Ashenafi EndaleNovember 15, 2020

“I Want to be the Top Industrialist Woman in Africa.”

Amelework Gidey is Founder and Managing Director of Technostyle, a company known for over 20 years as a furniture importer and distributer. She is one of the leading female entrepreneurs in Ethiopia’s emerging manufacturing sector. With the acquisition of the foam and furniture manufacturing division of MNS, a Turkish based textile manufacturer and exporter, Technostyle has been expanding through backward integration of its core businesses since 2015. This has given the company a better competitive edge as it now controls a good proportion of the supply of raw materials.

Ashenafi EndaleNovember 15, 2020


Beyene Hailemeskel, is the former Director General of the Public Enterprises Holding and Administration Agency (PEHAA), which oversees 21 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Ethiopia. He joined the agency 20 years ago, gradually climbing the ladder to the top position. Beyene, who argues that state intervention remains a crucial driver of Ethiopia’s economy, stresses SOEs are undergoing deep reforms to the core. EBR paid audience to Beyene’s reflections on SOEs’ performance and futurity, weeks before he tendered his resignation at the end of October 2020.

Ashenafi EndaleOctober 15, 2020

Departing Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, Tan Jian

Shortly after arriving on December 4, 2017, Ambassador of the Peoples’ Republic of China to Ethiopia, Tan Jian became a dashing figure in Ethiopia’s development activities. Although his tenure matched a period of turbulence in Ethiopia, Tan Jian has had a successful diplomatic stay. His tenure overlapped with the political transition in Ethiopia and the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, he succeeded in relentlessly pushing for the timely execution of projects, attracting more Chinese investment, and coordinating the fight against the pandemic. He is a popular media figure who reveals the Chinese side of stories, which he argues, are otherwise stereotyped by the West dominated media. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with him ahead of his end of tenure and departure at the end of September 2020.

Ashenafi EndaleOctober 15, 2020


William Asiko came to the helm of the Rockefeller Foundation Africa Regional Office just in 2019. The foundation’s Managing Director is, however, not new to Africa’s development issues.

Asiko started his career as an attorney in the external resources department of the government of Kenya. He has worked for The Coca-Cola Company at various positions and in several countries including the USA, Morocco, UK, Kenya, and South Africa. He was also the Executive Director of Grow Africa, which was jointly established by the World Economic Forum, the African Union (AU), and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to accelerate private sector investment into African agriculture. Asiko was also the CEO of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF), a pan-African development organization.

Asiko earned a law degree from the University of Nairobi in 1987 and an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in the United States in 2005. EBR spoke to the Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation Africa Regional Office on various issues via zoom from his office based in Nairobi.

Tewedaj SintayehuAugust 30, 2020


It only took little Mohammed Nuri three years to complete the six grades in elementary school. These were early signs of him being an extra-ordinary student. He lived up to those early expectations when he passed the Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate Examination (ESLCE) with flying colors and joined Jimma Medical School at the tender age of sixteen. A kid from a poor family of not well-educated parents who came to Addis Ababa from a village in rural Ethiopia, Mohammed always sought to one day change their lives. The prime motivator behind Mohammed’s decision to join medical school was the relatively higher pay it offered. Medical doctors received a salary of ETB835 back then as opposed to about ETB600 for B.A holders in some other fields. When he was just a freshman, however, his mother passed away after the medication she needed could not be found following a surgical procedure. That moment of grief dawned on him the importance of raising the availability of pharmaceuticals in the country. By the time he graduated, Dr. Mohammed realized that it would be difficult to change things around with that salary. He declined an offer to teach at Jimma University and went into business instead.

Ashenafi EndaleAugust 30, 2020


Simegn Degu is the Director for Cement Industry Research and Technology Development at the Chemical and Construction Input Industry Development Institute (CIIDI). He has been leading several research projects that seek to solve bottlenecks in the cement industry and pave the way for the sector’s development. Simegn believes several factors, including artificial shortages and corporate management problems have contributed to the recent spike in the price of the commodity. He believes the recent administrative measures taken by the government are not going to give a long-term solution to the problem. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with him to understand what went wrong in the market, especially over the last six months.

Ashenafi EndaleAugust 15, 2020


Yohannes Ayalew Birru (PhD) is Deputy Director General and Head of Macroeconomic and Financial Policy Studies Cluster, at the Policy Studies Institute in Ethiopia. Between June and November 2018, he served as Executive Director of the Ethiopian Economic Policy and Research Institute.

Yohannes also served at the National Bank of Ethiopia for about 27 years, of which he served as the Vice Governor and Chief Economist of the National Bank of Ethiopia, a position he held for about nine years between 2009 and 2018. In total, Yohannes has 30 years of cumulative experience in the areas of finance, macroeconomic policy and economic growth. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale spoke to him about the problems in the financial sector.

Ashenafi EndaleAugust 15, 2020

Melesse Maryo (PhD), Director General of the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute

Melesse Maryo (PhD) has been Director General of the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute (EBI) since 2016/17. Before assuming his current position, he used to be Vice President for Research at Dilla University. He is an Agro-ecologist, specializing in agro-biodiversity. He earned his PhD from the Addis Ababa University (AAU). He is one of two scholars (the other from Ghana) representing Africa in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Conference of Parties (CoP), and International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resource for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). He is also board member of the Ethiopian Agriculture Council, and Gulele Botanical Garden, among others.

Ashenafi EndaleAugust 15, 2020

Tadesse Daba, (phD) Director of Biotechnology Research at EIAR

Tadesse Daba (PhD) is Director of Biotechnology Research at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), where he worked for over 20 years. He holds a PhD in Enzyme Biotechnology from Kyoto University, japan. Apart from witnessing the state of biotechnology in labs around the world, especially in USA and Europe, Tadesse currently works with major biotechnology institutions in Africa, including: the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) based in Kenya, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (known by its Spanish acronym CIMMYT), International Potato Center (CIP), and Michigan State University, among others. Tadesse underlines GMO is the best and safest instrument for countries like Ethiopia to detach from the vicious circles of poor agricultural output and food insecurity.

Ashenafi EndaleJuly 30, 2020

EABSC Gazes at the Sunshine Across from the Discomfort of the Eye of the Storm

Daryl Wilson, CEO of East African Bottling Share Company (EABSC), arrived in Ethiopia just last year. Originally from south Africa, he was Managing Director of Nairobi Bottlers of Kenya for nine years before coming to Ethiopia. With 27 years in the business, Daryl Wilson has seen the troughs and the picks of the industry even before the turn of the century. He is already overseeing construction of two epic factories in Hawassa and Sebeta with an outlay of a staggering USD300 million. The two factories will triple the volume of coke products in Ethiopia, besides launching new products. He says Ethiopia is the fastest growing beverage consumer market in Africa. Nonetheless, the humorous CEO is not all that excited. The company already lost over 15Pct of its sales revenue due to the new Ethiopian excise tax regime and COVID-19. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale spoke to the CEO on various issues.

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