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
Villas developed by unlicensed individuals have become one of the options. The unlicensed individual developers have lesser tax obligations and deliver houses for less at a shorter span of time. As a result, they are becoming more active in the housing market.
As their number increases, there is a fear that the market would become informal and out of the watchful eyes of the government. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale Explores.


Ethiopia is one of the few countries in Africa that has not made significant changes in its basic land policy since the radical land reform of 1975. Exceptions to this have been occasional land redistributions to accommodate the growing population. This is not because the current policy serves the interest of agricultural development better than its alternatives. Various studies suggest that the insecurity of land tenure hampers rights on land, discourages farmers to productively invest in land, and restricts transferability of land, posing significant constraints to agricultural growth and natural resource management. The government, which remains in its firm position that there are no private property rights on land, seems to ignore such findings.


Demand for Locally Made Leather Bags Surges

Ethiopia’s locally made leather handbag market is rapidly evolving as new designers enter the market. People commonly carry locally produced handbags, which are now available in different sizes and captivating designs, contrary to trends just a few years ago. Although there have been shortages of raw materials, many are capitalizing on the opportunities and investing in the sector as EBR’s Kiya reports.


Providing A Glimpse of Hope for women Entrepreneurs

For many female entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, starting and running a business is a very challenging prospect. One of the biggest issues facing women in Ethiopia is access to finance. Traditional loan models rely on collateral and credit histories, which many women do not have. However, some new investment models have arisen, including angel investing, which involves investors, sometimes in foreign countries, investing in small and medium enterprises in developing countries, sometimes for a small cut of the company. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explored this new avenue for women to start their businesses.


Architect of A Successful Woman-Led Tech Startup

Samrawit Fikru is the creator of Hybrid Design, a company behind the most popular taxi hailing app in Ethiopia, Ride. Samrawit is always trying to identify problems and respond accordingly. It was likely this quality that was the key to her success. Transformed from an SMS-based on demand service to a mobile app, Ride is now used by more than 1,300 drivers and has been downloaded over 50,000 times. EBR’s Samson Berhane sat down with the 29 year old entrepreneur to learn about her journey to success and the challenges she has faced so far.


The Rise of A Megacity

Lagos, the financial and commercial capital of Nigeria is a city in the middle of great changes. Although it covers less than one percent of Nigeria’s territorial land mass, it accounts for over 60Pct of industrial and commercial activities in the nation. Even based on the city’s 2015 gross domestic product of USD136 billion taken, it has become the 5th largest economy in Africa. While visiting Lagos, EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the city’s prospects for further economic growth.


Semera, the capital city of Afar regional state is a microcosm of the region. Growing construction and rising populations are propelling the young capital into the modern age. Investment potential, natural history and other assets are pushing people towards Semera. However, there are still roadblocks ahead for the young city. The reluctance of investors, lack of foreign currency and (growth notwithstanding) a small population, threaten to slow the massive potential that the city, and the regional state as a whole, have. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale was on the scene to explore this growing hub.


Last month, automated teller machines (ATMs) throughout Ethiopia were integrated, meaning a cardholder from any bank could use any ATM to access their accounts and withdraw money. This level of technological integration is a first for Ethiopia’s growing banking sector – and a step towards creating an economy that’s less cash-dependent and one marked by greater financial inclusion.
The company at the centre of this integration is EthSwitch, the industry-owned enterprise that develops innovative, technological banking solutions. EthSwitch’s founding CEO, Bizuneh Bekele, says that integration is central to their operating philosophy – not only integrating banks but also bringing more people into the formal financial sector.


Carlos Lopes (PhD) UN Under Secretary-General, Executive Secretary, UN ECA

Carlos Lopes (PhD), UN Under Secretary-General and the eighth Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), is a well-known global thought leader in African development. Assuming his current position at the UNECA in 2012, Lopes previously served as Executive Director of the UN Institute for Training and Research in Geneva and Director of the UN System Staff College in Turin, Italy at the level of Assistant Secretary-General. His active contribution in research concerning development issues, his experience teaching at top-notch universities in Africa, Europe and Latin America, as well as authoring and editing 22 books have prepared him well for research- and development-oriented leadership.


Seeing how the newly constructed eight lane road on Africa Avenue is swamped with cars at rush hours gives an indication as to what is happening in the city’s car market. Every day more than 40,000 cars of different models and brands pass through this corridor alone. Yet this is not unique to this specific street. Every major road in the city is seen crowded with cars almost all the time. As the number of urbanites who are joining the ranks of the middle class is increasing so do the number of cars.

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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