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Ashenafi EndaleJune 15, 20212min500

Ethiopia’s sources of finance are thinning, calling into question the sustainability of the large government-financed GDP expansion of the last fifteen years. The recent decision of the US to impose economic sanctions on Ethiopia has only worsened the situation of Ethiopia’s external financial sources, already crippled with high debts.

In a bid to maintain the 10Pct average annual growth, government needs to invest 37Pct of GDP—very difficult to fulfill from only tax and FDIs weakened by conflict and COVID-19. Even the highly expected telecom license sale did not garner expected amounts.

New investments are critical to maintain the pace of growth and fulfill the demands of a fast-growing population and fend off soaring inflation and unemployment. Finalizing the megaprojects of the past decade needs further investment and starting new ones seams dreamy. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale navigates alternative venues left for development financing.


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Ashenafi EndaleMay 15, 20211min1040

Coal is the second-most used source of energy globally. Primarily used for power generation, it is the raw material of choice for 40Pct of electricity production worldwide. With an estimated 430 million metric tons of coal deposits in the country, the Ethiopian government is trying to utilize this resource by encouraging small- and large-scale coal producers and investors. As a result, the country has managed to satisfy 40Pct of its annual demand from the local market. However, the quality of the coal produced is of poorer quality compared with imports from countries like South Africa. Resultantly, manufacturers going local are incurring additional costs. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores.


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Ashenafi EndaleMay 15, 20211min970

The House of People’s Representatives recently unanimously approved the revised Commercial Code of Ethiopia, replacing the 61-year-old document which was in place since 1960. The revision sought to amend 825 sections of trade-related issues and is expected to serve intact for 30 years as up-to-date technological advancements have been considered, according to the government.
The amendment introduced two new organizational arrangements for a company’s establishment while excluding ordinary partnership. It is now permitted to establish a one-person private limited company as well as a limited liability partnership. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale assesses the new commercial code.


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Ashenafi EndaleApril 15, 20212min6060

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.


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Ashenafi EndaleApril 15, 20211min4200

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other teething problems, African countries opened their markets in January 2021 under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The new market, which allows for the duty-free trade of goods and services across borders, is expected to lift up to 30 million Africans out of extreme poverty. It is also expected to boost intra-African trade, promote industrialization, create jobs, and improve the competitiveness of African industries on the global stage. However, the new trade block is encountering problems from its birth. African countries, fearing trading through AfCFTA will immensely cost their economies, are retreating. In fact, more than 20 African nations, including Ethiopia, have not fulfilled necessary requirements to start trading under the agreement. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores.


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Ashenafi EndaleMarch 15, 20211min11220

Ethiopia has vast water resources. However, only a fraction of the potential has been realized thus far. Access to fresh water is still a problem in both rural and urban parts of the country. Given the high population growth rate, Ethiopia should utilize groundwater for both agriculture and household use. However, little has been done to tap the huge groundwater resource in the country. EBR’s Mubarek Jemal reports.


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Ashenafi EndaleJanuary 16, 20211min20630

Ethiopia is endowed with abundant renewable energy resources and has the potential to generate over 60,000 MW of electric power from hydroelectric, wind, solar, and geothermal sources. However, the country only generates 4,500MW, not sufficient to satisfy more than 100 million people. To address the current and future demand forecasted to grow 14Pct annually till 2037, the government recently announced a new plan for the next ten years. The plan envisions increasing the electric generation capacity from renewable sources from the current 4,500MW to 19,000MW by 2030, of which the private sector is expected to generate 9,000MW. However, investors engaged in the energy sector inform that many hinderances limit the involvement of the private sector, and thus meeting the target will be very difficult. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale investigates the issue further.


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Elias TegegnDecember 16, 20201min25130

There are seven privately- and 10 government-owned industrial parks (IPs) operating in Ethiopia. Although the government-owned ones were developed with massive finances, thus far their performance has not been satisfactory. On the other hand, companies operating inside privately-owned IPs are doing well. In fact, an increasing number of foreign investors are requesting to develop their own IPs. The government, recently decided to discontinue developing IPs and is preparing a directive to facilitate this. EBR’s Elias Tegegn explores the issue.


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Ashenafi EndaleNovember 15, 20201min30360

Since domestic resources are not large enough to finance various development endeavors, Ethiopia, just like any developing nation is forced to turn to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). To facilitate the flow of FDI into the country, the government tried to introduce a favorable legal framework in line with constantly changing global dynamics, but without compromising national interest.


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Ashenafi EndaleNovember 15, 20201min26950

Microinsurance is insurance that can be accessed by the low-income segment of the population and small businesses. Despite its business potential and instrumental role in averting social and economic risks, the penetration of microinsurance remains very low in Ethiopia, a country with 80Pct of the population engaged in smallholder, rural, and rain fed agriculture, and where crop and livestock failure is frequent. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores why microinsurance could not capitalize on the rising demand and takeoff as a new business front.



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