By the beginning of March 2023, the State of Oromia had officially launched the operations of a new city- named Sheger. Having its main office in Addis Ababa, Sheger City brings together 12 sub-cities, districts, and 40 rural kebeles. Sebeta, Burayu, Legatafo, Lededadi, Sululta, and Gelan towns surrounding Addis Ababa from all directions are now parts of the newly formed city.

After months and months of military showdowns between the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a war broke out in October 2020. Ever since that first shot was fired that historically unfortunate night, hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives, while millions have been displaced.

Talking about how blessed Ethiopia is with natural, historical, and cultural assets has almost become cliched. It wouldn’t be newsworthy if someone pointed out how this lovely nation of ours hasn’t been able to effectively capitalize on these riches. Before 2019, Ethiopia’s tourist sector had experienced consistent growth, but not always to the full extent of its potential.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made a name for himself as an African reformer because of the successive policy changes he introduced to liberalize one of Africa’s closed economies. The licensing of the second telecom operator, Safaricom, which ended Ethiopia’s 127 years of telecom monopoly, has indeed sent a strong signal about Ethiopia’s commitment to build a digital economy.

Since the founding of the first bank in the early 20th century, the banking sector had witnessed the heavy-handed interventions of the government. Since NBE started functioning as a central bank as stipulated in Proclamation No. 206 in 1964 this role of the government has continued.

Despite the lack of independence, the central bank has had relative competence in the way its governors execute their duties. There have also been proclamations that limit the government’s excessive interventions and borrowing. These restrictions enabled the bank to control inflation and other economic anomalies. However, the restrictions were lifted in 2008. Since then, inflation has become a major nuisance in the economy, among others.

Since the start of the war between the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in November 2020, the relationship between the USA and Ethiopia has strained. Ever since, Washington has been throwing every punch at its disposal at Abiy Ahmed’s administration.

Following the tensions, public figures and government officials have repeatedly downplayed the importance of maintaining good ties with Washington. Public protests demeaning the US and its actions quickly became common, organized by city and state administrations. It was an exercise in futility considering the irreplaceable role the US plays as Ethiopia’s single largest humanitarian donor and development partner.

Ever since protests began in the State of Oromia back in 2013, Ethiopia has hardly been  able to breathe the air of peace. Then, the protests intensified following discontent among the youth claiming the expansion of Addis Ababa into the State of Oromia was  detrimental and unfair to farmers in the area. Later, the protests expanded as the youth in the State of Amhara joined the demonstrations.

If there has been anything interesting about the aspect of governance in Ethiopia these last couple of years, it would be the standoff between the Minister of Education and college entrance exam takers. Young TikTokers have been making humorous videos calling out Birhanu Nega (PhD), the Minister of Education, for the serious changes the Ministry was making around the way the entrance exams were to be administered.

The changes were necessary on the part of the Ministry as national exams have been stolen and distributed to students well before they were administered- a practice that has been typical for about ten years now. The bad habit started in 2014 when Jawar Mohammed, the then-exiled political activist, claimed to have had the exams stolen as the then incumbent, the Ethiopian People’s Liberation Front (EPRDF), failed to listen to the movement he was said to have been leading.

Liberalization might increase prospects for foreign investment—it nurtures competition and improves efficiency. When trade and investment obstacles are lifted, businesses must engage in a more intense competitive field for market share. Resultantly, consumers will purchase goods and services of superior quality at lower prices. It can also inspire innovation and the improvement and efficiency of production methods of businesses. The ensuing cost savings may then be passed on to customers in the form of lower prices or better quality. A more prosperous firm then leads to increased tax revenue for governments.

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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