards economic development. This goal, however, comes with environmental concerns, as factories tend to produce waste that gets dumped into nearby waterways. As a result, a number of adverse, long-term health and environmental effects are likely to arise. So what’s being done to tackle this reality? EBR’s Ashenafi Endale spoke with key insiders to learn more about environmental considerations in an era of rapid industrialisation.


Drug usage among teenagers is a growing trend in Ethiopia. By some estimates, as many as 64Pct of secondary school students have experimented with cannabis or khat, two of the most popular drugs used in the country. This trend is concerning, in part because of its long-term health effects but also because of the economic implications of drug usage for teens and the country as a whole. EBR’s Meseret Mamo explores the issue further and offers this report.


While commonplace in European football leagues, the recruitment of foreign-born players in Ethiopian football is a fairly recent trend. Some argue that these players will be good for the development of the sport, as they tend to bring new techniques, exposing players to the realities of competing with players from different countries. Others, however, argue that these players don’t bring much to local clubs and use up crucial resources, ultimately hindering the sport’s development. EBR adjunct staff writer Abiy Wendifraw spoke to football insiders to learn more about the debate.

Commercial registration and licensing is one of the legal concerns subjected to frequent changes in regulatory governance – and for good reason: It is a key legal instrument in regulating and governing the private sector. In today’s ever-shifting global economy, governments should stay abreast of the needs and desires of the business community, enacting laws that promote and regulate their activities.

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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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