Ashenafi EndaleNovember 15, 20203498
The Role of Public Enterprises in Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s economic policies of the past two decades indicate the growing role and significance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Essential services such as electricity, telecommunications, shipping and logistics, and transport are mainly provided by SOEs. In addition to giant public enterprises, like Ethiopian Airlines, Ethio Telecom, and Ethiopian Electric Power, there are also SOEs engaged in railways, industrial parks, hotels, sugar, and other manufacturing industries. Although SOEs are increasing in the volume of transactions they involve, most remain inefficient and unable to service their debts. Their accumulated debt is especially skyrocketing, putting a huge stress on the national economy. The current accumulated debt of 21 SOEs is ETB846 billion, which is more than half of the total national debts. EBR editors explore the issue.


Kiya AliOctober 15, 20202838
Why it Remains a Daunting Task

Historically, fish has played an important role in food security for many countries. Globally, it contributes 15-20Pct of current total animal protein intake requirements. Ethiopia is among nations with a vast potential in this regard. The country has many lakes and rivers for fish production and various species exist in these bodies of water. But the current annual production—57,360 metric tons—only satisfies a fraction of the demand. Instead of becoming a commercialized and thriving industry, the fishery sector in Ethiopia still remains a small scale and artisan-oriented industry. EBR’s Kiya Ali investigates.


Ashenafi EndaleJuly 30, 20203645

The world has been in a state of shock since January 2020. Every corner of the globe is struggling to survive the health and economic impacts of the Coronavirus. Ethiopia is already experiencing the brunt of the virus as it reports a fall in economic growth and bankruptcy of several private companies. The most powerful states in the world that were perceived to have economic prowess, developed health system and educated society were apparently not ready for a challenge like the Coronavirus. Supply gaps in essential medical equipment showed their neglect of the most basic products; their health systems were simply overwhelmed by the large amount of cases coming in and their educated population proved to be undisciplined and not so smart after all.


Kiya AliJuly 30, 20203327

Coronavirus disrupted everything. It has altered the way people work, communicate and get basic services. It has also killed businesses, leading to loss of thousands of jobs. However, not everyone lost. Some, in fact, are capitalizing on the new realities under the pandemic. Taxi hailing companies, delivery service providers, producers of sanitizers, mobile money operators and mobile retailers are among a few of the businesses that cater to the changing demands of customers. EBR’s Kiya Ali explores.


Samson BerhaneJuly 15, 20204225

Power outages are a common problem faced by everyone in Ethiopia. From households to industries, it is a major challenge that affects productivity, thereby contributing to inflationary pressure as it results in supply shortage in many sectors. Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, interruption has become more frequent due to the rise in household consumption. Although many citizens and expats have been told to work from home to curb the spread of the virus, this has proved to be quite a challenge due to power interruptions. EBR’s Samson Berhane explores.


Ashenafi EndaleJune 15, 20203319

The major scare on Ethiopia’s international image is its incessant association with famine. Ethiopia has a cycle of drought that recurs every decade. Despite efforts to break the cycle and rise above the embarrassing and life threatening challenge, drought and famine still creep up. Despite decades of experience fighting the vice, Ethiopia still regularly struggles against food self-sufficiency problems. The lingering problem necessitates keeping dependable food reserves. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale investigates the problems behind this chronic problems and sheds light on the road ahead.


Ashenafi EndaleMay 15, 20204792

There are no options in sight for Addis Ababa’s horizontal expansion now that border disputes with Oromia regional state have become one of the hottest political agenda in the country. This horizontally fixed landmass has, however, been receiving an unprecedented huge influx of rural urban migrants. With most of the city’s farm lands used up for constructing residential areas, residents of Africa’s capital are left to depend on regional states for the supply of agricultural products. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale looks into the problem and the fresh efforts being taken to avert the situation.


Kiya AliMay 15, 20204265

In the current dynamic business environment where technology changes quickly and customer demand escalates, staff training plays a crucial role to increase productivity, improve efficiency and meet customer expectations. This is especially true for financial institutions operating in Ethiopia under dynamic and volatile business environment. To facilitate this, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) in 2016 instructed banks and other financial institutions to spend two percent of their expenses, excluding capital expenditure, on human resource development. However, financial institutions failed to live up to expectations initially. In the 2017/18 fiscal year, seven banks failed to invest two percent of their expenditure that totally amounts close to ETB40 million on staff training. Through time, financial institutions began to realize the importance of training and started to give their employees frequent trainings. However, some still have doubts on the quality and efficiency of the training. EBR’s Kiya Ali reports. 


Kiya AliMay 15, 20204374

In developing countries like Ethiopia, where the majority of the population is small scale farmers and pastoralists, livestock and crop insurances play a vital role in minimizing the risk of climate shock and drought. However, livestock and crop insurance remains a luxury in Ethiopia. Even though livestock and crop insurance policies were introduced in Ethiopia 20 years ago by the state owned Ethiopian Insurance Corporation, the number of beneficiaries is insignificant. Currently, there are only three insurance companies that provide livestock and crop insurance in the country. The situation is getting worse when it comes to micro insurance since it still remains in pilot testing stage dependent on aid from foreign NGOs. EBR’s Kiya Ali spoke with various stakeholders to shed light on the reasons behind.


Kiya AliApril 15, 20204911

Building a strong labor force without vibrant technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is nothing but impossible. Accepting its importance for the enhancement of the economy, the government has drafted a strategy a decade ago by introducing an outcome-based TVET system, though it is largely supply driven. However, attitudinal problems have discouraged many students from joining TVETs, while graduates of which are unable to match their skills with the demands of the economy. EBR’s Kiya Ali reports.

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