Ashenafi EndaleMay 4, 2021


As covid19 restrict access to cash and financial institutions, number of mobile transaction users has grown by 13pct globally to over 1.2 billion in 2020, with over 300 million monthly active accounts, according to new report dubbed ‘State of the Industry Report of Mobile Money’, by Global System for Mobile Communication (GSMA). For the first time, the amount of remittance sent and received via mobile money has also surpassed USD1 billion, exponentially growing by 65pct.


According to the United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) 2021 Food Waste Index Report, a total of around 931 million tons of food is annually wasted globally, of which 61Pct is at the household, 26Pct at the food service, and 13Pct at the retail level. In fact, the report stated the veracity of global household estimates is medium to low. Food waste is food (including drink) and associated inedible parts removed from the human food supply chain in the following sectors: manufacturing of food products (under certain circumstances); food retail; food service; and households. “Removed from the human food supply chain” means one of the following end destinations: landfill, controlled combustion, sewer, litter/ discards/ refuse, co/ anaerobic digestion, compost / aerobic digestion or land application.

Ashenafi EndaleApril 15, 2021


In the past, prices of commodities revert to reasonable levels after the end of the harvesting season. However, agricultural products are priced at new heights this year. In fact, the current inflation spike is the second highest after the record year of 2008. A major factor is the widespread instability affecting the mobility of commodities. Foreign currency scarcity and an increased money supply have also contributed. But the lifting of fuel subsidies by the government has brought the acceleration of prices to new levels. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores.

Ashenafi EndaleApril 15, 2021


Atnafu Gebremeskel (PhD), is an Assistant Professor of economics at Addis Ababa University and an executive member of the Ethiopian Economics Association. In December 2020, he published a study entitled “Inflation Dynamics and Macroeconomic Stability in Ethiopia” in which he identified key sources of inflationary pressure in Ethiopia through the analysis of commodity price changes observed between 1997 and 2020. It became a timely reference and antidote as inflammatory inflation breaks loose since January.
Atnafu argues the actual permanent inflation rate in Ethiopia during the study time was 38.9Pct, driven by expansionary monetary phenomenon, though government has been underreporting inflation at 15Pct annual average. This problem of denial is keeping the solution at bay. Apart from the persistent as well as immediate causes, Atnafu stresses market responds by increasing price, whenever ineffective government is in charge. EBR sat down with the leading expert on Ethiopia’s inflation dynamism, conversing on his findings and its ramifications towards stabilizing current price hikes.

Ashenafi EndaleApril 15, 2021


Addis Ababans spend two-thirds of their income on housing. Although there is an additional 250,000 units of new housing demand created every year in the city, only one third is supplied, mainly by government programs.
The contribution of private developers to Addis Ababa’s housing supply is limited to less than 5Pct. The property market is dominated by the land allocation policies adopted to fit only a few as well as the lack of finance and construction materials. Land supply is constrained to generate more revenue for the government, rather than as a vehicle to solve sheltering problems. The city administration is currently finalizing revising the land lease directive, expected to increase land lease prices by several fold.
Government is also devising new state-led property development schemes on state landholdings in the capital, despite inefficiency and resource wastage lessons garnered from condominiums.
In a bid to outmaneuver the land supply grip, private developers are exploiting possibilities in partnering with individual landlords, who contribute their land, to jointly develop apartments and villas. This arrangement has also been picked up by the government which is offering its federal landholdings in the capital to partner primarily with foreign developers to build complexes for housing, business, education, health, and leisure. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale navigated newly surfacing housing options.

Ashenafi EndaleApril 15, 2021


Modernizing and transforming agriculture has been a generational effort skewed in the wrong direction. Production and productivity have been government’s mottos for decades, only to remain lip service. Practically, the farmer’s decision-making power has been overruled by the government with the use of extension programs. Government was not brave enough to consider the farmer as a private and for-profit actor due to political reasons.
As a result, the supply of agricultural inputs, consultancy, and technologies have been monopolized by the government and its extensive extension program. From importation to distribution, from improved seeds to fertilizers, from veterinary drugs to technologies, the agricultural input supply market is monopolized by inefficient state-owned enterprises with the partial involvement of local governments.
Affordable agricultural input is particularly critical for Ethiopia, where the land has been ploughed for millennia. Ethiopia’s small-scale dominated agriculture, where farmers’ per capita land area has diminished to just less than a hectare on average, requires intensive input use to achieve productivity. However, this cannot be achieved when the government is running an inefficient agricultural input market business. Over the last few years, the private sector has been highly interested in installing modern agricultural input shops as a viable business. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the growing potential of private one-stop agricultural input shops in replacing government’s incapacitated role in agriculture.

Ashenafi EndaleApril 15, 2021


Lensa Mekonnen is assigned to lead the Land Bank and Development Corporation (LBDC), the latest SOE established just eight months ago. The corporation audited 3,700 hectares of landholdings under federal institutions and enterprises—constituting 5.2Pct of Addis Ababa’s 54,000 hectares.
The corporation has embarked on a state-led property development endeavor and is already attracting world-class developers and financers towards developing housing projects, convention centers, seven-star hotels, tertiary hospitals, and specialized education centers on 30 prime locations identified in Addis Ababa, including the redevelopment of Ghion Hotel. The LBDC will indulge in a minimum 20Pct equity share in the projects, to be developed under a build, operate, and transfer PPP modality. The corporation has also identified government districts where public institutions will be relocated to in a clustered fashion.
Given the land scarcity in Addis Ababa, LBDC’s efforts are a relief for investors with cash looking for prime locations, although Lensa says international developers are given priority. Yet, her agility in availing public holdings to private developers is showing results faster than previous governmental processes towards land provisioning, where land is owned by the public and government and is very scarce as hens teeth in the market.

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