The Puzzle of Intermittent Power Outage While the Nation Invests Heavily in Power Generation

In Sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly 600 million people live without electricity according to the Rockefeller Philanthropy, Ethiopia has been a champion of investment in renewable energy. With billions of US dollar investment made in power generations since 1991, the country has increased power production to more than 4200MW. This is an enormous achievement especially when one notes that the country produce only 378MW in 1991. The production will surpass 10,000MW when the USD4.8 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam starts power production.
However, within this phenomenal achievement lies an astounding truth – residents and industries suffering from erratic power outages on daily basis. Not only that, up to 30Pct of the power generated are lost due to poor distribution lines exacerbating the already unreliable power supply. The cost has been terrible on personal, institutional and state level. Unregulated power voltages sometimes damage properties and companies fail to produce per target due to power interruption. The implication of these to the national economy is considerable. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie delved into this complicated matter and consulted researches to shed light on this gruesome reality. He has spoken to government officials and experts to understand what the nation is doing to provide reliable power supply.


Misused Public Spaces

In cities like Addis Ababa where urban spaces are scares as hen’s teeth, roundabouts offer a great deal of public space to display monuments and other forms of public art to document history, culture and commemorate figurative personalities and occasions. Luckily the redevelopment and expansion of existing and new roads has created more roundabouts in the city reaching 83 as of recently.
However, little has been done by the city government to develop these public spaces so that they serve their rightful purposes. To the disappointment of many, private companies have been scrambling them to display their commercials in the name of development. This is amid the fact that the city has erected no single monument in 25 years in honour of a national hero in such public spaces. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie spoke with city officials, architects and art historians and also consulted researches to offer this report.


The Driving Factors Behind, the Implications on the Economy

For a new visitor of Addis Ababa, the thriving construction sector in many parts of the city and lofty traffic jam might suggest about the growing economy in the country. This is indeed part of a sign of an economy undergoing rapid growth for over a decade. As more and more people get richer, they tend to develop appetite for acquiring properties caused by lifestyle changes, among other reasons.
However, there is a concealed factor as to why individuals and corporate entities rush into spending their money in the acquisition of real assets such as vehicle, land and building.
In a country where population doubles every 25 years and per capita income grows fast, while real assets such as land are finite resources, it is common for buyers to rush to acquire the scarce resources. Inflation and inflationary expectations, which Ethiopia has been experiencing for over a decade, further drive the demand for property acquisition. Buyers use them as a strategy to evade the adverse effects of inflation.
The trend is dangerous because it diverts scarce resources that should be used for investment in the productive sectors of the economy. Macroeconomists argue that the situation calls for improving the entire macroeconomic governance because the continuation of resource misallocation ruins the pillars the national economy rests upon.


According to the World Bank, Turkey’s performance since 2000 has been impressive. Macroeconomic and fiscal stability were at the heart of its performance, enabling increased employment and incomes and making Turkey an upper-middle-income country with around USD9000 per capita. Poverty incidence halved over 2002–12, and extreme poverty fell even faster. During this time, Turkey urbanized dramatically, opened up to foreign trade and finance, harmonized many laws and regulations with European Union (EU) standards, and greatly expanded access to public services.
Ethiopia also achieved notable economic progress in those years. Its double digit growth since 2003 helped the country reduce absolute poverty significantly. It also managed to mobilize a large sum of domestic resource to self finance huge development projects.
Although the two countries are at apparently different levels of development, there are commonalities in their success stories.
EBR’s Tinbete Ermyas visited Istanbul, Turkey’s major economic hub, two times in the past three months and reflects how Ethiopia can learn from Turkey’s way of development.


Farewell of the Athletic Giant

Miruts Yifter, 5000 and 10000m double winner at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, is a legendary persona in the long distance running. He was the only Ethiopian who won double gold medals until Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele did a similar victory in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Miruts is best known by his nickname “Yifter the Shifter” for his devastating finishing speed.
The athletic giant, aged 72, passed away on December 22, 2016 in Toronto, Canada, where he lived for over 15 years. In a well attended funeral, his body finally rested at St. Trinity Cathedral Church in Addis Ababa. EBR’s adjunct writer Abiy Wendifraw spoke with the athlete’s running mate, families and members of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation to prepare his obituary.

Key Issues to Consider While Negotiation

Because of the booming hospitality industry in Ethiopia and the ever-increasing awareness of hotel owners about management contracts, hotel management by brand-affiliated operators is fast increasing. These contracts grant operational control of a brand – in this case, an international brand hotel chain – to a management company, usually based in the country of operation, in exchange for a fee.In consideration of this fact, the government has issued a basic regulatory framework of franchising to fill the gap in the absence of a detailed franchise law.

Since 2013, when Thomas Piketty published his much-discussed study of the distribution of income and wealth, inequality has been at the forefront of public debate in most advanced economies, blamed for everything from slow growth and stagnating productivity to the rise of populism and the Brexit vote. But inequality remains poorly defined, its effects highly variable, and its causes hotly debated.

Immediately after World War II ended, a new phrase entered the economic lexicon: “dollar shortage.” European economies were coping with extensive war-related damage and a broad array of impediments to their efforts to rebuild their industrial base. At the time, the United States was the only provider of capital equipment for reconstruction. So, without access to US dollars, Europe’s economies could not obtain the inputs needed to increase their exports.


Lemma Guya Gemeda is noted for his realistic portrayal of Ethiopian figures through portraits. Despite this notoriety, he began his career in an unlikely manner. EBR’s adjunct writer Meseret Mamo visited his gallery, African Arts and Training Museum, in his hometown of Bishouftu and spoke with the illustrious painter to learn about his artistic trajectory.

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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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