Zuriel Oduwole, the 16-year old documentary film maker and girls’ education activist, recently made a trip to Ethiopia to premiere her new documentary, “Follow the Ball for Education” to a group of female students and young professionals. The trip was part of a four-country tour around the world with the film, where Oduwole also spoke about the importance of educating girls. EBR’s Menna Asrat was on hand at the Radisson Blu Hotel to watch the documentary and speak with Oduwole about her work.


A New Hero for a New Generation

Comic books have been taking over the international pop culture scene for quite some time. With the surge in popularity of printed and online comic books, as well as blockbuster movies from comic-inspired cinematic universes, an increasing number of adults have started to revisit the comic books they loved in their childhoods, as well as introducing a new generation to the art.

In July 2018, while presenting a three-month report to Parliament, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) addressed the nation and the diaspora community. In his address, he spoke about the role of the diaspora in the development of the country and promoting Ethiopia to foreigners. He mentioned that the diaspora has the responsibility to convince potential tourists and investors to flow to the country. As a foreign resident, who has been living in a Scandinavian country for nearly 15 years, my reaction to his address was mixed. I have been coming to Ethiopia every year and I would like to speak about what the country needs to address before it starts to attract tourists, and what the role of the diaspora should be in promoting the country and creating a positive narrative of the nation.

It is an Africa-wide fact that the policies of the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) such as structural adjustment programs (SAPs) through what is called the “Washington consensus”, which includes privatization across Africa, have been the cause of African stagnation and poverty so far. Apart from liberalization, which includes devaluation and related macroeconomic policies, privatization was one of the key policies that Africans need to undertake in order to get aid from the WB and IMF and through their seal of approval from the Western countries.

In early June 2018, the Ethiopian government announced it would allow domestic and foreign investors to take stakes in Ethio Telecom, the state-owned telecoms firm and Ethiopian Airlines, the state-owned carrier. Other state-owned enterprises (SOEs) up for grabs are Ethiopian Power and Maritime Transport and Logistics Corporation. The state would still retain majority stakes in them, however. Regardless, it is a huge change in policy. In a speech to parliament in June, Abiy Ahmed suggested that any sale would be gradual, however; over 10 to 30 years. He was probably being mindful of political sensibilities. A serious plan could not be that long winding certainly.

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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