Author: Samson Berhane

Samson BerhaneJanuary 17, 2020


Djibouti has rejected a London Court of International Arbitration ruling that has ordered the country restore the rights of DP World to administer Doraleh Container Terminal.

The court has ordered Djibouti to restore the rights and benefits under the 2006 concession agreement to DP World and Doraleh Container Terminal within two months, or pay damages.

The latest tribunal ruling is the sixth ruling in DP World’s favor in the London Court of International Arbitration and the High Court of England and Wales. To date, all have been ignored by Djibouti despite the original contract for the concession being written under and governed by English law.

Rejecting the latest ruling of the London court over the Doraleh Container Terminal, Djibouti government has only agreed to pay a fair compensation, mentioning that it has terminated a contract with DP World for the higher interest.

“Under no circumstances can the Republic of Djibouti accepts such ruling, which was handed down in an arbitration in which it did not take part and which flouts the rules of international law,” said President Office of Djibouti,” in a communique issued on January 14, 2020. “These rules allow a sovereign state to terminate any contract for reasons of higher national interest subject to the payment of fair compensation.”

Djibouti government also explained that DP World’s operation of the terminal had proved to be contrary to the fundamental interests of the nation. Allowing this to continue would have seriously harmed the country’s economic and social priorities by unacceptable restrictions on its development policy, it added.

To solve its disputes with DP World, Djibouti government proposed allocation of fair compensation in accordance with international law as the only possible solution.  DP World, which built the port and ran it for more than a decade from 2006, estimates its losses at over one billion dollars. But Djibouti alleges both poor performance and irregularities in the original agreement in justifying its stance.

Samson BerhaneJanuary 13, 2020


The real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Ethiopia, a parameter employed to measure the size of an economy, has reached ETB1.8 trillion (USD60 billion), National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) reveals. The Bank, in its latest report published last week, disclosed that Ethiopia’s economy has recorded a nine percent growth in 2018/19, faster than the 7.7Pct expansion in the previous financial year. An improvement in industrial output, coupled with the growth of the service sector, has largely contributed for the growth registered in the past fiscal year.

Samson BerhaneJanuary 13, 2020


State of Tigray sees the highest food inflation rate amongst all regional governments and city administrations in Ethiopia, reaching as much as 23Pct last fiscal year, according to a new report published by the Central Bank. Annual food inflation rate in the Tigray increased by ten percentage points during last fiscal year from being 13Pct in 2017/18, the report says. This is largely resulted from the rise in prices of basic food items in the Region, including wheat, teff and vegetables.

Samson BerhaneDecember 31, 2019


Oromia International Bank (OIB) earned ETB217 million profit from interest free banking services (IFB) in the past fiscal year. While this is the highest amongst all private banks that provide IFB services, it is 22Pct higher than 2017/18 financial year. Being the first private bank to provide IFB service, OIB’s IFB window generated a total income of ETB244 million in 2018/19, a nine percent rise compared to the preceding fiscal year, while its total expense of the same window declined by four percent to ETB27 million.

Samson BerhaneFebruary 17, 2019


Addisu Habba, president of Debub Global Bank (DGB) is the current president of the Ethiopian Bankers’ Association (EBA). He was re-elected by the professional association of bankers in March 2018 to continue in the post for the next three years. Addisu, a married father of two, has had immense experience in the banking sector. He is a graduate of Economics from Addis Ababa University and holds Master’s degree in Banking and Finance from Italy. In the past, Addisu held several positions at the former Construction and Business Bank, including as a credit clerk and internal auditor, before rising to the post of President. He then became president at the Bank of Abyssinia and served for five years. Three years ago, he joined DGB, one of the later entrants into the banking sector. EBR’s Samson Berhane sat down with him to learn more about the challenges and successes of the industry, as well as the activities of EBA.

Samson BerhaneJanuary 16, 2019


Commercial banks in Ethiopia are currently finding themselves with more liquidity than they can work with. While this is a good moment for those who have been desperately looking for credit, it has pushed commercial banks to sit on resources that come with a high cost. As a result, many banks are being forced to find alternatives to invest their extra liquidity, including introducing mortgage schemes with various real estate companies. EBR’s Samson Berhane spoke to bankers, experts and businesses to shed light on the matter.

Samson BerhaneJanuary 16, 2019


A consultant and attorney at law, Tadesse Kiros has had decades of experience in a wide range of legal expertise such as taxes, mergers and acquisitions, and energy as well as infrastructure finance, among others. Tadesse served as deputy chief justice of the Supreme Court of Ethiopia under the Transitional Government of Ethiopia. Prior to that he served as a member of the Legal Committee formed under the Office of the President of the Transitional Government between 1991 and 1992. He later established the Tadesse Kiros Law Office, one of the most successful de-facto law firms in the country, and a leading service provider, both in coverage and organizational capability.

Samson BerhaneDecember 15, 2018

Can it help commercial banks mobilize more deposits?

Commercial banks in Ethiopia are currently engaged in ever-more stiff competition to mobilize deposits. Most notably, almost all of the banks have begun to use face to face marketing to gain the attention of new customers. It is now not unusual to see tellers from various commercial banks pleading with people in streets, cafes and other public places to open bank accounts at their respective branches. Experts argue that such methods of deposit mobilization are not effective or sustainable, and criticize banks for not coming up with products and services for the unbanked population, as EBR’s Samson Berhane writes.

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