It has been nearly six months since the Coronavirus made its landmark in Ethiopia. As has been the case around the entire world, businesses have crumbled under the immense pressure the pandemic has exerted upon economic and social life. With the Ethiopian new year up on us, the pressure seems to have persisted as the sectors hit hard by the realities of a world under pandemic have not recovered enough or recovered at all. Kiya Ali looks into the business side of the social celebrations associated with the new year.


The age old claim of Ethiopians that their country is the cradle of mankind has been scientifically proven right. Archaeology and carbon dating have provided evidence that early mankind hailed out of present day Ethiopia. Since then, we have heard a number of internationally recognized people from across the world site that fact to claim that everyone is Ethiopian after all.


The Ethiopian Job Creation Commission along with other research institutions predicted during the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic in Ethiopia that the health problem would end up slashing 1.5 million jobs in a few months. Fast forward a few months and the commission has announced that the governmental goal of creating three million jobs has been achieved. Some experts and citizens interested in the matter have all be surprised by the report. Kiya Ali looks into the matter.


Shortage of cement is one of the identifying characteristics of the Ethiopian economy over the past eight years. Despite completely substituting cement imports by local production, the dynamics of Ethiopia’s cement market have drastically changed since 2018. Cement shortage has become very normal, while unexplained price hikes of the item have shaken the construction industry. Even though the government has taken different administrative measures going as far as price caps, the problem is far from over. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale investigates. 


It only took little Mohammed Nuri three years to complete the six grades in elementary school. These were early signs of him being an extra-ordinary student. He lived up to those early expectations when he passed the Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate Examination (ESLCE) with flying colors and joined Jimma Medical School at the tender age of sixteen. A kid from a poor family of not well-educated parents who came to Addis Ababa from a village in rural Ethiopia, Mohammed always sought to one day change their lives. The prime motivator behind Mohammed’s decision to join medical school was the relatively higher pay it offered. Medical doctors received a salary of ETB835 back then as opposed to about ETB600 for B.A holders in some other fields. When he was just a freshman, however, his mother passed away after the medication she needed could not be found following a surgical procedure. That moment of grief dawned on him the importance of raising the availability of pharmaceuticals in the country. By the time he graduated, Dr. Mohammed realized that it would be difficult to change things around with that salary. He declined an offer to teach at Jimma University and went into business instead.


The liberal free mar-ket economy Ethiopia adopted under the reign of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Demo-cratic Party (EPRDF) has been a start of the growth of the private sector. Under such an economy, major public and private compa-nies (especially those operating in finance) access the bulk of money pumped into the market. Then, this huge money trickles down under small pours to the society at large. As has been evident in cities that have made the transi-tion to metropolitan status, the skyline of Addis has welcomed high rising buildings serving as the headquarters of the elite com-panies in the country.


Ten-year plans are not that common in the national planning endeavors of modern Ethiopia. Five-year plans, on the other hand, spell the standard for the governments that have administered the country since the 1950s. Breaking that tradition, the incumbent has formulated a Ten-Year Perspective Plan (TYPP). Ashenafi Endale looks into the five major criticisms scholars raise against the planning document.  

Despite academic recommendations of integrated water management and sustainable development among countries sharing trans boundary rivers to achieve social equity, economic growth, environmental and ecological protection, there is always misunderstanding and sometimes conflict among upper and lower riparian countries. There have been such problems in the Nile basin in Africa, Tigris and Euphrates in the Middle East, Aral Sea basin in Central Asia, Parana basin in South America and Ganges basin in Asia. The fact remains that a uniform mechanism/convention to manage trans boundary water resources does not exist. Some water related customary and general principles of international law have, however, become the basis of major international conventions, treaties and agreements for trans boundary water resources cooperative management.

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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