Ethiopian Business Review

Ethiopia has a long tradition of creating artistic works that critique society and politics. One such artistic work currently on stage, is Festalen, widely known among the public after the character–Eyayu Fungus. The one-man-show has been wowing audiences since its debut in 2014. EBR’s adjunct writer Meseret Mamo attended the show at the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences on December 16.

Several attempts have been made by the Addis Ababa City Administration to solve the severe transportation problem in the city. However, the roads are still clogged with traffic congestion and the problem has been worsening by the day. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with Solomon Kidane (PhD), head of the City Road and Transport Bureau to learn the root causes of the problem and what the administration is doing about it.

Productivity Matters, Headcount Doesn't

Thursday, 15 February 2018 09:00 Published in Investment

In terms of headcount, Ethiopia has the tenth largest livestock inventory in the world with 120.4 million cattle, sheep and goat. But the country isn’t making the most of it. Roughly 200,000 tons meat is processed annually, and less 10Pct of it is exported. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the issue to find out why.

One of the critical problems in Addis Ababa is the lack of efficient public transport. This is despite the fact that government has been deploying various schemes, such as introduction of Higer, Bishoftu, and double-decker buses; and constructing Sub Sahara’s first light railway with billions in investment and subsidies every year. 

These initiatives have been unable to sufficiently ease the transport crisis. While officials stress the government is doing its best to execute projects that expand mass transportation, experts argue that transport sustainability can only be guaranteed through proper planning that takes into account factors like urbanization and changes in land use. EBR offers this report.

Volleyball has been one of the most popular sports in Ethiopia since the 1970s. The country participated in continental competition both in the men and women’s category until the late 1990s. These days, volleyball no longer enjoys popularity among Ethiopian sports fans. EBR adjunct writer Abiy Wondifraw explores the issue to report this. 

Plug, Play Instant Growth of Instant offices in Addis

Thursday, 15 February 2018 06:00 Published in Focus

An “instant” or “serviced” office is one that is fully equipped and managed by a company that then rents it out to individuals and businesses. Although instant offices are often found in cities worldwide, it is a new phenomenon in Ethiopia. Driven by the increasing number of foreign investors, business travelers, startup businesses, and non-profit organizations, the business model is now gaining momentum. EBR’s Mikiyas Tesfaye explores the issue.

Our Expertise would be [of Great] value to Ethiopia

Thursday, 15 February 2018 06:00 Published in Interview

Yara International is a Norwegian fertilizer company with clients in about 150 countries, including Ethiopia. Two months ago the company signed an agreement with the Ethiopian government to mine potash in the Danakil Depression, in the state of Afar. Furthermore, an agreement was also signed with the Development Fund of Norway to fund the training of locals in the region. The project is expected produce up to 600,000 tons of potash per year when it becomes operational. EBR’s Mikiyas Tesfaye talks to Esben Tuman, Vice President Corporate Communications, Yara International.

...The Government Makes [Most of] The Jokes...

Thursday, 15 February 2018 06:00 Published in Interview

Former journalist Bereket  Belayneh, 33, is a poet and writer of the satirical hit, Eyayu Fungus. The one-man show, a comedy filled with scathing criticisms of the government, and society, has been entertaining audiences for three years. EBR’s Mikiyas Tesfaye sat down with Bereket to talk about the role of comedy and humor in Ethiopian society and theater.

Mechanizing Ethiopia Agriculture's much needed facelift

Thursday, 15 February 2018 06:00 Published in Investment

As Ethiopia’s most important sector, agriculture is a fundamental component in addressing the country’s development challenges. While agricultural output is improving, there are still major gaps in productivity that mechanization can help bridge. And while the benefits of mechanization are immense, the introduction of automated farming processes in Ethiopia has been limited. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the issue and highlights the efforts taken to improve the situation.

Access to financial services contributes immensely to economic growth. This is why nations come up with the right mix of policies to expand financial services. Ethiopia, too, has been reforming its financial sector for the last two decades. However, the sector remains immature, even in comparison to other Sub-Saharan African countries.

To ameliorate the situation, the government has been intensifying its efforts to expand financial services. In 2014, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) made it a requirement for financial institutions to increase their branches by 25Pct annually. This resulted in an unprecedented expansion of financial services. A year before that, the bank introduced a mobile and agent banking policy. As a result, close to 2 million clients are now using mobile banking, while 16,000 agents operate in the country.

Furthermore, last April the NBE introduced the country’s financial inclusion strategy, which analyses the state of financial exclusion in the country and highlights the need to create a cogent framework to tackle the problem. EBR explores.

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