Author: Ashenafi Endale

Ashenafi EndaleMay 16, 2018

The Dilemma Behind Investment Incentives

Many emerging economies like Ethiopia use tax incentives to offset hindrances in the general tax system and as a counterbalance to disadvantages that investors may face. This includes bureaucracies, a weak administration and lack of infrastructure. However, the benefits of such a system have always been questioned by scholars. In Ethiopia’s case, many organizations, including the IMF, have indicated that generous tax exemptions and incentive packages for local and foreign investors present a major challenge to the country’s tax administration system. Just in the first half of the current financial year, over ETB34.2 billion was relinquished to beneficiaries under the duty free scheme, accounting for 37Pct of the nation’s tax revenues. While the figure is mounting year after year, various institutions such as the Federal Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission are signaling incentives’ exposure to misappropriation and corruption. Meanwhile, the government is attempting to enforce proper usage of incentives, and has established a separate office to handle such privileges and prevent abuses, as Ashenafi Endale, EBR’s Staff Writer report. 

Ashenafi EndaleApril 15, 2018


Alemayehu Gelagay’s books are known for highlighting the least visible members of society: the poor, the elderly, criminals; lifestyles he himself witnessed growing up. Now, with the release of his book “Meleyayet Mot New,” Alemayehu is turning his attention to the national level, encouraging people to look to what unites them, instead of what divides. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with the author to discuss his views on art, life, and unity.

Ashenafi EndaleApril 15, 2018

The horrific reality facing patients

Patients with critical illnesses are finding themselves in serious predicaments after the recurring foreign currency shortage began to affect the manufacture and import of medicines. Families are being increasingly forced to turn to unregulated informal market sources to find life-saving medicine now, even as importers and health institutions look for solutions to the problem. However, it may be easier said than done. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the causes of the shortage and what awaits patients in the future.

Ashenafi EndaleApril 15, 2018


Semera, the capital city of Afar regional state is a microcosm of the region. Growing construction and rising populations are propelling the young capital into the modern age. Investment potential, natural history and other assets are pushing people towards Semera. However, there are still roadblocks ahead for the young city. The reluctance of investors, lack of foreign currency and (growth notwithstanding) a small population, threaten to slow the massive potential that the city, and the regional state as a whole, have. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale was on the scene to explore this growing hub.

Ashenafi EndaleMarch 15, 2018


In 2012, the Ethiopian government introduced a 150Pct export tax on hide, skins, and semi-processed leather products in order to encourage local value addition. The following years saw an increase in export revenues from finished leather products. Although the introduction of the tax created an opportunity for tanneries and leather factories by making a large amount of hide and skin available for the local market, a significant percentage of the raw materials available in the local market still remain unused. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the reasons behind this.

Ashenafi EndaleMarch 15, 2018


In the first six months of the current fiscal year, the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) collected ETB90.8 billion, which is 83Pct of the target set for the period and 39.5Pct of the target set for the current fiscal year. Officials stress that a growing number of taxpayers are declaring losses or no income on their annual income tax report and Value Added Tax (VAT) refund. Businesses argue that this is due to the slowdown of economic activities attributable to the scarcity of foreign currency, and recent political unrest in the country. Several companies claim that their sales turnover is declining while overhead costs rise, ultimately affecting their capacity to pay taxes. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the situation. 

Ashenafi EndaleMarch 15, 2018


Since 1826, Pittards has been making high quality leather in England. The company set foot in Ethiopia in 2009 when it took over the management of the state owned Ethiopian Tannery. Two years later, the company bought the factory and started supplying leather to the four companies under Pittards Products Manufacturing (PPM). EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with Tsedenia Mekbib, managing director at Pittards Ethiopia, to learn more. 

Ashenafi EndaleFebruary 1, 2018


Several attempts have been made by the Addis Ababa City Administration to solve the severe transportation problem in the city. However, the roads are still clogged with traffic congestion and the problem has been worsening by the day. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with Solomon Kidane (PhD), head of the City Road and Transport Bureau to learn the root causes of the problem and what the administration is doing about it.

Ashenafi EndaleFebruary 1, 2018


As Ethiopia’s most important sector, agriculture is a fundamental component in addressing the country’s development challenges. While agricultural output is improving, there are still major gaps in productivity that mechanization can help bridge. And while the benefits of mechanization are immense, the introduction of automated farming processes in Ethiopia has been limited. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the issue and highlights the efforts taken to improve the situation.

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