If there has been anything interesting about the aspect of governance in Ethiopia these last couple of years, it would be the standoff between the Minister of Education and college entrance exam takers. Young TikTokers have been making humorous videos calling out Birhanu Nega (PhD), the Minister of Education, for the serious changes the Ministry was making around the way the entrance exams were to be administered.

The changes were necessary on the part of the Ministry as national exams have been stolen and distributed to students well before they were administered- a practice that has been typical for about ten years now. The bad habit started in 2014 when Jawar Mohammed, the then-exiled political activist, claimed to have had the exams stolen as the then incumbent, the Ethiopian People’s Liberation Front (EPRDF), failed to listen to the movement he was said to have been leading.

Africa is home to some of the world’s largest dams for the purpose of generating electricity from the power of water. While the world transitions to cleaner forms of power, dams have been a reliable source of electric energy for centuries or millennia—generating substantial amounts of electricity. Home to the Nile, Congo, and Niger Rivers, the abundance of water systems in Africa has resulted in a resurgence in the construction of massive dams to manage the supply of water distribution and generate hydroelectricity throughout the continent.


The new tax regulation on the import of electric vehicles (EVs) in September made them much more attractive to consumers and perhaps traders also. Value-added tax, excise tax, and surtax were completely removed while customs duties were dramatically reduced even to the point of zero duty for completely disassembled vehicles. The tax reform’s goal is to implement a transportation system that protects public health and the environment, properly uses renewable energy sources, reduces forex outlays for fuel, and makes electric vehicles available to the general public at affordable prices. For Ethiopians and industry observers who have been shocked by the continued surge of prices in the car market, the new proclamation may serve beyond its stated goals. In this article, EBR’s Eden Teshome, looks into the impact of the new proclamation in terms of stabilizing the overall car market.


After the Ethiopian new year holiday season and two months of winter vacation, students return to school. It is definitely tough to take-on day-long classes after a vacation packed with fun. The holiday season right before classes begins offers some solace to students, but the greatest burden of lifting children’s spirits for the new academic year falls on their guardians, both physically or morally. The procurement of new school supplies, uniforms, backpacks, lunch boxes, and other materials is expected of parents and guardians at the beginning of each year. Every year though, the procurement of these school supplies has proved to be nothing but a signal of a bad start. This year is no different—skyrocketing prices of school supplies have hit parents hard, writes EBR’s Bamlak Fekadu.


TikTok allows individuals to record and share videos of themselves or others engaged in activities to their followers and the large number of users on the platform. It assumes a video-sharing community that is real, raw, and without boundary. One of the most significant marks of TikTok is that it has provided ‘creative freedom’ to normal people which was once limited to only celebrities. Launched in 2016 by the Chinese technology company ByteDance, the social media platform is now attracting more and more Ethiopians to its pool. While some Ethiopians are turning the platform to their advantage by making it a source of their livelihoods, others are wasting their precious time on it. In this article, EBR’s Trualem Asmare looks into the overall impact of the TikTok phenomenon on Ethiopian society.


According to the United Nations, tourism is one of the world’s most important economic sectors, employing one in every ten people on Earth and providing livelihoods to hundreds of millions more. International tourism saw a strong rebound in the first five months of 2022, with almost 250 million international arrivals recorded. This means that the sector has recovered almost half (46Pct) of the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019.

Tourism revenue of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) surpassed USD5 billion in the first half of this year, compared to USD3 billion in the same period last year.
In his travel note, Tamirat Astatkie takes us through the wonders of visionary Dubai along with a glance of the livelihoods of Ethiopians in the city.


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.

A Market Nether Logic Nor Theory Explains

The most bizarre aspect of the Ethiopian economy is the constant surge in the prices of properties, particularly in the capital. The fast price growth trajectory which started almost two decades ago has increased its momentum in recent years.

In a properly functioning property market, the trend in house prices is somehow anchored to some economic fundamentals such as real income and rental value. Defying these economic fundamentals, the price of houses, particularly in the capital, is soaring to an alarming level. What is surprising is that the increase in rent is far behind the growth in property value, considerably squeezing the yield (rent/property value). This indicates that there is something serious that has gone terribly wrong.

The Council of Ministers in its 13th regular session held on August 4, 2022, resolved to open the banking sector to foreign investors by endorsing a policy document. Following this decision, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) circulated the policy along with a draft amendment to the banking business proclamation. The policy document as well as the draft legislation allow four models for the entry of foreign banks into Ethiopia, viz., acquisition of stakes in existing banks, subsidiary formation, the opening of branches, and opening of representative offices. While opening a representative office cannot amount to market entry, it has long been permitted for some foreign banks. Representative offices can only do promotional activities and, most importantly, cannot offer services to customers. There is no mention of the joint venture as an entry model, contrary to earlier reports in some media. This is not to suggest that the proposed models are not good enough. On the contrary, one may be tempted to judge that the policy gives too much in terms of entry options. With Ethiopia being the second most populous country in the continent with one of the lowest rates of financial inclusion, there was no doubt that Ethiopia’s banking market would attract interest even if the country restricts the modes of entry.

In terms of the market situation and marketplace in Ethiopia, there are many issues that need to be modernized and improved. Of these, the marketing process and implementation, which has not redeemed the time, takes the biggest portion. Paying attention to this issue will greatly help the challenging journey of the Ethiopian economy to maintain its health and move on the path of modernization.

It is very difficult to communicate and move along with the global marketing system while running a marketing application that lacks modernity. Transforming the process of how the trading practice is done is becoming inevitable in all our marketplaces. It makes the issue serious when we think of the famous foreign companies that have entered the country—and are preparing to enter—following the economic reform Ethiopia is carrying out. Eliminating these challenges in time and changing it to a modern marketing process should be one of the main issues.

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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