Ashenafi EndaleJune 29, 20211min2230

Africa needs to create 60 million jobs in post covid19, annually, in a bid to clear the backlogs, according to Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). She stressed on Africa’s recovery during the ministerial meeting of Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET), in Addis Ababa, where the three states signed agreement to form a steering committee.


Ashenafi EndaleJune 15, 20212min500

Ethiopia’s sources of finance are thinning, calling into question the sustainability of the large government-financed GDP expansion of the last fifteen years. The recent decision of the US to impose economic sanctions on Ethiopia has only worsened the situation of Ethiopia’s external financial sources, already crippled with high debts.

In a bid to maintain the 10Pct average annual growth, government needs to invest 37Pct of GDP—very difficult to fulfill from only tax and FDIs weakened by conflict and COVID-19. Even the highly expected telecom license sale did not garner expected amounts.

New investments are critical to maintain the pace of growth and fulfill the demands of a fast-growing population and fend off soaring inflation and unemployment. Finalizing the megaprojects of the past decade needs further investment and starting new ones seams dreamy. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale navigates alternative venues left for development financing.


Ashenafi EndaleJune 15, 20212min370

Brook Taye (PhD), Senior Economic Advisor to the Minister of Finance

Brook Taye (PhD) is part of the pragmatist team serving Ethiopia’s swift economic reform and privatization process with great zeal. After concluding his education in comparative law and economics and high growth firms in three European universities, he worked as a regulatory analyst for an equity firm in Miami and other companies.
He argues that the telecom privatization which garnered a lot of interest only ended up with two bidders mainly because they failed to fulfil the requirements. He in fact claims that only four of the 12 interested bidders fulfilled requirements. He also argues the shift from state-led growth to a private-led one is not the result of Western pressure to liberalize the economy but a dire necessity to revamp and create a sound economy. The following are excerpts from EBR’s time with him.


Ashenafi EndaleJune 15, 20211min1940

Ambassador Birgitte N. Markussen, is Head of the European Union Delegation to the African Union as of September 2020. She has previously worked as Director at the European External Action Service (EEAS), beginning 2016 and also as Director of the Africa Department at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Her office in Addis Ababa is currently working on a range of packages introduced to strengthen the relationship between the two neighborly continents. With pressing issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and migration, Markussen delves passionately into peace and security, investment and development, and even the future integration of the two continents. She argues a strong Africa is essential for a strong Europe. Addisu Derese, special to EBR, sat down with Ambassador Markussen. Excerpts follow.


Ashenafi EndaleJune 15, 20211min1710

At a sensitive time when the economy is suffering from inflation, unemployment, debt distress, poverty, conflict, and COVID-19, the nation prepares for the sixth national election to decide who rules for the next five years to end the transitional government that has been in power since April 2018.
Nonetheless, the political space is largely occupied by parties fanning and prioritizing ethnic quests instead of addressing underlying economic constraints. Ideology-based analysis and principled models for Ethiopia’s vicious economic circle are brands scarcely seen in the political parties’ campaigns. Out of the 47 political parties cleared to participate, 18 are competing for federal Parliament seats. While very few of the national parties have manifestos, even fewer have well-defined politico-economic policies to relieve voters of the ongoing economic strife.


Ashenafi EndaleJune 15, 20211min5190

Mekonen F. Kassa is Senior Director for cloud cyber security engineering at Microsoft company where he has worked for about 22 years now. Living in Seattle, he earned his first degree in mechanical engineering and second degree in information systems management from Washington University. Prior, he worked as a consultant and taxi driver.
After witnessing the politically-led massacre of nine of his teenage friends in his birthplace of Gondar 37 years ago, he fled to Sudan traveling on foot for fifteen days. Escaping from the Amracuba refugee camp in Sudan, he worked as a daily laborer on commercial farms, as a servant, and on other jobs in Algadari and Khartoum. After four years in Sudan, he found Ethiopians who sponsored his move to Seattle 33 years ago. He recently flew back to his hometown to inaugurate the library he built for his old elementary school.


Ashenafi EndaleJune 9, 20211min2030

Electronic tax payment system dubbed e-tax is launched, in a bid to enable businesses to pay tax online. The Ministry of Revenue has signed agreement with five banks that includes Birhan International Bank, Dashen, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, United Bank, and Awash International Banks, today at Hyatt Regency Hotel. Other banks are expected to follow suit.
e-tax is developed by Derash, a platform formed under the Information Network Security Agency (INSA). The system is highly expected to reduce taxpayers’ strains and queues while paying tax physically, at the ministry’s branches.

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