Kiya AliNovember 29, 2019

Time of happiness with big stress

Wedding planning and related expenses bring a serious financial strains to a new relationship. Although it is supposed to be the happiest time in a couple’s life, it is not an easy task to pursue. When couples imagine their dream wedding, the price tag is usually not part of that fantasy. In fact, with the rising cost of living, many have stopped organizing big weddings. But this does not mean for even a small one they won’t incur much. Anecdotal evidences suggest that an average wedding costs between ETB100, 000 to as much as millions of Birr in urban areas like Addis Ababa. EBR’s Kiya Ali explores the issue.

Samson BerhaneOctober 29, 2019


Situated 1043km away from the capital in the state of Tigray, Aksum is home to some of the most valuable heritages of Ethiopia. The Obelisks, tombs and churches found in the town as well as the welcoming people are its major characteristics. Even though the remnants of the Kingdom of Aksum portrays the long history the town has, its historical significance is not well-promoted to the world. Now, with the deteriorating condition of the obelisks and other heritages of the town, Aksum is at a risk of losing its status given by UNESCO. EBR’s Samson Berhane, who visited the town last month, writes.

Ashenafi EndaleOctober 29, 2019


A few years ago, there were more than two dozen local mobile phone assemblers in Ethiopia. With the steady growth in demand, many of them reaped huge amounts of profit while increasing their productivity. But over the past 12 months, majority of them stopped operations because of the increased rise of the smuggled mobile phone market. This, coupled with the shortage of raw materials, pushed the local assemblers to compete with the contraband phones suppliers. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores.

Ashenafi EndaleSeptember 28, 2019


Rice has already become a major staple food in many parts of Ethiopia. This is because of the population growth and urbanization. However, the local rice production does not meet the growing demand due to low yields. As a result, the demand is currently being met by imported rice where in 2018, Ethiopia imported four million quintals of rice worth USD170.69 million. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale spoke with farmers, investors, experts and government officials to shed light on the matter

Ashenafi EndaleSeptember 28, 2019


With the growth of the informal market, retailers who sell used clothes are rising in number. A glimpse of this is displayed at the biggest used clothing market in Asko near Atena Tera, in Addis Ababa. The second-hand clothes, which are discarded as worthless at charity warehouses or thrift stores in Europe and the USA, are sold off at a very cheap price to developing countries. This makes them preferable to a large portion of the society, chiefly because of the rise in prices of new clothes. The Secondhand clothes market is also becoming a source of revenue for businesses engaged in the illegal trading. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale visited the biggest used clothing market in the city and spoke with traders, contraband smugglers, custom officials, and experts for this report.

Kiya AliAugust 28, 2019

The Likely Impact of Interest Free Banking on the Financial Sector

In 2010, there were few Islamic banks under establishment in Ethiopia. However, they failed to open their doors because the government prohibited the provision of full-fledged interest free banking in 2011. Until now, interest free banking services are provided by conventional banks at a single window level. However, things have started changing after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) gave a green light to the formation of the much awaited banks recently. Consequently, five Islamic banks are preparing to float shares, while few more are under establishment. Will the entrance of these new financial institutions change the banking industry? EBR’s Ashenafi Endale & Kiya Ali report.

Ashenafi EndaleJuly 27, 2019

Why Ethiopian sesame designaTed for export costs more locally than the international price

The price of sesame on the local market is ballooning. As accessing foreign currency becomes challenging for importers, many are turning to the export business as a way to retain some foreign currency and continue their work. This, coupled with other speculation, resulted in the price of sesame on the local market rising as high as USD230 a quintal, USD70 higher than the international price. Although the central bank enacted a directive that bans exporting at a loss beyond five percent, many are shipping the commodity despite making losses as high 60Pct of the original price of the product. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores.

Ashenafi EndaleJuly 27, 2019


Ethiopia is one of the countries that are highly vulnerable to climate change. The number of people at risk due to climate change is increasing drastically. As rural livelihood systems, like crop cultivation, pastoralism and agro-pastoralism, remain highly exposed to dynamic and unpredictable climatic conditions, the increase in drought and desertification have resulted in significant losses of arable land and increased dependency on food aid, and has resulted in diminishing water resources and hunger. Climate change is also putting pressure on the country’s economy. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale investigates the extent of the problem.

Ashenafi EndaleJuly 27, 2019

Is the new Initiative Going to Address the Problem?

The number of businesses that return or fail to renew their licenses has increased over the last couple of years. At the federal level, 14,096 businesses returned their licenses in 2018, while 328,265 businesses didn’t renew their licenses in the past ten years. A decline in business activities and political unrest, coupled with forex shortages and a lack of raw materials, problems which have not been solved for many years contribute to the problem. The government, which is aware of the issue, recently launched a new initiative to solve the challenges faced by the private sector. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale reports.

Ashenafi EndaleJune 27, 2019


The local edible oil industry is thriving. Reversing the decades-long preference for imported brands, more local oil brands are now available in major trading areas. As consumers start to become wary of the health implications of imported palm oil, opportunities are opening up for local producers. However, the rise in the numbers of local producers does not mean their market share has improved. Because of the low level of attention given to the area by the government, local producers are facing shortages of raw materials. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale spoke to consumers, producers, government officials and experts to shed light on the matter.

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