Respected economists have long pointed out that gross domestic product (GDP) is an inadequate measure of economic development and social well-being, and thus should not be policymakers’ sole fixation. Yet we have not gotten any closer to finding a feasible alternative to GDP.

On October 11, 2017, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) devaluated the birr by 15Pct against the basket of major hard currencies. According to the press briefing given by Yohannes Ayalew, vice governor of the NBE, the motive behind the devaluation was to encourage exports and attract investment.

As revealed later in the explanatory note attached to the bill introduced to parliament regarding federal government supplementary budget, this time around, the NBE’s measure was a means to raise money and contribute to windfall tax that was later earmarked to make significant contribution to the budget.

The private sector in Ethiopia is positioned as a supplement to the state-owned economy. In the last 55 years, the share of the private sector in the gross domestic product (GDP) has remained low at an average of 12.5Pct. Currently, it stands at 20Pct. This means that the ability of the private sector to organize and push for regulatory reforms has been limited because of the top-down approach to development. In this article, I advocate for bottom-up, local, and endogenous approach to private sector development in order to increase the size of private sector, its organizational capacity, and its political and economic role.

From London to Lagos, “affordable housing” has become an oxymoron. In most cities, rents and home prices have increased faster than incomes, and in urban areas with robust job markets, housing stocks have failed to keep pace with demand. Some 330 million urban households either live in substandard housing, or pay more for their housing than they can afford. If current trends are not reversed, that number could grow to 440 million by 2025.

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