When the massive edible oil factories, Phibela and W.A., were inaugurated with state fanfare, many believed Ethiopia would no longer face cooking oil shortages, even to the extent that imports would be fully substituted with local production. Six months after the launching of the two giants, cooking oil has become a precious commodity in Addis Ababa with prices rising.
With over 2.7 million liters demanded every day, Ethiopian currently imports 1.3 million liters. Though the daily supply from medium- and large-scale factories in the country has dramatically increased from last year’s 228,800 to 992,876 liters currently, it is still far less than their installed capacities of 3.4 million liters.

Even with blossoming local production, there is in excess of 10.4 million liters in supply gap every month. Lack of power supply and raw materials is crippling even the big oil complexes, as most of the oilseed production is exported to fetch foreign currency for importers. EBR’s Mersha Tiruneh explores government’s misguided policy and the extra effort edible oil factories are undertaking towards farming their own supply of oilseeds.


Although the number of higher education institutions and students has been meteorically rising, the last few years has seen families reluctant from sending their children to campuses outside their area of comfort. Some of those who dared do so waited anxiously for months for the return of their children stranded on campuses engulfed with ethnic politics and war. The minority that can afford private tertiary education are receiving substandard schooling mostly in business fields. Labor market proportions, university-industry linkages, and nation building endeavors are being upended.
Unlike Ethiopia’s political movement of the 1960s, which was spearheaded by politically organized university students, contemporary politics is operated by full-time politicians who recharacterize narrations to fit their alternative reality and use universities and students as pawns in their game. EBR’s Trualem Asmare explores the extent of empty registrars and whether the changing nature of politics and the election can change things and give hope to students.

The Need to Take Necessary Precautions to Avoid Regret. (Part II)

In the first part of this article, I illustrated some of the national economic and political hardship that can follow financial sector liberalization with empirical evidence from Argentina and Turkey. In this and final part, I shall present two success stories related to financial liberalization: Ghana and China. I will also suggest what Ethiopia should do to minimize the costs and maximize the benefits of its seemingly inevitable liberalization of finance.


Solomon Goshu, is Program Officer at International Media Support and Foyo, international media development institutions backed by Denmark and Sweden that provide media capacity building, research and development, coalition building, and management. The program in Ethiopia focuses on media reform, professionalism, and inclusion.
Solomon is also Coordinator of the national committee established three years ago to revise Ethiopian media laws after having been a journalist for ten years, including as a senior editor at The Reporter newspaper. He is a Lecturer at Addis Ababa University School of Law and has undertaken various research on Ethiopian media from a legal and journalistic perspective.


The breadth to which the success of Ethiopian athletics reaches is truly a wonder. First acquainted with the nation on a journalistic assignment in the 1980s, Jiro Mochizuki has since been attached to Ethiopian track and field greats and the nation at large. Befriending the great Haile Gebreselassie along the way, the Japanese frequently visits Ethiopia and is one of the professional photographers capturing the Great Ethiopian Run. Though disappointed with Ethiopia’s performance in his home town, his inspirational book of Haile is a testament to the running legend and the warming relationship between Ethiopia and her admirer. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw visited Jiro in Tokyo during the Olympics.


Economic opportunities accessible to women are primarily tied to financing, and lack of working space to a lesser extent. Studies show that women, though with less access to loans, are better loan performers in terms of repayment and society trickle-down effects. Those that do access microloans are stuck in their success as there are no avenues to transition into larger bank loans due to collateral and guarantor requirements and commercial banks have a loan appraisal systems largely incompatible with the needs of small business owners. EBR’s Mariamawit Gezahegn assesses the current financial environment as well as suggestions that are critical to gender equality and empowering women.

It was Malcolm X, the African-American Human Rights Activist, who said that “media is the most powerful entity on earth.” Especially in the western world, it is regarded as the most powerful actor in the political realm. In fact, it is so important that it is often called the unofficial fourth branch of government.

For long, Ethiopia has been known as a hostile country for journalists with a leading record amongst the global community of nations for jailing and incriminating media professionals. This record finally changed in 2019, a year which passed with zero journalists imprisoned and incriminated. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrated that year’s World Press Freedom Day in Addis Ababa, as recognition for the country improving the state of its media since the coming to power of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and to further encourage the opening up of the space for media freedom.


Terje Skjerdal, is Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at the Norwegian NLA University College, with decades of engagement with Ethiopian media with a focus on the conduction of research in collaboration with Addis Ababa University. In February 2021, Skjerdal published “Ethnification of the Ethiopian Media,” a research peace alongside Mulatu Alemayehu (PhD).

He argues that although it seems that ethnicity has become the new mainspring, it has always been an undercurrent in the Ethiopian media and journalism landscape. EBR had an audience with him to learn more about recent developments observed in the media sector.


Adugna Debela (PhD) took the role of Director General at the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority three years ago, at a time when the coffee value chain was misplaced and badly affecting quality and export volumes. He immediately managed to implement the vertical marketing strategy which enabled coffee growers and suppliers to export directly. This, and other undertakings in the coffee sphere, enabled it to gather record foreign currency earnings—USD927 million. The price of Ethiopian specialty coffee also grew over the last two years by 35Pct.

Meaningfully exporting processed coffee is the next hurdle to overcome. This is a much tougher task requiring upsetting the global status-quo and engaging multinationals to roast in Ethiopia.
Primarily, Adugna has been a university lecturer especially at Jimma University. He got his doctoral degree in Crop Eco-Physiology at Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands. He is well published with various research pieces in international journals.

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