A Cost-Benefit Analysis

The recent announcement of Ethiopia’s accession to the BRICS alliance signifies a transformative milestone for the country and the broader African continent. As BRICS expands its ranks, its influence in the global economy also increases and offers more opportunities as an alternative source of development finance. This move is very beneficial to Ethiopia, which has been looking for alternative sources of finance. However, there are concerns that this move will bring as Western countries are wary of the growing influence of China and Russia, two of the major superpowers that are contending against America’s dominance of the current global order. EBR’s Eden Teshome highlights the potential benefits and implications of Ethiopia’s membership in BRICS.


The Unintended Consequences of AI on Education

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools have rapidly transformed how we live and work. This is evident in both developed and developing countries. AI has become an integral part of our daily lives, from self-driving cars to virtual assistants. Even though Ethiopia has yet to reach that stage, more advanced countries are already experiencing such transformative changes. However, the impact of AI tools is only sometimes positive. The emergence of ChatGPT, an AI-powered language model developed by OpenAI, capable of generating human-like text based on context and past conversations, has raised concerns among academic experts and professionals in education due to the possible hazards of ethical issues in schools like cheating and motivating students to put out the least amount of effort. In this article, EBR’s Eden Teshome assesses AI’s advantages, drawbacks, and limitations in the education sector.  


The Ebbing Drift in the Industrial Sector

Ethiopia has undergone an economic transformation in recent years, driven by a comprehensive homegrown economic reform agenda launched in 2019. The plan prioritizes the development of various industries, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, resources and energy, tourism, and food processing, to drive economic growth and reduce dependency on imports. However, despite the government’s efforts to revitalize the industry sector, recent data shows a significant decline in its contribution to the country’s economy over the past five years. EBR’s Bamlak Fikadu dives deep into Ethiopia’s recent industrial performances. 


Ethiopia’s Economy Takes a Hit

Ethiopia has experienced a decline in its export earnings, posing severe challenges to covering its import bills. Unrest and conflicts have resulted in supply chain disruptions, hindering production and export. Ethiopia heavily relies on agricultural products for export, including coffee, oilseeds, and textiles. Fluctuations in global commodity prices significantly contributed to the country’s declining export earnings. The overall macroeconomic situation, which resulted in an overvalued local currency, has made it challenging to offer Ethiopian commodities at competitive prices in the global market. Limited transportation options, inefficient customs procedures, and inadequate port facilities add to delays and increased costs, making Ethiopian exports less competitive. The government’s decision demanding commercial banks surrender 70Pct of export proceeds further exacerbated the problem. EBR’s Eden Teshome explores. 


Exorbitant School Fees in Addis

Private schools have sprung up across the country in recent decades, particularly in Addis Ababa, to meet the ever-increasing demand for quality education from parents who are willing and able to pay. Since their inception in the mid-1990s, these schools have made tremendous strides in terms of attracting a large student population and claiming to provide a higher-quality education. As a result, private schools have become an important alternative to the overcrowded and under-resourced public school system. Recently, their contribution has been severely questioned, as only a handful of them had their students join colleges and pass the national exam. Now, they are the centre of the conversation, mainly in the capital, for the unprecedented increase in their fees, writes EBR’s Bamlak Fekadu. 


The Ethiopian government opened its telecom sector in 2021, welcoming competition for more significant technological innovation. It also focuses on modernising the retail payment sector, E-Governance, E-commerce and the overall payment landscape. Since then, there is marked progress in the way business is conducted. Indeed, Ethiopia’s digital economy is booming, with the country experiencing a surge in internet usage and mobile phone penetration. 

The government has launched several initiatives to promote the digital economy and entrepreneurship by broadening the avenues of participation for foreign investors and local job creation. However, the private sector lags in all these recent tech developments. Unlike other countries where the private sector is the leading player in technological innovation, in Ethiopia, the public sector has beaten in taking the lead in the digitisation evolution with Ethio Telecom and Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, two of the giant state enterprises powerfully taking the lead, writes EBR’s Bamlak Fekadu. 


Billboards, radio, television, and press advertisements are still fundamental forms of advertising, particularly in traditional economies with poor access to digital media. Digital advertising is, however, becoming more common in metropolitan areas due to the rising usage of smartphones and internet connectivity. Businesses use social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to connect with younger, more technologically adept audiences and customers. Traditional techniques continue to be essential for reaching larger audiences despite this transition towards digital advertising, but some argue that in a few years, digital advertising will dominate the market. In this article, EBR’s Eden Teshome tells the story of the evolution of advertising practices. 


Thanks to big corporations and financial companies, Addis is becoming a city with many buildings compared to East African cities. With its challenges, many local contractors have built magnificent buildings in the past two decades in the capital and the rest of the country. Most structures built by local contractors need more quality and basic infrastructures and have similar designs. Frustrated, many builders are now turning their backs on local contractors while strengthening their ties with foreign ones, particularly those from China. Chinese contractors run the country’s significant buildings, roads and dam projects. This article is an updated version of earlier content published on EBR, 8th Year • Dec.16 – Jan.15 2020 • No. 81.


For the past four years, the hospitality industry has been suffering from the impacts of political instability. It has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the local hospitality industry loses over 50Pct of its market. Ethiopia’s hospitality sector is adjusting to taking a share of the recovering market, with travel restrictions gradually easing and vaccination rates rising reflected in higher occupancy rates, as many hotels offer flexible cancellation policies and discounted rates to entice travellers back to their properties.

Despite ongoing marketing challenges, hotels are investing in new technologies and safety measures to provide their guests with a safe and comfortable experience, critical in rebuilding consumer confidence and trust, writes EBR’s Bamlak Fekadu.


Almost every part of everyday life involves the Internet. In many parts of the World, internet connections have gone from being a luxury to a necessity. The COVID pandemic has brought into clear view the necessity of being linked to the outside Internet for survival and general sanity. 

Digital transformation has been a significant agenda item for the government, with the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed taking a personal interest in the matter. The Internet was a necessity to disseminate and access information and follow up business activities such as upkeeping of supply chains and e-commerce, remote banking, or the ability to contact friends and family. Ironically, the Prosperity regime is also suffocating access to the Internet to limit the use of social media, which it accuses of fueling political tensions in the country. In this article, EBR’s Eden Teshome assesses the paradox of digital aspiration and the limited Internet access on which digital services heavily depend.

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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