Mikias MerhatsidkFebruary 4, 2019
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1min426180

Mengistu Worku, the late renowned Ethiopian Footballer, ones said, ‘‘we used to play for the passion of the sport not for the money that we get from it’’ and he reminisced about how the late Yidnekachew Tessema, refered by some as the father of Ethiopian football, used to give him ten or twenty five cents for transport after training. Such stories were common in the amateurish, early stage of the ‘beautiful game’ in Ethiopia. In those days, formal organization and structure were absent, but recently, following the trend in other sectors of the economy, some changes are occurring in the Ethiopian football, though it still has a long way to go before becoming fully professional.


Mikias MerhatsidkJanuary 10, 2014
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1min15340
Are the “Salad Days” for Private Banks Ending?

Teklewold Atnafu, the longest serving governor of The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), in his speech on financial liberalization in the country, at the eighth general assembly of the Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA) on July 15, 2000 asked the assembly, “Have we created, through financial sector liberalization, a diversified and deep financial system?” and answers himself “Obviously, there is still a long way to go in this respect. We still don’t have active money and capital markets. The types of financial instruments remain limited. The sector is not well diversified in terms of financial institutions. Competition in the sector is far from being fierce.” Fast forward 13 years and almost nothing is changed, except may be for the competition part, and his institution’s Neanderthal nature and the stifling directives it formulated through the years are partly to blame. And now the sector is facing yet another obstacle.


Mikias MerhatsidkNovember 17, 2013
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1min19610
Why Ethiopian Investors are Avoiding the Manufacturing Sector

In our meetings with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, he frequently raised questions regarding the lack of private sector dynamism [in Ethiopia]. One of his questions was why Ethiopians with large sums of money invested in urban properties instead of building factories. On another occasion he asked how East Asian governments steered the private sector away from speculation and rent seeking and into manufacturing and technology. He also wished to receive literature explaining concretely how Meiji Japan and post-WWII Korea absorbed technology so quickly from foreign-assisted industrial projects.”


Mikias MerhatsidkAugust 15, 2013
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1min242330

These days, for sport fans around the globe, emotional stress is not the only negative impact of watching one’s team lose a game.  More and more joe-sport watcher joins the ranks of those who bet on different sports as sport has become more than just a hobby. It will not take long before Ethiopian sport fans could join this growing international scene.

A new company, Dagoo Sports Betting PLC, is on a promotion campaign to introduce a new business in the country. The company has established the first betting platform for Ethiopian football fanatics to wedge on their favorite international teams. It also plans to include local games in the Ethiopian Premier League in the future.


Mikias MerhatsidkAugust 15, 2013
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1min169720

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, in his first official visit to Kenya in November 2012, elaborated how it will be profitable for Kenyans to invest in Ethiopia. During this meeting with the country’s business people, he mentioned some of the benefits they will reap if they engage in Africa’s second populous nation. He mentioned the natural wealth and cheap labour in the nation to sway his audience. Among other things, he stressed that the country has one of the cheapest electric fare in the world, making it an ideal place to establish a manufacturing plant. But what the Premier short fall of disclosing to the potential investors was how his country is also among the nations where power interruptions and sporadic blackouts and brown outs (reductions in voltage) are all but common, and in fact part of everyday life.


Mikias MerhatsidkJuly 15, 2013
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1min128570

Almost 100 years before Columbus discovered America, a Chinese explorer named Zheng He (also known as Cheng Ho) led seven expeditions from China all the way to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. His ships are said to dwarf anything sailed by later European explorers and continue to amaze today. In all, it is estimated that he had between 48 to 317 ships with a crew of over 28,000 men. During each of Zheng’s voyages, he brought back diplomats from other countries or encouraged ambassadors to go to the capital Nanjing on their own, according to historical records.


Mikias MerhatsidkJune 25, 2013
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2min82120
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution with AAA rating. The bank comprises three distinct windows: the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund. In this interview, Mikias Merhatsidk, Editor-in-Chief of Ethiopian Business Review, sat down with Mr. Lamin G. Barrow, resident representative of the Bank in Ethiopia to discuss the Bank Group’s role within the general context of Africa’s development and that of Ethiopia in particular. Mr. Barrow holds a graduate degree in Economic Policy from Boston University, USA and has worked in different capacities at the Bank. He took his present post in Ethiopia in October 2009. He now serves as co-chair of the Development Assistance Group (DAG) of donors in Ethiopia. The Resident Representative talks about the Bank’s involvement and focus areas in the country, the USD 900 million the bank earmarked for the Ethiopian private sector and the government’s economic policies, among others, Excerpts:


Mikias MerhatsidkFebruary 17, 2013

1min633840

Yonas Gebrekidan 38, whose name has been changed, is one of the printer cartridge importers in Addis Ababa. He has been doing this business for the past five years. As the business has been expanding, he has lately opened shops in regional towns. But recently, his business has been seriously challenged. “Business has come to a ground halt” he said. “The banks have not been allowing enough foreign currency to import the necessary materials we need.”



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