What Explains the Sky-High Prices?

In the grand scheme of life, they say your first job is like your first love – a rollercoaster ride filled with thrills, spills, and a hint of naivety. My journey into the world of real estate in Addis Ababa was no exception. Picture it: a fresh graduate architect stepping into the bustling world of property development when nobody knew what real estate even meant! It was like explaining the concept of sushi to a room full of cows.

Historical Opportunity for Economic Self-Reliance

Last August, the 15th regular summit of the BRICS member states held their annual heads of state and governments meeting in South Africa. At the end of the conference, the BRICS group of nations invited six countries – Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to join the block. From the beginning of the following year, these six countries will join the current five members – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. These countries were among the over 40 countries that expressed interest in accession.


Following the BRICS’ recent announcement that it will add Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina, and the United Arab Emirates, India faces a big strategic choice. Why should it belong to a China-centric club that will no longer share or serve its own interests, writes Arvind Subramanian, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Josh Felman Principal of JH Consulting.


With high debt levels and falling consumer and producer prices, China faces the prospect of a vicious cycle whereby lower demand leads to lower investment, lower output, lower income, and thus even lower demand. To avoid Japanification, policymakers must pursue aggressive aggregate demand stimulus, starting immediately. 

The Chaka Project, a development project on over 503 hectares of land in Yeka Sub-City leaning on Yeka hill of the Addis Ababa City Administration, has become a pivotal national project. The project, spearheaded by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, is part of a grand ‘Smart City’ Development endeavour that would cost more than 500 billion birrs. 

A Population Growth Perspective

Ethiopia has experienced different defining moments that have allowed it to survive for thousands of years. One moment, for instance, was the war against colonialist Italy during the second half of the nineteenth century, culminating in the Battle of Adwa. Today, Ethiopia has to choose another defining moment to ensure the material well-being and unity of the people and the survival of its cultures: Embracing industrialisation-led structural transformation.

Addis Ababa, the dynamic capital city of Ethiopia, is grappling with an unprecedented housing crisis due to rapid population growth and urbanisation. The allure of Addis Ababa as Ethiopia’s political, economic, social and diplomatic hub has attracted a significant influx of people seeking better livelihoods, safe environment and job prospects. This surge in population, along with other factors, has led to a severe housing, transport and unemployment crisis in the city. It’s even transpiring unheard-of crimes in the broad day, while its impact on providing essential services has grown tremendously.

Around the world, supply is struggling to keep up with demand. Inflation remains stubbornly high, despite aggressive interest-rate hikes. The global workforce is aging rapidly. Labor shortages are ubiquitous and persistent.

These are just some of the forces behind the productivity challenge facing the global economy. And it has become increasingly clear that we must harness artificial intelligence to address that challenge.


Globally, the insurance industry is a critical component of the financial services sector, providing risk management and protection to individuals and businesses, funding capital-intensive infrastructure projects and long-term shareholders of listed firms, to name but a few of the activities they are involved in. Long-term contracts and a wide range of products characterise the industry, including life, health, property, and liability insurance. It is highly regulated, with specific rules and requirements for insurers to operate and manage risk. Like all other industries, the global insurance industry is undergoing significant transformation, driven by digitisation, and this represents, for Ethiopia, a window of opportunity to radically re-design its insurance industry, further driving the changes experienced in the banking sector.

 In urban planning, few endeavours have sparked as much debate and criticism as the establishment of Sheger City, encircling the vibrant capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. This audacious plan has come under fire from various quarters for many reasons, including its unprecedented nature in city planning, unjust implementation, and questionable long-term sustainability. As stakeholders question its viability, it is imperative to reassess the plan and explore alternative approaches prioritizing equity, inclusivity, and environmental responsibility.

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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