Ashenafi EndaleMarch 15, 2020


If there is anyone that has a high level expertise over land related issues, Desalegn Rahmato, in his mid 80s, is definitely one. He spent much of his life undertaking researches regarding the agriculture sector, landholding system, and other land related issues. In fact, he is the most cited scholar on land policy, agriculture, and food security in Ethiopia. His presentations and intensive and authoritative researches are published on numerous international journals, earning him international awards.

Ashenafi EndaleFebruary 15, 2020


Tadesse Tilahun, CEO of NOC Ethiopia, Discusses the 2019 Financial Performance of his Company, the State of the Oil Industry

Born in 1950 in Wollega, western Ethiopia, Tadesse Tilahun, a father of three, made tremendous strides in his career before becoming a Shareholder and General Manager of National Oil Ethiopia (NOC). After studying accounting in the School of Commerce and Addis Ababa University, he directly joined the Shell Group where he acquired professional trainings in several countries. At Shell, he served in many African countries at numerous managerial positions.

Operations, Oil and Chemical Marketing General Manager of Shell in Nigeria; Shell East Africa Hub Regional Supply and Operations Manager (based in Kenya and encompassing 11 countries); and Country Chairman and General Manager of Shell Ethiopia Limited are among his former posts at the Shell Group. Before he was invited to NOC, Tadesse had already accumulated deep expertise on the east African oil market.

Samson BerhaneJanuary 1, 2020


Buzuayehu T. Bizenu, a father of six, is a Group Chairperson of East African Holding, a de facto industrial conglomerate with 17 subsidiaries. His company is engaged in the manufacturing of fast moving consumer goods, tea processing, printing and packaging, transport, real estate, cement production, and coal mining. Although Buzuayehu has structured and re-established the company almost 25 years ago, it is his grandfather who founded the business more than a century ago, making him the third generation in a family of entrepreneurs. After his father inherited the business and diversified into milling and agriculture (coffee), his fledgling enterprise was nationalized by the Dergue regime in 1974.

While this was a major setback, the family’s dreams and aspirations were not curtailed as entrepreneurship was deeply engrained in his soul from an early age. Soon after, Buzuayehu was able to pick up after his father, although this was an extremely difficult task under communist rule. He fled to neighbouring countries to establish trading and distribution posts, opening offices in Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. He moved to Ethiopia after EPRDF took power in 1991. Attracted by a favourable private sector and industrial development policy, he quickly transitioned from trading to manufacturing and agribusiness.

Samson BerhaneDecember 12, 2019


Born in Gojam, northern part of Ethiopia, Atalay Alem (Prof.), married and a father of two, is among few Ethiopians specialized in the field of psychiatry. Graduating from Addis Ababa University in 1983 in medicine, Atalay first worked as a junior medical officer and later as a medical director at Adigrat District Hospital. A year later, he joined Amanuel Hospital, the only psychiatric hospital in the country where he gained three years of experience in mental healthcare. Soon after, he received training in clinical psychiatry at Victoria University of Manchester, UK.

Nine years later, he attained his Ph D. at Umeå University in Sweden. After returning to Ethiopia, Atalay worked for tof Amanuel Mental Hospital as a psychiatrist for many years and then as a medical director of the Hospital for six years before joining Addis Ababa University as an Assistant Professor in 2000. He also led the establishment of the College of Health Science as a separate and autonomous entity under the auspices of Addis Ababa University a decade ago.

Ashenafi EndaleDecember 12, 2019


Teshome Taffese (PhD), State Minister of Finance (MoF), is the mastermind who led MoF to institutionalize Public Private Partnerships (PPP), a new model expected to fill the infrastructure financing gap existing in the country. Prior to this political assignment, he has conducted dozens of case studies in numerous countries, particularly on public finance, infrastructure development and PPPs. Teshome stresses that under the circumstances, Ethiopia has no option but maximizing the exploitation of PPPs. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with him to understand what has been done thus far.

Ethiopian Business ReviewEthiopian Business ReviewSeptember 28, 2019


Francis Fukuyama, born in Chicago, USA in 1952, is an American Author and Political Scientist. He received his B.A. from Cornell University in Classics, and his Ph.D. from Harvard in Political Science. Even if, Fukuyama has extensively written on political development and international political economies, he is more known for authoring the book entitled ‘the End of History and the Last Man’, on which he argued that the worldwide spread of liberal democracies and the free-market capitalism and the lifestyle of the West, may signal the endpoint of humanity’s socio-cultural evolution and become the final form of human government.
His other famous publication, ‘Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy’, is considered a masterful study of political development.
Fukuyama is currently a senior fellow at Stanford University in California. He is the Director of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law.
In his latest book dubbed ‘Identity: the Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment’, he asserts that the demand for recognition of one’s identity, which he deems a fundamental human instinct, is a master concept that defines much of the world politics today. In the book, the Japanese-American stated that the universal recognition on which liberal democracy is predicated has been increasingly challenged by narrower forms of recognition based on nation, religion, sect, race, ethnicity, or gender. If people no longer vote according to their values, such as an attachment to liberty, but by their identities, such as their faith or ethnicity, Fukuyama argues that democracy would cease to function. Indeed, identity is gaining centre stage in politics in many parts of the world today. Ethiopia is no exception.
Two months ago, the 67-year old distinguished professor, on his first trip to Ethiopia, met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and discussed on different matters. He gave his latest book on identity politics to the premiere.
Earlier this month, Fukuyama returned to Ethiopia again to train private sector developers. He also gave a public lecture at the American centre in Addis Ababa on “Populism and the State of Global Democracy”. In the sideline of the training, EBR’s Haimanot Ashenafi sat down with the global thinker to discuss about Ethiopia’s economic and political situations.

Ashenafi EndaleAugust 28, 2019


Nassir Dino (PhD), associate professor of software engineering, is chairman of the organizing committee of ‘Zamzam Bank’. He is also the cofounder and president of Higher Learning Center of Excellence (HiLCoE), a specialized centre of excellence in education, research and consultancy in the field of information and communication technology (ICT). The Centre was established in 1997 and has since graduated thousands of skilled professionals.
Thirteen years ago, Nassir started to establish Zamzam, the first Islamic bank in Ethiopia. However, his effort did not bore fruit because the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), the financial regulatory body, denied them license to start operations in the final hours.
After 13 years of patience, however, his effort got favorable response from the administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD). During the holy month of Ramadan, on May 22, Yinager Dessie (PhD), the new governor of NBE, met the founders of Zamzam; and informed them the good news. After more than a decade of stall, the Governor told them to resurrect Zamzam. On the same day, the Premiere also reaffirmed his support for the realization of the bank. This was announced in a historic speech the PM made at the grand Iftar at the Millennium Hall. For Nassir, his team and the tens of millions of Ethiopian Muslims, the ecstasy the news created was unprecedented and is still afresh.
Zamzam has already started floating shares and is set to start operations in about a year. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale discusses with the professor who also studied Islamic Banking and Islamic Insurance in London, the UK, about the prospect of the bank.

Samson BerhaneJuly 27, 2019


Hilina Belete is one of the few entrepreneurs in Ethiopia who have managed to take a family business to the next level, making it a successful and strong contender in the food industry. She is the CEO of Hilina Enriched Foods Processing, at which she worked in various posts before taking it over from her father. It took Hilina more than a decade to be what she is today. When the 32-year old entrepreneur took the CEO post, the company was not well-known as it is now. But after a joint venture agreement with ONYX.S.A.S (Group Nutriset) of France, overseen by Hilina, the company pioneered the production of high quality nutritional and fortified foods for both the institutional and commercial market in Ethiopia and East Africa region. This includes Plumpy‘nut (RUTF), Plumpy’ sup (RUSF), Sheba Peanut Butter and Sheba Peanut Splits. With hundreds of employees and through its network of local suppliers, Hilina attempts to fill the gap in the country’s efforts to raise food security.

Ashenafi EndaleJuly 27, 2019


Adefris Worku (PhD), is director of Climate Science Research at the Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute. He has conducted various research on climate change that has sbeen published on local and foreign journals. He blames the government for giving little attention to the forestry sector. Although schemes like carbon trading can have a positive impact on the country’s reforestation efforts, he stresses that it is only after the government focuses on the area that the nation can recover from the adverse impacts of climate change. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with him to further understand the issues the country is facing.

Ashenafi EndaleJune 27, 2019


Khalid Bomba is the CEO of the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), which he has helmed since its establishment in December 2010. In that time, his name has become synonymous with the revitalization process in Ethiopian agriculture.
His road towards agriculture was not a direct one. A graduate of Swarthmore College in the United States, he also holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics. He also spent over ten years working in corporate finance, and on sovereign debt issues at JP Morgan, and at other private sector institutions. He was regional director for African countries at the Global e-Schools and Communities’ Initiative, a UN-ICT Task Force, and finally, senior agricultural development program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, after which he was tasked with establishing and leading the ATA, which was financed by the Ethiopian government as well as institutions like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Agency is tasked with crafting policy instruments to forward agricultural development in the country, based on research analysis, as well as helping to provide support and education for those in the sector, operating as something between a public institution and a private business.
Even though Khalid believes that science should be the ultimate decider of the country’s policy direction, the agriculture sector in Ethiopia still relies on tradition wisdom and methods. However, Khalid argues, with the finalization of the soil map, one of the ATA’s grand projects, agriculture will come around in the next few years. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with him to find out more.

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