Small scale farming holds a dominant role in Ethiopian Agriculture. Though productivity is still low, it employs almost 85Pct of the population, produce for consumption, export and industrial raw materials. That’s why; transforming the sector has been a priority for the government.
The annual production by small-scale farmers during the main harvesting season increased from 171 million quintals to 290.4 million quintals within the last ten years, showing a 70Pct increment.
However, with the surging population and looming climate change, experts stress that smallholder farmers cannot continue feeding themselves and the rest of the population and be engines for economic growth in the long run. Experts recommend that enough attention should be given to large scale farming. EBR’s Samson Hailu explores the saga behind small scale farming to offer this report.


Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina is the 8th President of the African Development Bank Group. He was elected for the position on May 28, 2015 by the Bank’s Board of Governors at its Annual Meeting in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Adesina is a distinguished economist and thought leader in agriculture with nearly three decades of experience gained though research, development interventions and policy making. He served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2011 to 2015, during which time he implemented bold policy reforms in the fertilizer sector and pursued innovative agricultural investment programmes to expand opportunities for the private sector. He is credited for ending Nigeria’s 40 years of corruption in the fertilizer sector by developing and implementing an innovative electronic wallet system. He also led financing initiatives to support youth engagement in agriculture as well as small and medium enterprises.
Before assuming his Ministerial position, Adesina was the Vice President (policy and partnerships) of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. He also served as Associate Director and Regional Director for the Southern Africa Office at the Rockefeller Foundation, for over a decade until 2008. He had also served as the President of the African Association of Agricultural Economists, and a member of the editorial board of several academic journals.
Adesina got a PhD in agricultural economics from Purdue University in 1988, USA, where he won the outstanding thesis award for that year.
EBR’s Amanyehun R. SiSAY caught the President who was attending the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa on July 3rd to discuss about his bold initiative of lighting Africa. The following is an excerpt:


Ethiopia has vigorously embarked on the expansion of light manufacturing industries. For that reason, it has been building industrial parks throughout the country. This is expected to boost export of manufactured goods, thereby reducing the long standing shortage of foreign currency problem. However, some experts are skeptic about this one sided attention of the government to industrialise the country. They argue that unless export promotion is complemented with import substitution, the effort is like clapping with one hand. That’s why expansion of heavy industries needs to be part of the long term strategy to reduce the stress the country has been through for lack of foreign currency. In fact, close to 50Pct of the USD18 billion import bills last year went to purchase metal and engineering products, which are produced by heavy industries. EBR examines the need for developing heavy industries in Ethiopia and how that can boost the country’s ever depleting foreign currency situation


Is Ethiopia Ready for Cyber Warfare?

With the growing use of information communication technologies, more and more organizations are increasingly becoming efficient. Business, education, even health care services are also getting more accessible. However, the battle between online protagonists and antagonists is at its highest point now than before. Ethiopia is no exception. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale consulted with technologists, government officials and research to explore the extent of the problem that the country could face and analyses its readiness to avert the challenges.


Breaching information communication protocol ranges from simple show-off of talent to theft of valuable data such as financial and security information. As these problems are fast increasing, it is necessitating a well equipped and proactively prepared cyber defense institutions. The Information Network Security Agency (INSA) is established to ensure the security of advancing critical infrastructures and industries that are vulnerable and going to be more vulnerable due to their reliance on computer. EBR sat down with Mohammed Idris, Special Advisor to the director general of the Agency, to discuss the magnitude of the problem Ethiopia faces and the preparedness of INSA to safeguard the country’s cyber space.


The excitement that engulfed Ethiopia when the men’s national football team qualified for the biggest soccer tournament in Africa four years ago is now more like a tale from a bygone era. The fans, as electrified as ever in supporting the national team, remain desperately hopeless about the team not able to make any real progress in the beautiful game. The losing streak of the team continues in recent international matches as leaders in the sport aim to take the team to the Olympics in 2020. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw gages the sentiment of the fans and the ambition of the sports’ officials.


Lack of Appropriate Policy Thwarts the Development of Social Enterprises

In many developing countries like Ethiopia, there are countless social problems to be addressed. These causes used to attract major sponsorships from donors in Europe, North America, Far East Asia and Australia. However, with the Syrian refugee crises taking the major global agenda, and Ethiopia having put in place a proclamation which affects the financial resources of civil societies in 2008, donations for civil society organizations is declining. This has pushed CSOs to look for alternative revenue generation schemes such as engaging in social businesses and looking for creative fundraising strategies to fill the funding gap. EBR’s Hiwot Salelew explores the issue.

Mauritius is one of the few successful African developmental states. Its prospect for growth in the 1960s was, to say the least, slim. It had a feature of all backward and mono-crop dependent economy. The island nation’s success largely depended on sugar export initially, an export-boom in garments to European markets later and an associated investment boom.

When South African university students took to the streets in 2016 as part of the “Fees Must Fall” protest movement, the “decolonization of the curriculum” was among the movement’s chief concerns. It was a pivotal moment in South Africa’s history, as young people rose to demand quality and accessible education. But a crucial question was missing from the debate over fees and curricular relevance: how can changes to higher education empower Africa’s youth to drive the continent’s economic transformation?

Since the Agrarian Revolution, technological progress has always fueled opposing forces of diffusion and concentration. Diffusion occurs as old powers and privileges corrode; concentration occurs as the power and reach of those who control new capabilities expands. The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution will be no exception in this regard.

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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