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Ashenafi EndaleOctober 1, 202165

Ethiopia used to rule all ports on the western side of the Red Sea, until it lost its last one to Eritrea in 1991, joining the pack of landlocked African economies. Over 90Pct of Ethiopia’s international trade—forecasted to almost double from the current 17.1 million tons to 30 million metric tons by 2030—has been utilizing the Port of Djibouti.

However, Ethiopia is currently exploiting additional ports in Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, and Eritrea. Following the opening of the Ethiopian logistics sector to foreign investors, these ports are planned to be linked with dry ports and economic and logistics facilities across Ethiopia. To that end, the Logistics Transformation Office, is currently finalizing the first Ethiopian logistics masterplan, which envisages interconnecting the nation through infrastructure including ports, roads, rail, aviation, pipelines, and transboundary rivers. Ashenafi Endale explores.


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Ashenafi EndaleSeptember 1, 202133

The influence advertisers put on media is growing by the day. Commercial broadcasters, newspapers, and magazines generate the majority of their revenue from advertisements. As this is the case, ad placers usually use their economic power to influence content production in favor of their interests. Striking a balance between the freedom and autonomy of media, on the one hand, and influence from advertisers on the other is one of the biggest challenges private press faces. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the issue in depth.


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Ashenafi EndaleAugust 12, 2021332

A new hope was dawn when two banks named Goh and Selam recently begun selling shares with the aim to finance specifically housing demand. Ethiopia’s housing gap is an accumulation from generations, with over 400,000 new demand annually matched by less than 100,000 supply, government schemes and private developers teamed up.  Now, Goh and Selam revived the demand of millions of house seekers, promising to deliver hundreds of thousands of houses in few years. Goh will provide loans for the house buyers, while Selam both the developer and buyer.


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Ashenafi EndaleJune 15, 2021213

At a sensitive time when the economy is suffering from inflation, unemployment, debt distress, poverty, conflict, and COVID-19, the nation prepares for the sixth national election to decide who rules for the next five years to end the transitional government that has been in power since April 2018.
Nonetheless, the political space is largely occupied by parties fanning and prioritizing ethnic quests instead of addressing underlying economic constraints. Ideology-based analysis and principled models for Ethiopia’s vicious economic circle are brands scarcely seen in the political parties’ campaigns. Out of the 47 political parties cleared to participate, 18 are competing for federal Parliament seats. While very few of the national parties have manifestos, even fewer have well-defined politico-economic policies to relieve voters of the ongoing economic strife.


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Ashenafi EndaleMay 15, 2021334

Over the last two years the number of entrant banks has proliferated, almost equaling the amount of working banks. Nonetheless, a new directive issued by the caretaker National Bank of Ethiopia has shut the door on the further entrance of new banks, whilst also raising the bar on smaller banks and the close to 20 already in the pipeline.
Banks are now expected to raise their minimum paid-up capital to ETB5 billion within five years from the existing ETB500 million mandated in 2011. Although central bank authorities stress the intention is to discourage unbalanced proliferation and nurture few competitive banks, industry leaders and experts claim that this move is the interest of the leading banks. Up to six existing private banks are forecasted to consider merging, while a substantial number of under-formation banks will either abort their efforts or join hands. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale investigates the implications of the new move. 


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Ashenafi EndaleApril 15, 2021614

In the past, prices of commodities revert to reasonable levels after the end of the harvesting season. However, agricultural products are priced at new heights this year. In fact, the current inflation spike is the second highest after the record year of 2008. A major factor is the widespread instability affecting the mobility of commodities. Foreign currency scarcity and an increased money supply have also contributed. But the lifting of fuel subsidies by the government has brought the acceleration of prices to new levels. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores.


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Ashenafi EndaleMarch 15, 20211410

The revision of the existing proclamation regulating different level chambers has caught the attention of the business community. In its final drafting stages, it will largely concern the organization and running of Ethiopian businesses under different chambers and sector-based associations. However, the changes offered in the draft proclamation have garnered stiff reservations and displeasure from the private sector. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the business community’s concerns on the draft proclamation.


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Ashenafi EndaleJanuary 16, 20211898

When the government exclusively ratified and approved the two Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) editions, independent experts critiqued it as highly ambitious and unrealistic. The administration took ten years to acknowledge the reality. Still, the Council of Ministers approved an even more ambitious Ten-Year Perspective Plan (TYPP) in early December 2020 in a bid to chart out an economic execution plan up to 2030. Strikingly, no independent experts were allowed to forward their viewpoints and solutions regarding major hurdles persisting in Ethiopia’s economy.
Export, structural transformation, and housing are some of the major new wines poured into old glasses. Most of the superfluous figures anticipated in the document, which target achieving quality growth and elevating Ethiopia to prosperity by 2030, are planned to be executed by a similar institutional implementing capacity which was the Achilles heel of past plans. Ashenafi Endale delved into how long-term economic targets become unrealistic under politicized ambitions.


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Ashenafi EndaleDecember 16, 20203175

Since 2015, anti-government protests, conflict, and instability have been ravaging Ethiopia. Especially in the past two years, the breakdown of law and order has become the new normal. Thousands have lost their lives and in 2018, 2.3 million were internally displaced—a world record high. In fact, in the last two and a half years, excluding the latest operation in Tigrai, 113 conflicts have erupted across the country. As a result, the federal government’s expenditure to secure public order and security swelled from ETB14.2 billion in 2017/18 to a staggering ETB24.2 billion in 2019/20. Though without a known updated figure, the latest operation in Tigrai is sure to compound Ethiopia’s security bill. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the direct and indirect costs of conflict and instability, as well as the overall economic losses.


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Ashenafi EndaleNovember 15, 20203561

As a developing country, the Ethiopian economy is largely characterized by the informal sector with studies indicating its expanding size. The International Monetary Fund estimates that in countries in transition, like Ethiopia, the underground economy accounts for as high as 40.1Pct of GDP. Although the government has been taking different measures to reduce the role of the informal sector, these interventions have failed to materialize. However, the government now says its latest measure of replacing currency notes with new ones is positively working in that direction. But experts disagree with the government’s concision by saying the expansion of the informal economy is highly interconnected with the formal economy’s failure to produce enough goods to satisfy national demand. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale reports.



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