The banking industry is witnessing its biggest change at a pace not observed for the past two decades. With different reforms undertaken by the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed-led administration, for the first time in a decade, new entrants are on the verge of joining the banking industry. So far, 11 full-fledged Islamic, investment, mortgage, and conventional banks are under establishment. Majority of them are joining with higher paid up capital, a move criticized for being unwise as it’s likely to affect shareholders’ return. EBR’s Samson Berhane spoke with industry insiders, experts, and officials to find out the likely impact of the new players in the banking industry.


Born in Gojam, northern part of Ethiopia, Atalay Alem (Prof.), married and a father of two, is among few Ethiopians specialized in the field of psychiatry. Graduating from Addis Ababa University in 1983 in medicine, Atalay first worked as a junior medical officer and later as a medical director at Adigrat District Hospital. A year later, he joined Amanuel Hospital, the only psychiatric hospital in the country where he gained three years of experience in mental healthcare. Soon after, he received training in clinical psychiatry at Victoria University of Manchester, UK.

Nine years later, he attained his Ph D. at Umeå University in Sweden. After returning to Ethiopia, Atalay worked for tof Amanuel Mental Hospital as a psychiatrist for many years and then as a medical director of the Hospital for six years before joining Addis Ababa University as an Assistant Professor in 2000. He also led the establishment of the College of Health Science as a separate and autonomous entity under the auspices of Addis Ababa University a decade ago.


Is it the right model to sustain Ethiopia’s growth momentum?

A year after parliament legislated a proclamation governing Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), a Saudi firm has become the first to be awarded the construction of two solar power projects under such scheme. Another 15 projects, on the basis of PPPs, will soon be awarded to winning companies. While such a move is expected to fill the huge financing gap in the electricity sector, there is hope that this will have a positive impact on the efficiency, equity and quality provision of services.
While the idea of PPPs in general is theoretically appealing, its practical implementation in developing countries is not as easy as theory suggests. Perhaps partly for that reason, a large number of implemented PPPs have left the contractual parties dissatisfied, indicating that either developing countries, investors, or both may have had unattainable expectations. Experts fear this may happen in Ethiopia as well. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores.


Teshome Taffese (PhD), State Minister of Finance (MoF), is the mastermind who led MoF to institutionalize Public Private Partnerships (PPP), a new model expected to fill the infrastructure financing gap existing in the country. Prior to this political assignment, he has conducted dozens of case studies in numerous countries, particularly on public finance, infrastructure development and PPPs. Teshome stresses that under the circumstances, Ethiopia has no option but maximizing the exploitation of PPPs. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with him to understand what has been done thus far.


Ethiopian exporters are almost blind to international accreditation and certification systems. Even though there are significant outsourcing market opportunities in Europe, USA and Japan, Ethiopian exporters could not benefit from this, largely because they fail to meet standards. Such problems are not uncommon across sectors prioritized by the Ethiopian government, including coffee, leather, textile, garment, fruits and honey. The presence of few quality accrediting companies, both private and local, does not help Ethiopia buck this trend, chiefly because they lack international accreditation. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale probes into the matter.


Is it applicable in Ethiopia

Recently, officials of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) pledged to implement a market-driven exchange rate regime over the next three years. Governor of the NBE, Yinager Dessie, said that his government will opt for a more flexible foreign exchange market to stabilize the level of its currency, deemed overvalued by the IMF. While this is a decision welcomed by the Bretton Woods institutions, it also stirred up controversies over its relevance in solving the forex crisis which has existed for over two decades. Experts fear that it would worsen inflationary pressures and result in an economic crisis shortly thereafter. EBR’s Kiya Ali explores.


Cottage industry is a segment of the economy whose importance is usually sidelined in Ethiopia. Though accounting for an insignificant share of the economy, it is still believed to be a source of income for many relying on the production of handicrafts and small industry items. Requiring a very small amount of capital, cottage industries employ below 10 individuals and are known for very quality products that are hand-made and preferred by environment-sensitive consumers. Now, this traditional manufacturing system is facing extinction as the government prioritizes medium and large enterprises as well as industrial parks. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale investigates


Table tennis used to be one of the most popular sports in urban parts of Ethiopia. Besides being a source of entertainment, it was a profession which many were interested to specialize in. But, the low-level attention given to the sport has led to its demise. Even though there are many throughout Ethiopia interested in being a table tennis player, it seems like there is no one interested in nurturing such skills. EBR adjunct writer Abiy Wondifraw reports.


Neither homeless people nor street children are not new to Addis Ababa. They have existed for decades along with the growing urbanization in the country. Now it is believed that there are more than 150,000 street children and homeless people in Ethiopia and more than half of them live on the streets of the capital. The problem is far from over, even after the rehabilitation programs implemented by the city administration, federal government, and NGOs. EBR’s Kiya Ali writes.

Key to prosperity

Connectivity is the essence of life and integral to our survival and growth. It creates synergy and develops symbiotic relationships. In this competitive age, decision making remains the key for development. Connectivity through digitization has brought in speed, accuracy and adequacy of information to decision makers. It has also enabled people to make the right decisions for creating a sustainable future through innovation.

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