According to the United Nations, tourism is one of the world’s most important economic sectors, employing one in every ten people on Earth and providing livelihoods to hundreds of millions more. International tourism saw a strong rebound in the first five months of 2022, with almost 250 million international arrivals recorded. This means that the sector has recovered almost half (46Pct) of the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019.

Tourism revenue of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) surpassed USD5 billion in the first half of this year, compared to USD3 billion in the same period last year.
In his travel note, Tamirat Astatkie takes us through the wonders of visionary Dubai along with a glance of the livelihoods of Ethiopians in the city.


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.


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.


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.


‘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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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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