Lose Code Enforcement Exacerbates Construction Accidents

Construction plays a key role in Ethiopia’s growth narrative. Building construction, a core sub sector of the industry, plays a vital role in catalyzing the growth momentum.
Despite its promises, the safety of construction workers and residents remain problematic especially in big cities like Addis Ababa where massive construction projects are under way. In the current fiscal year alone, 22 people died and 34 workers were injured at construction sites in the capital due to the lack of safety measures.
The sector is plagued by negligence and poor capacity of contractors. Even though the country has a policy and code to ensure quality and safety, it’s not properly implemented due to mediocrity and institutional inefficiency of regulatory organs. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the issue to offer this report.


Ambassador Girma Birru Geda on Ethio-US Relations

Girma Birru Geda is a familiar name in Ethiopian politics in general and the private sector in particular. This is because of the long years of distinguished public service he had provided.
Before becoming Ambassador to the United States and nonresident Ambassador of Ethiopia to Mexico and Jamaica, Girma served as Minister of Trade and Industry from 2001 to 2010. He had been a Minister of Economic Development and Cooperation for six years before that.
Ambassador Girma started his career as an economist in the Office of the Council of Ministers in 1982. Since then, he also served, representing Ethiopia, as alternate governor of the World Bank and of the African Development Bank and as a board member of the PTA Bank, currently known as the Trade and Development Bank from 1995 to 2001.
Girma had offered leadership to several public enterprises. He had been a chairman and member of the board of directors of the then Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, Development Bank of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Investment Agency, Ethiopian Roads Authority, and the World Bank-funded Ethiopian Social Rehabilitation Development Fund.
The soft spoken and detail oriented politician holds a master’s degree in Economic Policy and Planning from the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands; and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Addis Ababa University.
EBR’s Amanyehun SiSAY visited the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington DC and has the privilege of conversing with the able diplomat on a broad range of issues including the current state of diplomatic, economic, trade and investment relations between Ethiopia and the United States. They have discussed about the need to productively engage the Ethiopian Diaspora in the development of the country and other issues. The following is an excerpt.


Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) was established with the mission of revolutionizing Ethiopia’s traditional agricultural marketing through creation of a new trading platform. In its 10 years of service, the Exchange has established a marketing system that is transparent, efficient, and innovative. This contributes to the overall transformation of Ethiopia’s agriculture. However, the Exchange is not without criticism. It’s been belittled for focusing more on few export commodities than modernizing the whole commodity trading. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores its achievements and challenges.


Ermias Eshetu has been the CEO of Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) since January 2015. Before joining ECX, he was vice president for marketing and corporate services at Zemen Bank. He had previously worked with multi-national organizations such as IBM, Alcatel, Orange and Micro Strategy.
Ermias has a master’s degree in international business and a bachelor’s degree in computation from the University of Manchester. In connection with the soon to be celebrated ten years anniversary of the Exchange, EBR sat down with Ermias to discuss about the performance of the Exchange and the challenges it faced while working to modernise Ethiopia’s traditional agricultural commodity trading.


Flexible packaging materials are known for making products more convenient, enjoyable, and safer for consumers. These add value and marketability especially to food and beverage products.
Triggered by the country’s ambitious plan of industrialization, the demand for flexible packaging is growing in Ethiopia. However, the few companies in the country produce less than 10Pct of the local demand. EBR’s Hiwot Salelew explores the pushing factors for the surge in demand and how companies are responding to this.


Boxing was introduced to Ethiopia 55 years ago. However, the game is still struggling for popularity. Had the sport got the attention it deserves, some stakeholders argue, it could have become a national success. However, Ethiopia was not even able to send a boxer to the London and Rio Olympic games due to financial constraints. The absence of local competitions is a key problem to the sport’s development. EBR’s adjunct writer Abiy Wendifraw spoke with stakeholders to learn about the current status of the game.


In Addis Ababa, where a third of Ethiopia’s urban population reside, a considerable number of people live in vulnerable and highly depleted houses and slum neighbourhoods. Not a small number of people also live without even the minimum liveable shelter – near riversides, garbage dumpsites and streets. These people are exposed to numerous health and life risks. The recent garbage dump landslide at Koshe, which killed 115 people and injured 54, is an unfortunate reminder of the risk. The summer will exacerbate the risk of flooding and communicable diseases. EBR’s Hiwot Salelew explores the extent of the problem; and the city’s preparedness to address that.

Quality is a flamboyant concept. It’s just hoax because it means different things for different people according to their experience, perception, desire or orientation. For some quality is being the best, for others it means being unique. Still for others quality means serving purpose. There are also others who consider quality as being different from the past. Therefore, discussions on quality issues may not bear results unless they are started with conversations that contribute to creating a common understanding.

The word “openness” has two related but distinct connotations. It can mean that something is unrestricted, accessible, and possibly vulnerable; or it can mean that something, such as a person or institution, is transparent, as opposed to secretive.

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