Mulugeta Beyene
Director, Manufacturers & Duty Free Support, ERCA

Ethiopia offers financial incentives such as tax reductions and holidays, as well as custom duty exemptions to companies engaged especially in manufacturing activities. But incentives are given and monitored in a scattered and uncoordinated manner. To address the issue, the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) is currently establishing a directorate that will follow up and monitor the proper use of incentives, which have been exposed to abuse. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with Mulugeta Beyene, director of the newly established Manufacturers and Duty Free Support Directorate at ERCA to learn more about the government’s plans to enforce proper usage of incentives.


The Growing use of Drones in Ethiopia

The growing use of drones in cinematography is helping to increase the quality of Ethiopian-made films and music videos. However, the laws that govern the import and usage of drones are vague, with many people not aware of the agency that is responsible for regulating them. Many people have even been forced to return the drones they bring in from foreign countries. This has led to smuggled drones becoming the most available on the market. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale looks into the effects that unclear regulations and strict follow up by security forces have on those who work with drones.


From traditional small producers who sell their products in shops in Shiro Meda to international fashion designers, the traditions and patterns associated with Ethiopian traditional garments are making their mark all over the world. However, between fluctuating foreign exchange rates, and the unstable cotton market, some producers and sellers are finding themselves crowded out of the market. The age-old techniques of weaving traditional clothing are competing with modern machine woven textiles, cheaper imported fabrics, and a shrinking number of people willing to learn the craft. EBR’s Menna Asrat reports.


What Goes Up Doesn’t Always Come Down

Since August 2017, the general year-on-year inflation has ballooned, exacerbated by a devaluation that came into the picture last October. In similar manner, food inflation has been severe and reached 19.9 Pct last month. The rapid rise of food price, on the other hand, highly affects urban wage earners living on limited and fixed incomes. EBR’s Samson Berhane investigates the issues behind it.


Born in Aksum, in the state of Tigray, Selome grew up with parents who were both teachers. This contributed to her outspoken and outgoing personality. After completing her primary and secondary education in Addis Ababa, she went to Addis Ababa University during the Dergue regime. But she didn’t finish her studies. Instead, she went to Eastern Europe and enrolled at the University of Belorussia, in the then-Soviet Union. After her third year, Selome dropped out and went first to West Germany, and then South Hadley, Massachusetts where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations.


On April 3, 2018, Members of the Parliament convened to endorse Abiy Ahmed (PhD), as Prime Minister of Ethiopia. This filled the vacuum created by the resignation of former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who announced his decision to step down in mid-February with the hope of ending the unrest and political upheaval that has rocked the country since 2015.

Although travel and tourism competitiveness is underdeveloped in Sub-Saharan Africa, the performance of Eastern African countries has been the most improved among the sub regions of the continent, according to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum. Neighboring countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda were among Sub-Saharan countries that made it to the top ten list.  Mozambique, which rose eight places to 122nd, was the most improved nation in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The recent revelation that more than 50 million Facebook profiles were harvested by app and given to political consultancy Cambridge Analytica has produced a backlash against the platform. But it is just the latest example of the risks associated with the Internet, which forms the core of today’s digital revolution.


Is the Youth Fund a viable solution to tackle unemployment?

Youth unemployment has been a pressing issue for the government of Ethiopia for a long time, but at no other time has it become such an issue of national concern. The glut of graduates from rapidly spreading higher education institutions, coupled with the lack of jobs in both rural and urban areas has contributed to the rising political instability in all regions, leading to injury, property destruction and even death. To try and address the problem, the President of Ethiopia, Mulatu Teshome, (PhD) announced an ETB 10 billion revolving youth fund to help youths create their own opportunities. However, the administration and disbursement of the fund has not been as expected in Addis. EBR’s Samson Berhane looks at the reasons behind the underperformance.

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