Ethiopia has long been home to musical artists with immeasurable social impact, from the traditional azmari who had the unique permission to critique members of the nobility with carefully crafted lyrics in times past to modern-day musicians who have fought against government censorship and oppression to keep the show going. Unfortunately, the artists have reaped less than what they deserve from their hard work due to the laxness around copyright laws and a lack of a proper system for distributing royalty payments. EBR’s Tirualem Asmare explores how the launch of a new music streaming platform has the potential for meaningful change.


The pet trade has evolved in recent years from individual vendors hawking puppies on the roadside to full-fledged pet stores and social media sites offering high-end breeds to increasingly eager customers. An evolving attitude to dog ownership means that demand continues to grow, with some breeds selling for as much as ETB 250,000. The booming trade is only one side of the story for the dogs of Addis Ababa, as untold numbers of the canines still live on the streets, posing serious public health concerns, writes EBR’s Tirualem Asmare.


TikTok allows individuals to record and share videos of themselves or others engaged in activities to their followers and the large number of users on the platform. It assumes a video-sharing community that is real, raw, and without boundary. One of the most significant marks of TikTok is that it has provided ‘creative freedom’ to normal people which was once limited to only celebrities. Launched in 2016 by the Chinese technology company ByteDance, the social media platform is now attracting more and more Ethiopians to its pool. While some Ethiopians are turning the platform to their advantage by making it a source of their livelihoods, others are wasting their precious time on it. In this article, EBR’s Trualem Asmare looks into the overall impact of the TikTok phenomenon on Ethiopian society.


Recently, there have been a growing number of centers hosting people who want to lose weight through gymnastics. These particular new centers, however, are using cultural dances to achieve the same goal. Bringing the idea of weight loss and cultural arts under their roof, these places are not only fun for those who participate in them but also impressive sources of income for the founding individuals. As businesses are taking advantage of the nation’s rich culture, they are also helping to preserve it, writes EBR’s Trualem Asmare.


As Ethiopia is being rocked by high inflation, the economic nightmare has affected people’s lives in many ways. As such, unaffordable goods and services in the capital are causing a change in lifestyles. A couple years back, buying food from street stands that serve food was frowned upon and was more frequented by daily laborers who work at construction sites or others working on streets—from shoe shiners to fruit vendors. The continuing rise in food prices, however, is driving even those with relatively better earnings to consider street food as an affordable alternative, writes EBR’s Trualem Asmare.


The increased prevalence of single music tracks has diminished the prevalence of full music albums. However, those Ethiopian artists dedicating themselves to release the longer works are making significant impact. One tradition that seems to be on the rise along with the release of these music albums are the events that accompany them. It has now become common for artists to announce the release of their albums at lavish events. The latest addition to musicians employing expensive release events is Rophan—the young artist that has rocked the nation with his latest album called SIDIST. In this article, EBR’s Trualem Asmare tells the story of these album release events and their implication.


Ethiopia is home to not just products that are typical to its various communities, but also in the specific way in which those products are made. Injera is made on the ‘mitad’, loosely translated as pan or griddle. Most cultural attire is also made in unique methods and steps. The handmade and distinctive features have garnered iconic status among Ethiopians, and global markets are slowly giving an eye. But now, there seems to be slowly shifting trends in the way these very Ethiopian foods and clothes are made. While there are new developments in automating injera-making using a machine, the printing of the ‘tilet’ has been quite common for some time now. Further, some other Ethiopian entities such as the Geez alphabet are also taking shape into modern brands, writes EBR’s Trualem Asmare.


If anything, most people who have been closely watching Ethiopia’s import-dominated economy would agree on the flood of cars that have been passing through the nation’s dominantly-used Port of Djibouti. The import of automobiles has been continuously increasing throughout the last two decades despite the rise in the cost of living and other socio-political challenges. With the mass import of vehicles in the last several years, one also may notice how it has been following various trends of brands and models. In this article, EBR’s Trualem Asmare investigates what dictates the brands of cars seen on the streets of Addis Ababa.


Concert business in Addis Ababa has been booming and getting the attention of music lovers as well as local and international performers. All was joyful before the bad news of a global pandemic kicked in. As has been the case for many other businesses in the hospitality sector, concerts and live events were banned from the public scene. Conflicts in the northern part of the country also meant that international and regional performers would not bet on visiting Ethiopia. Even when restrictions eased, it was not easy for these businesses to have showtimes. Slowly, but surely, the African capital is hearing the sound of musicians from live concerts again, writes EBR’s Trualem Asmare.


The making of household materials using wood has been part of Ethiopian history for centuries. Furniture manufacturing has also seen a rise in the last decade. With the ever-growing construction of hotels and residences of different types, furniture business has been entertaining quite a surge in demand in recent years. However, the expected benefits of this rising demand have been lost to imports with little appetite for locally manufactured furnishings. However, a slowly shifting interest of the public to locally manufactured furniture might see a more expanding local sector with a potential for exports, writes EBR’s Trualem Asmare.

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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