Tamirat AstatkieMay 15, 20171699

Moringa is a commercial crop; it is cultivated extensively in India and some parts of Africa. It would be challenging to find a region in the tropics or subtropics where Moringa is not grown as a backyard tree for leaf and pod consumption and medical purpose. Although the demand for the commodity has been minimum in the past, due to the growing awareness, its demand is picking up. As a result, the private sector is beginning to invest on Moringa. However, stockholders still stress the lack of proper attention to the crop continues as a major bottleneck to its development. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie explores the issue to learn more about it.


Tamirat AstatkieMay 15, 20171314

Worldwide, commercial art galleries are established by private investors to promote artworks by contemporary artists. Although there are different models, the most common business model applied by privately owned galleries is making a profit while promoting fine arts including drawings, photos, figurines, hands loom or installation art.
With such intention, Addis Fine Art Gallery, which was established in January 2016 in Addis Ababa, organized its second local art exhibition recently featuring the works of four artists. Internationally, Addis Fine Art also participated in the Armory Show’s of African Perspective Section held in New York last year; in addition to its participation in four other international exhibitions including London based African and African descent art show. Founders of the gallery also say Addis Fine Art is serving as a hub for innovative arts programmes. EBR’s Tamitat Astatkie discussed with the founders of the gallery as well as artists to find out the contributions of the gallery to the country’s undeveloped art.


Tamirat AstatkieApril 17, 20171936

After a decade of impressive economic growth, Ethiopia has been experiencing a slowdown in the past two years. The situation is evident in all sectors. However, the construction sector and international trade have suffered more visibly. The lack both of local and hard currencies exacerbated the problem.
However, according to NBE, during the first quarter of the current fiscal year, ETB23.3 billion was disbursed in fresh loans, indicating a 19.7Pct yearly growth. Out of the loans, the housing and construction sector received ETB2.8 billion, 10.2Pct of the total disbursed credit while the import and export sector was also one of the major beneficiaries of the fresh loans amounting to ETB4.4 billion, which is 18.8Pct of the total loans.
EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie talked to stakeholders, experts and consulted relevant reports and documents to compile this story.


Tamirat AstatkieApril 17, 20171878
‘Jack-of-All-Trades, Master of None’

Born in 1937, Tasfaye Gessesse is one of the most important promoters of Ethiopian modern theatre and has been an actor, director and theatre administrator during his career that spanned for more than 50 years. Tasfaye, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, also wrote and directed several plays that have a great relevance in the modern culture of Ethiopia. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie spoke with the multi-disciplinary artist and his colleagues to learn about his contribution for the Ethiopian art.


Tamirat AstatkieFebruary 15, 20171285
How Hotels Manage the Recent Business Slowdown

The hotel industry is highly dependent on a complex web of socio-economic, political and environmental factors. Peace and stability are chief among the major factors that affect the performance of hotels since the business highly relies on the flow of tourists. Last year’s political instability in some states of Ethiopia has brought huge challenge to the industry. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie spoke to stakeholders to understand the extent of the slow down and find out what alternative marketing strategies hoteliers used to cope up with the hard time.


Tamirat AstatkieFebruary 15, 20171394

Located 532km east of Addis Ababa, the Harari Regional State (HRS) is the smallest member of the Ethiopian federation – both in population and area size. Uncommon elsewhere, 54.18Pct of the state’s population lives in urban areas. With a great number of historical sites, mosques, shrines, cultural attractions and relatively robust tourism, it is regarded as an open museum.
The city of Harar, the seat of the HRS was founded in the 7th Century as the seat of the Adal Muslim State and reached its peak during the 16th century whereby the Jegol Wall, one of the world’s heritages inscribed by UNESCO in 2006, was built in 1552 by Amir Nur bin Mujahid to defend the city from intruders. For centuries, the fortified city served as a trading hub due to its strategic location and metropolitan culture.
Since its founding, Harar’s 72 successive amirs established independent state and government until 1887, which marked its incorporation to Ethiopia by Emperor Menelik II.
Harar won the UNSECO Peace Prize in 2002 and 2003 for accommodating faith with love. In many places globally, where religious antagonism is increasing, Harar demonstrates an astonishing opportunity of peaceful coexistence of different religions. This could be easily witnessed by the physical proximity of Catholic and Orthodox churches in the city along with mosques in few hundred metres radius in Jegol Wall; but never in history have their differences caused major conflict. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie visited the historical city, described often as the fourth holy city in the Islamic world after Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem, to learn more about its development.


Tamirat AstatkieFebruary 15, 20171277

In a society where many people tend to accept the notion ‘seeing is believing’, artists like Workneh Bezu, a pioneer in Braille paintings who organised exhibitions for third time recently in less than a decade, rejects the idea that the visually impaired can’t appreciate paintings. According to Workneh, his deep involvement with Braille paintings emerges from the conviction that fine art should be observed and expressed by all human beings. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie visited his exhibition and studio to learn more about his art works and perspectives.


Tamirat AstatkieJanuary 15, 20171621
The Puzzle of Intermittent Power Outage While the Nation Invests Heavily in Power Generation

In Sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly 600 million people live without electricity according to the Rockefeller Philanthropy, Ethiopia has been a champion of investment in renewable energy. With billions of US dollar investment made in power generations since 1991, the country has increased power production to more than 4200MW. This is an enormous achievement especially when one notes that the country produce only 378MW in 1991. The production will surpass 10,000MW when the USD4.8 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam starts power production.
However, within this phenomenal achievement lies an astounding truth – residents and industries suffering from erratic power outages on daily basis. Not only that, up to 30Pct of the power generated are lost due to poor distribution lines exacerbating the already unreliable power supply. The cost has been terrible on personal, institutional and state level. Unregulated power voltages sometimes damage properties and companies fail to produce per target due to power interruption. The implication of these to the national economy is considerable. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie delved into this complicated matter and consulted researches to shed light on this gruesome reality. He has spoken to government officials and experts to understand what the nation is doing to provide reliable power supply.


Tamirat AstatkieJanuary 15, 20171588
Misused Public Spaces

In cities like Addis Ababa where urban spaces are scares as hen’s teeth, roundabouts offer a great deal of public space to display monuments and other forms of public art to document history, culture and commemorate figurative personalities and occasions. Luckily the redevelopment and expansion of existing and new roads has created more roundabouts in the city reaching 83 as of recently.
However, little has been done by the city government to develop these public spaces so that they serve their rightful purposes. To the disappointment of many, private companies have been scrambling them to display their commercials in the name of development. This is amid the fact that the city has erected no single monument in 25 years in honour of a national hero in such public spaces. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie spoke with city officials, architects and art historians and also consulted researches to offer this report.


Tamirat AstatkieDecember 15, 20161610
What’s the Private Sector’s Role?

The solar energy potential in Ethiopia is massive. By some estimates, the country could produce up to 5.6kWh per day, on par with or exceeding the capacity of countries that are known for their solar energy production, like Germany. If properly harvested, this could help the country develop a robust energy infrastructure and even export to neighbouring countries. Despite this promise, however, a number of roadblocks stand in the way of the country realising its full potential – and many say the private sector is key in bridging the divide. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie delved further into the issue to learn more about harvesting the country’s potential for solar energy.

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