Ashenafi EndaleOctober 15, 2020


Globally, the manufacturing and use of electric vehicles (EVs) is growing as governments increasingly introduce stricter environmental protection directives. However, electric vehicles were not even a topic for discussion in Ethiopia until recently. The trend has shifted quite fast as a number of companies have started to assemble EVs despite the absence of appropriate legal framework to promote and regulate the assembly or manufacturing and use of the vehicles. The situation has left assemblers and users with obstacles. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores.

Ashenafi EndaleOctober 15, 2020


Ethiopia is among developing countries that have achieved fast and sustainable economic growth in the last decade, mostly through massive public led investment. Despite this, the domestic saving rate remains low, relative to the investment rate. As a result, the country is forced to depend on debt to fill the gap. Currently, the gross domestic saving to GDP ratio in Ethiopia is 22.3Pct, with the gross capital formation to GDP ratio at 37Pct. In fact, the gap between saving and investment is now wider than it was 15 years ago. As the government envisions increasing the saving ratio to 30Pct of GDP in the next 10 years, EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the reasons for the low domestic saving rate and offers solutions.

Kiya AliAugust 15, 2020


It has been quite a long time since mobile banking started in Ethiopia. However, its penetration is still very small considering the potential size of the market. With branch expansion taken as the primary goal of banks to expand their services to people in all corners of the country, mobile and agent banking seem to be in the back burner. However, poor banking infrastructure outside of the capital Addis Ababa seems to have raised the relevance of mobile banking in some regions of the country. EBR’s Kiya Ali looks into the expanding mobile banking market in the country.

Kiya AliAugust 15, 2020


Ethiopia, along with countries like China and Bangladesh, is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The second African most populous country achieved a commendable economic trajectory in the last two decades. Although the rate is a subject of debate among scholars and policymakers, the government claims an average of 9.9Pct growth was achieved in the past 10 years. This was corroborated by the various mega construction and other major infrastructural projects implemented during the period. Though this has helped the country achieve the title of ‘African Tiger’, it has piled up the country’s debt, both external and domestic. EBR’s Kiya Ali explores the dangers of domestic debt piles.


Acquisition of Fixed Assets

Buying houses from real estate developers incur 15Pct Value Added Tax and six percent title deed transfer fee of an actual price tag. Additionally, real estate developers take more time to deliver housing units which further escalate cost of construction that ultimately push price tag further.

This makes houses built by real estate companies more expensive for the vast majority of Addis Ababans. As a result, house buyers have been looking for affordable options.

Ashenafi EndaleJuly 30, 2020

Hunger Hovering By

A swarm of locusts is pushing millions in East Africa to the brink of food insecurity. In Ethiopia alone, over a million people have so far become food insecure and in need of urgent assistance. About 3.5 million quintals of crop has been destroyed by the locust that damaged state and private farms. With predictions the locust attack may increase 400 times in the times ahead, disastrous damages are expected unless preventive measures are taken in time. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores.

Kiya AliJuly 15, 2020


States across the world are experiencing a drastic fall in government revenue and unmatched growth of expenditure due to COVID-19. Ethiopia is no different. So far, the government has approved over ETB50 billion as a response to the COVID-19 crisis. USD1.6 billion is also required to further boost the country’s potential to overcome the crisis. Meanwhile, businesses are struggling to pay their taxes, a situation which is likely to result in a fall in government revenues from taxes. This is expected to widen the budget deficit, presenting yet another macroeconomic woe for the government that is already challenged by inflationary pressure and unemployment. EBR’s Kiya Ali explores.

Ashenafi EndaleJune 15, 2020


Gross domestic savings are generally very low in least developed countries such as Ethiopia. That paved the way for foreign investment to emerge as an alternative source of bridging the gap between savings and the required investment after 1992. Since foreign firms bring not only financial capital but also managerial techniques as well as entrepreneurial and technological skills, foreign direct investment (FDI) is regarded as one of the major components of Ethiopia’s economic growth over the past decade. However, it’s not all been rosy. Although initial investment by foreign firms improves the current and capital accounts of the host country, in the long run, repatriation of profit, interest, royalties and management fees may harm its foreign exchange position. This is exactly what is happening in Ethiopia. A minimum of USD1 billion is requested by locally operating foreign companies that repatriate profits annually. However, a fraction of this amount is availed by commercial banks operating in the country. This phenomenon traps foreign companies, forcing them either to wait for a long time to repatriate their profits or reinvest it as EBR’s Ashenafi Endale found out.

Ashenafi EndaleJune 15, 2020


In the aftermath of free market policies and the subsequent lifting of price caps in Ethiopia, setting the price of commodities seems to be left solely to suppliers and traders. With barely any institutional set ups to protect the rights of consumers, the prices of goods and services has soared in folds with the trend showing no end in sight. The Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Authority established seven years ago seems to be a failure. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale looks into the problems in consumer protection and the road ahead.

Ashenafi EndaleMay 15, 2020


Using plastic bags is a common practice in Ethiopia, a country that aspires to build a carbon free economy by 2025. Although Ethiopia declared producing plastic bags of below 0.03mm illegal long ago, the proclamation has not been put into practice. Retailers openly trade bags below the recommended amount throughout Ethiopia. With that precedent in mind, the government has drafted a new law that totally bans plastic bags. While this is expected to be legislated in the next three months, producers complain such a measure would put them in a precarious situation. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores.

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