Since October 2017, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) made a series of monetary policy adjustments such as devaluating the local currency, increasing the interest rate, and introducing a credit ceiling on commercial banks in an attempt to sustain the economic growth achieved in the last decade. However, the policy alterations have had mixed outcomes. Investors, especially those engaged in the service sector, complain about the lack of available credit, which they say worsened after the NBE made the policy changes. On the other hand, the banking industry continues to perform better despite challenges. EBR’s Samson Berhane investigates the different impacts of the monetary policy implemented in recent months.


Kebour Ghenna Desta is a household name in the Ethiopian business community. He served as President of the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce for four years, from 1997 to 2001; and also as President of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce. Not only that, Kebour is a multidisciplinary professional known for his active role in media leadership, having established the oldest English business newspaper,  Capital, in 1998. He also founded and still serves as the Executive Director of Initiative Africa (IA), a non-governmental organisation known in recent years for organising the Addis International Film Festival (AIFF), Ethiopia’s annual week-long event showcasing documentary films from around the world.

Gross written premium in the insurance industry showed a significant rise in the first half of the current fiscal year. The aggregate premium written by all private insurance firms reached five billion birr during this period. The lion’s share of the premium, accounting for 90Ppct of the total, is collected from general insurance lines of businesses such as Motor Insurance. The remaining comes from life insurance.


In the midst of frosty relations between the United States and Russia, outgoing US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Minister of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov both visited Addis Ababa in the begining of March. Both ministers met with Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Workeneh Gebeyehu, although there were no formal meetings between Lavrov and Tillerson. Relations between the United States and Russia have taken a notably frosty turn since the election of President Donald Trump last year and allegations of Russian meddling in the US election. Although the presidents of both countries denied any meddling, 13 Russians were indicted in mid-February for interfering in the US election.

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