The victory at Adwa is an important achievement that represents Ethiopian unity. However, the virtues that historic battle — unity, freedom, equality and justice — seem to be eroding. Guzo Adwa is trying to reinvigorate the Ethiopian public through an annual journey to the battle site. EBR’s adjunct writer, Meseret Mamo explores how the annual trip inspires Ethiopian youth to learn from the heroes of Adwa.


In 2012, the Ethiopian government introduced a 150Pct export tax on hide, skins, and semi-processed leather products in order to encourage local value addition. The following years saw an increase in export revenues from finished leather products. Although the introduction of the tax created an opportunity for tanneries and leather factories by making a large amount of hide and skin available for the local market, a significant percentage of the raw materials available in the local market still remain unused. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the reasons behind this.


In the first six months of the current fiscal year, the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) collected ETB90.8 billion, which is 83Pct of the target set for the period and 39.5Pct of the target set for the current fiscal year. Officials stress that a growing number of taxpayers are declaring losses or no income on their annual income tax report and Value Added Tax (VAT) refund. Businesses argue that this is due to the slowdown of economic activities attributable to the scarcity of foreign currency, and recent political unrest in the country. Several companies claim that their sales turnover is declining while overhead costs rise, ultimately affecting their capacity to pay taxes. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the situation. 


Measuring its Impact on Coffee Exports

In October 2017, Ethiopia devalued its currency by 15Pct with the aim of boosting export and improving the current account deficit. Three months later, the impact appears to be positive, with export revival registered in some areas. For example, export proceeds from coffee hit a record high, reaching USD435 million in the first half of the current fiscal year, the highest increase since 2012.


After two decades of obscurity, handball is regaining ground in the world of Ethiopian sport. This year, for the first time in the country’s history, a handball premier league competition has been set up. The competition involves 10 clubs and is a milestone; a significant step taken not only to restore the sport’s former popularity in the country, but also to advance its status. EBR adjunct writer Abiy Wondifraw looks into the sport that’s making a comeback.


For a long time, restaurants in Ethiopia have been offering a wide variety of stews to their customers. These days, the ‘less is more’ philosophy has taken root in cities like Addis Ababa, where some restaurants are specializing in shiro, while others offer a small handful of options to go with the traditional stew. 


Since 1826, Pittards has been making high quality leather in England. The company set foot in Ethiopia in 2009 when it took over the management of the state owned Ethiopian Tannery. Two years later, the company bought the factory and started supplying leather to the four companies under Pittards Products Manufacturing (PPM). EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with Tsedenia Mekbib, managing director at Pittards Ethiopia, to learn more. 


Established in 1998, EthioAgri-CEFT is a private company operating under MIDROC Ethiopia Investment Group and engaged in the production and processing of various agricultural crops. The company owns two of the three commercial tea plantations currently operating in Ethiopia: WushWush and Gumaro, in South Western part of the country. The company began exporting tea to the global market five years ago and introduced Ethiopia’s tea to international buyers. EBR sat down with Isayas Kebede, general manager, to learn more about the company’s efforts to penetrate the global tea market and the challenges it is facing.

At this year’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, participants did not question the basic building blocks of growth in today’s global economy: free markets, good governance, and investment in human capital and infrastructure. But they did criticize how unfairly the benefits of growth are being distributed. Rightly so: without a strong policy response aimed at building a more inclusive growth model, rising populism and economic nationalism will impair the functioning of markets and overall macroeconomic stability – potentially cutting short the current global recovery.

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