Ethiopia’s population has grown by leaps and bounds in recent decades. According to United Nations (UN) estimates, the country’s population was just over 18 million in 1950 – today, that figure is around 90 million. But is this rapid growth good for Ethiopia’s overall economic development? Experts seem to be divided. In honour of the UN’s World Population Day on July 11th, EBR’s Bantayehu Demlie delved deeper into the issue to learn more about it.


Local demand for furniture is increasing rapidly. According to the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority, 584,538 units of furniture were imported in 2011; that figure grew to 20,415,495 in 2015. This growth, however, is largely benefiting foreign companies – not local furniture producers. The latter identify a number of bottlenecks in accessing the market to meet this increased demand. EBR’s Bantayehu Demlie spoke with foreign companies, local producers and government officials to learn more about these bottlenecks and what can be done to overcome them to improve domestic firms’ performance and profitability.


Political volatility can impact economic performance like any other risk often associated with business operations, especially in developing countries. This has been the case for Ethiopia, where the protests in the State of Oromia have affected businesses – resulting in the government having to compensate investors upwards of ETB100 million. In order to mitigate potential risks and create a better environment for investors, Ethiopia has its eyes set on joining the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI). EBR’s Bantayehu Demlie spoke with individuals close to the issue to learn the intricacies of the decision to join the ATI.


Ethiopia’s Commercial Code was enacted in 1960 and many argue that it’s time to revise it to better reflect the changes the country has experienced and current international economic and political dynamics. But what’s the best way forward? Government officials state that they’re working to codify new laws that will govern business practices – and that they’re drawing on internal experts to do so. However, others argue for better transparency and that calling upon international experts from more sophisticated economies – whether they’re Ethiopian or foreigners – will only help to better align the policies with the best practices of other countries. EBR’s Bantayehu Demile spoke with leading experts and researched the nuances of the issue to explore the tensions around the possible revision of the Commercial Code.


Ethiopia’s 1960 Commercial Code is undergoing revision. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is leading this effort; one the private sector hopes will alleviate bottlenecks that hamper doing business.
This is not the first time the government has considered amending the Code. The MoJ and the Justice and Legal Systems Research Institute (JLSRI) attempted revisions in the past.
Also, in July 2008, the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (AACCSA) released a document on the private sector’s concerns over the draft proposed by the MoJ.


Ethiopia hopes to increase private saving from 16.6Pct to 18.7Pct of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020. This task, however, may prove cumbersome, given that real interest rates in the country have been below zero for years, which doesn’t bode well for people looking to put their money in banks. Even the World Bank has hinted at the adverse effects of this reality on Ethiopia’s development prospects. EBR’s Bantayehu Demlie spoke with banking sector experts, customers and academicians to learn more about this complex issue and offers this report.


Hoarding refers to the deliberate withholding of goods from the market, usually to create false demand and raise prices for certain commodities. According to the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce, the practice is prevalent throughout the country. While fairly common in developed nations, hoarding can be problematic for fragile economies like Ethiopia, where the Consumer Price Index is heavily impacted by food inflation. In order to exert more control over hoarders, the government is enacting a number of plans to quell the practice and its negative effects. EBR’s Bantayehu Demlie spoke with stakeholders and researchers to learn more about the problem, its implications and what’s being done to prevent it in the local economy.

Ethiopian Business Review | EBR is a first-class and high-quality monthly business magazine offering enlightenment to readers and a platform for partners.

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