Major traffic accidents have become an everyday occurrence in today’s Ethiopia. Traffic accidents killed more than 5,118 people during the past fiscal year alone. Beyond the statistic, there is the story of a father or mother, a son or daughter, a brother or sister, a grandchild, a colleague, or a classmate or friend whose life has been distorted in an instant by a road accident. EBR’s Ermias Mulugeta explores.


Although Addis Ababa is not new to clinical laboratories, their steep rise in number over the past decade has been extra-ordinary. Encouraged by the growth in demand for such services, investors are now more interested in spending their money on setting up these labs. The road to success, however, has been a bumpy one. Despite their soaring numbers, experts say they are still too few considering the population of the country. EBR’s Ermias Mulugeta explores.


The value of land has risen significantly in rural Ethiopia over the past few years. With the youth population rising alarmingly alongside a very sluggish rural transformation, landlessness has become a chronic problem. According to the central bank, youth aged 18 to 25 years account for more than 40% of the working age population of Ethiopia, and constitute the majority of landless people. On top of being landless, a considerable portion of them are currently unemployed. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale spoke with farmers, researchers, policymakers, and government officials to shed light on the matter.


If there is anyone that has a high level expertise over land related issues, Desalegn Rahmato, in his mid 80s, is definitely one. He spent much of his life undertaking researches regarding the agriculture sector, landholding system, and other land related issues. In fact, he is the most cited scholar on land policy, agriculture, and food security in Ethiopia. His presentations and intensive and authoritative researches are published on numerous international journals, earning him international awards.


For long, import business has been lucrative in Ethiopia, fetching relatively higher profits in a short period of time. However, this reality has been changing lately. With the persistent foreign currency shortage and import-discouraging policies of the government, many importers are now closing their doors, shifting to other sectors in search of better fortunes. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores.


A Step in the Right Direction?

Establishing a stock market has been a hot issue under discussion in Ethiopia for almost two decades. While some argue that there is a need for a capital market, citing the existing shortage of finance both in local and hard currencies, others disagree, mentioning the immature financial reporting and fragile corporate governance systems, absence of the required legal framework, and a very weak private sector. Meanwhile, the government’s position is firm: setting up a stock market in no less than a year, if possible, before the end of 2020. EBR’s Samson Berhane investigates to find out whether the country is ready to institute a stock exchange.


Over the past two decades, deposits mobilized by commercial banks have skyrocketed more than 300 times, thanks to the massive expansion strategies that they have adopted. Such growth does not, however, mean a boost in financial inclusion. About three-fourths of the Ethiopian population remains unbanked. To make matters worse, the rise in the cost of living, which has forced the real interest rate to remain in the below zero territory, is already discouraging both the banked and unbanked population from depositing their money in banks, especially in urban areas. As a result, the contribution of saving towards the economy remains low, and is further exacerbated by the inflationary pressure that is eating the disposable incomes of citizens. EBR’s Kiya Ali explores.


New Trend in Present Day Ethiopia

Regional governments are waking up and responding to burning economic issues. Unlike the top-down economic command chain under the former centralized government, regions have started strategizing on how to tap into and benefit from the huge opportunities in the economy. To end this and in contrast to trends of the past decade, they have set up separate offices for international relations and have started dealing with neighboring countries and non-regional towns. While such practices are welcomed by those calling for the economic sovereignty of states, it is feared that this would further sour the relations between the central and regional governments. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale writes.


Contemporary dance is growing in Ethiopian cities and towns. Talented youth in relatively large numbers join the dancing world despite the absence of specialized institutions or training centers teaching the art. It is also becoming a source of income for youngsters, although the payment is not ‘commensurate’ with their efforts. EBR’s Kiya Ali explores.

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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