The Ethiopian economy has been suffering from external debt distress for the past few years as has been observed in many developing countries. In the poorest countries, the debt distress arrived before COVID-19 as confirmed by the World Bank International Debt Statistics of 2021. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, many countries demanded debt restructuring, motivating the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to call for the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), endorsed in April 2020. This initiative has benefited many countries in sub-Sahara Africa including Ethiopia, Kenya, Angola, Nigeria, Namibia, Chad, and Ghana, as they were eligible to borrow from the International Development Association (IDA).

The presidential election of the United States has attracted the attention of the international community and governments of nations world-wide. This is not without reason. The US, as a superpower nation, has tremendous roles in world order. And, as always, the all-round quality of a leader of this superpower nation is of deep concern to all.

A Sector misunderstood by Policy Makers

Ethiopia is the leading country in Africa in terms of livestock population with more than 60 million cattle, 30 million sheep, 30 million goats and over 1.5 million camels. Livestock contributes over 15Pct of Ethiopia’s GDP and 45Pct of the agricultural GDP. In Ethiopia, livestock is a tractor for crop farming, source of cash income for millions, insurance for uncertainties, fertilizer for crops, expression of status for families, store of asset, and source of foreign currency for the country.

Calls for Innovative Insurance Products

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was recounted to have arisen from Wuhan in China towards the end of December 2019, and the first case has been reported in Ethiopia by the Federal Ministry of Health effective from 13 March 2020. In a bid to curtail the spread of the virus, various preventive measures have been put in place by the government and insurers have also introduced some insurance products. The measures taken by the Government, among others, include declaring a state of emergency and working on urging the public to wash hands frequently, maintain social distancing, place reliance on reliable and up-to-date information about the pandemic, wear masks and ensure isolation after infection or when in suspicion of infection. In addition to social and health-related measures, the State-Owned Insurer has pledged to place life insurance for health professionals in direct contact with COVID-19 patients.

Developing Capital Market in Ethiopia

An article published on the February 2020 edition of Ethiopian Business Review investigated whether Ethiopia is ready to establish a stock market. The article incorporates views of several notable finance and investment advisers who are both for and against setting up a stock exchange. This article argues for establishing a stock market and highlights strategies for developing a successful stock market.

As it spread from one country to another, the novel coronavirus paid no attention to national frontiers or “big, beautiful” border walls. Nor were the ensuing economic effects contained. As has been obvious since the outset, the COVID-19 pandemic is a global problem that demands a global solution.

COVID-19 could trigger a global shift and therefore alter our ‘normal’ in the following ways. It potentially presents a new cultural hegemony that could threaten the current world order and economy. It also challenges current social aspects such as lifestyle, values and perceptions. The management of the pandemic has also shifted the narrative on leadership and crisis management acumen.

Recently, global hegemonic institutional neo-liberal financial arms (IMF) have pledged around three billion US dollars and vow to do more for the so called “home-grown financial reform”—FX regime and capital account liberalization. To assure this credit wave, there were diplomatic rallies made by different state actors, including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD.), to the Paris Club of creditors.

The past month saw the Sidama referendum and the merger of EPRDF into a single political entity called ‘Prosperity Party.’ Amongst the most common comments regarding the Sidama referendum was that it was an exercise of democracy in which the people finally determined their own administrative fate. Similarly, the formation of Prosperity Party has been commended as an inclusive effort that makes state power accessible to all Ethiopians organized under EPRDF. That too inevitably makes it a democratic move.

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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