Deal Boosts League but Challenges Remain

For the past few years, the Ethiopian Premier League has received coverage on Africa’s largest direct broadcast satellite service, DSTV. This coverage has been instrumental in helping Ethiopian players gain attention and exposure on the international stage. Additionally, fans have had the opportunity to follow their favourite teams closely. The coverage has also provided journalists with valuable experience in covering live games. However, despite this deal’s numerous benefits, some believe the league company needed to fully capitalize on the opportunities presented. In a detailed analysis, EBR’s Dr. Brook Genene examines the impact of DSTV’s coverage of the Ethiopian Premier League and the challenges faced by the league company.


Ethiopian Clubs Turn Kit Struggles into Profits with Local Manufacturers

One of the problems Ethiopian football has faced for many years is the need for quality kits. Despite football being a popular sport attracting many people to stadiums and keeping plenty of others glued to their TV screens to follow the action, clubs have needed help to get the standard kits for themselves and their fans. Because of this, it wasn’t uncommon to see errors in player numbers, jerseys that don’t have names, and, worst of all, kit clashes due to lack of away and alternate kits. However, this problem has been solved recently. With the emergence of local kit manufacturing brands like Gofere and Wanaw, football clubs have now managed to turn a problem into a profit. EBR’s Dr. Brook Genene assesses how these sports brands have changed the Ethiopian football scene and the atmosphere around the games for the better.


Naomi Girma, a rising star born to Ethiopian parents in America, is taking the football world by storm with her extraordinary performances on both the club and international stages. In a groundbreaking achievement, she was crowned the best women’s national team player in the USA in 2023, becoming the first defender ever to claim this prestigious award in its 39-year history. What’s more, Naomi’s triumph also marked a significant milestone as she became only the second black player to achieve this remarkable feat.

Naomi’s profound love for the beautiful game can be traced back to her father, who instilled a deep passion for football from a tender age. For Naomi, football has always been more than just a childhood pastime. It has been a powerful conduit through which she stays connected to her Ethiopian heritage. The vibrant Ethiopian community in the United States frequently gathers around the sport. Naomi found solace and a sense of belonging on the field, strengthening her bond with her roots. EBR’s Dr. Brook Genene delves into Naomi Girma’s mesmerizing journey as she ascends to the pinnacle of stardom.


Ethiopia’s Lack of Standard Stadiums Thwarts Footballing Ambitions

Ethiopia is a distant observer while the continent’s finest footballers take centre stage in Côte d’Ivoire for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023. Having graced the AFCON stage in Cameroon just two years ago, the “Waliyas” now watch from afar, a stark reminder of their struggles to sustain continental relevance.

This absence highlights a more profound malaise afflicting Ethiopian football: the glaring lack of a stadium meeting CAF and FIFA standards. Dr. Brook Genene, a prominent sports commentator for EBR, delves into this critical issue, revealing its detrimental impact on both results and player development. Indeed, Ethiopia’s recent stumbles can be partly attributed to the absence of a world-class stadium. Substandard facilities hinder both domestic and international competition, crippling player development and eroding fan confidence.


Ethiopian Boxing Soars Towards Brighter Prospects

Boxing is a popular sport in Ethiopia. Unfortunately, it has faced challenges due to inadequate budgeting and a limited number of yearly competitions. Only a few individuals have dedicated their efforts to popularizing Boxing in Ethiopia, often without sufficient support from stakeholders. However, there is now a glimmer of hope on the horizon. The recent election of Eyasu Wossen as the new president of the African Boxing Federation brings optimism. EBR’s Dr. Brook Genene takes a closer look at the current state of the sport in the country.


Ethiopia’s Giant Football Clubs Struggle for Survival

As the 2023/24 Ethiopian Premier League kicks off, dark clouds loom over two of the country’s biggest football clubs: St. George and Ethiopia Bunna FC. Both teams are facing significant financial challenges that threaten their very existence. While football, in theory, should be self-sustaining through revenue streams like membership payments, commercial deals, matchday income, merchandise sales, and television deals, this ideal scenario seems far-fetched in the current Ethiopian football landscape. EBR’s Brook Genene delves deeper into the financial quagmire engulfing these two clubs, analyzing the root causes and exploring potential solutions to safeguard the future of Ethiopian football.


Gudaf Tsegay, Tigist Assefa’s BID for World Athlete of the Year Title

Tigist Assefa, who won the 2023 Berlin Marathon in a stunning finish, is the distance record holder. She is nominated for World Female Athlete of the Year accolade. Similarly, 5000-meter World Record holder and reigning 10000-meter World Champion Gudaf Tsegay competes for the same title. The World will know the winner on December 11 in a colourful event in Monaco. Meseret Defar in 2007, Genezebe Dibaba in 2015, and Almaz Ayana in 2016 are previous female award winners of this prestigious title from Ethiopia. Haile Gebresillase (1998) and Kenenis Bekele (2004, 2005) have accomplished this feat in the male category. Tigist or Gudaf, who have raised the profile of Ethiopian athletes on the world stage, will be hoping to join this exclusive club. EBR’s Dr. Brook Genene closely examines how these two athletes reached this point.


Ethiopia has a rich and proud history of athletic excellence, particularly in long-distance running. Ethiopian athletes have won 59 Olympic medals, including 23 gold in track and field events. This result is comparable to the 113 Olympic medals, including 35 gold, that neighboring Kenya has achieved. Ethiopia has a high altitude, which helps to develop athletes’ cardiovascular systems. The relatively cool climate is also ideal for training—the solid cultural emphasis on running also, in a way, prepares youth for athletics. Kenya’s dominance in the continent came mainly in recent years, since 2008. From the lack of infrastructure to poor administration and insufficient funding, Ethiopia’s athletics require a solid intervention to overhaul the sector, especially in short and medium-distance running, EBR’s Brook Genene reports.


Recently, there have been a growing number of centers hosting people who want to lose weight through gymnastics. These particular new centers, however, are using cultural dances to achieve the same goal. Bringing the idea of weight loss and cultural arts under their roof, these places are not only fun for those who participate in them but also impressive sources of income for the founding individuals. As businesses are taking advantage of the nation’s rich culture, they are also helping to preserve it, writes EBR’s Trualem Asmare.


The various Olympic events, international championships, and other regional and global athletics contests used to be venues for Ethiopian runners to shine. These used to be moments for Ethiopians to shed tears while the rest of the world would watch in admiration. As of recently however, that has not been the case. It has been some time now since Ethiopians began losing races which they had been so accustomed to winning. Various reasons can be presented with one definitely being dispute and power struggles among various institutions tasked to lead and support the sport towards success. In this article, Abiy Wendifraw, who accompanied the Ethiopian team to the Tokyo Olympics, looks back at the deficiencies of the games and the dispute that followed.

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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