African countries exported USD476.6 billion dollars of goods in2018, 12.8Pct higher than the 2017 average. The figure is however 11.3Pct lower than the aggregate export earnings of 2014. In comparison, global exports from all countries worldwide equaled USD19.2 trillion in 2018, of which Africa’s export represent an estimated 2.5Pct.


China’s rapidly rising economic and commercial relations with Africa have received much global attention in recent years. Over the last twenty years, China has climbed from being a relatively small investor in Africa to becoming its largest economic partner. Most importantly, China’s billions of dollars in aid and financing have helped many African countries, including Ethiopia, to pursue their most ambitious infrastructure development projects. However, as debt to the Asian Giant piles up, some experts fear the cost. EBR’s Samson Berhane investigates.


Hilina Belete is one of the few entrepreneurs in Ethiopia who have managed to take a family business to the next level, making it a successful and strong contender in the food industry. She is the CEO of Hilina Enriched Foods Processing, at which she worked in various posts before taking it over from her father. It took Hilina more than a decade to be what she is today. When the 32-year old entrepreneur took the CEO post, the company was not well-known as it is now. But after a joint venture agreement with ONYX.S.A.S (Group Nutriset) of France, overseen by Hilina, the company pioneered the production of high quality nutritional and fortified foods for both the institutional and commercial market in Ethiopia and East Africa region. This includes Plumpy‘nut (RUTF), Plumpy’ sup (RUSF), Sheba Peanut Butter and Sheba Peanut Splits. With hundreds of employees and through its network of local suppliers, Hilina attempts to fill the gap in the country’s efforts to raise food security.

New Marketing Ideas Take Over Addis

Teaser advertising is a new marketing concept slowly emerging in Ethiopia. Wegagen Bank as well as Habesha and United breweries are among the companies that have used teaser campaigns as a part of their marketing strategies in recent times. Teaser ads can generate curiosity and buzz, which may ultimately have a strong impact on the marketability of a certain product or service. However, some experts argue that the approach is costly because the success of a teaser campaign depends on the number of times teaser ads are presented to the consumer. EBR’s Kiya Ali reports.


Investors Fail to React to Political Risks

During the political unrest that has plagued the country over the last three years, many businesses were burned, looted and damaged by protestors. Investors lost hundreds of millions of birr in property. Capitalizing on these opportunities, insurance companies have started introducing new policy known as political violence and terrorism insurance. At first, there was high demand for the new policies, but that was short lived. The renewal rate is low, while new investors are disinterested in the coverage. EBR’s Samson Berhane explores.


Why Ethiopian sesame designaTed for export costs more locally than the international price

The price of sesame on the local market is ballooning. As accessing foreign currency becomes challenging for importers, many are turning to the export business as a way to retain some foreign currency and continue their work. This, coupled with other speculation, resulted in the price of sesame on the local market rising as high as USD230 a quintal, USD70 higher than the international price. Although the central bank enacted a directive that bans exporting at a loss beyond five percent, many are shipping the commodity despite making losses as high 60Pct of the original price of the product. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores.


Ethiopia is one of the countries that are highly vulnerable to climate change. The number of people at risk due to climate change is increasing drastically. As rural livelihood systems, like crop cultivation, pastoralism and agro-pastoralism, remain highly exposed to dynamic and unpredictable climatic conditions, the increase in drought and desertification have resulted in significant losses of arable land and increased dependency on food aid, and has resulted in diminishing water resources and hunger. Climate change is also putting pressure on the country’s economy. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale investigates the extent of the problem.


Adefris Worku (PhD), is director of Climate Science Research at the Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute. He has conducted various research on climate change that has sbeen published on local and foreign journals. He blames the government for giving little attention to the forestry sector. Although schemes like carbon trading can have a positive impact on the country’s reforestation efforts, he stresses that it is only after the government focuses on the area that the nation can recover from the adverse impacts of climate change. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with him to further understand the issues the country is facing.


Is the new Initiative Going to Address the Problem?

The number of businesses that return or fail to renew their licenses has increased over the last couple of years. At the federal level, 14,096 businesses returned their licenses in 2018, while 328,265 businesses didn’t renew their licenses in the past ten years. A decline in business activities and political unrest, coupled with forex shortages and a lack of raw materials, problems which have not been solved for many years contribute to the problem. The government, which is aware of the issue, recently launched a new initiative to solve the challenges faced by the private sector. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale reports.


Addis Ababa, home to over four million people, used to be a base for several football clubs. Its main stadium hosts many games, allowing sport fans to spend time watching local football. But in recent years, the number of Addis-based football clubs that play in the Ethiopian Premier League, dwindled to three from more than 10 five years ago. EBR’s adjunct writer Abiy Wendifraw looks into the matter to understand the reason behind the decline, and its consequences.

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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