After deepening for two decades, Africa-China’s economic relations are entering a new phase, owing to a variety of global, bilateral, and domestic factors. While China will remain a key player on the continent, African governments will need to keep their options open and be more mindful of a wider set of interests.


Boston Partners, the parent company of Kuriftu Resort & Spa, was founded by Tadiwos G. Belete, who currently serves as its CEO. Tadiwos was born in 1957, in the southeastern Ethiopian State of Oromia. At the age of 16, Tadiwos moved to Sudan in search of stability, security, and a better life for himself and his eight younger siblings. This was six years after the coup that resulted in the establishment of the Derg communist government, which caused severe economic and social upheaval in the country. Tadiwos has endured a great deal of adversity throughout his life, particularly during his time in Sudan, including health issues that nearly claimed his life. He often thinks back to his first job, scaring birds away on a small, privately owned farm. In 1983, he flew to the United States of America and was granted refugee asylum.

Tadiwos’s journey in the U.S. started with enrolling in a hairdressing school and working nights as a parking lot attendant. He also tried his hand in the restaurant business, promoting Ethiopian artists. He then decided to pursue his education and attended Roxbury Community College, attaining an associate degree in accounting, and Suffolk University in Boston, with a specialization in the same field. At the same time, he opened a salon on Newbury Street with seven other business owners.

Tadiwos spent 19 years working as a hairstylist in Boston, where he gained expertise and firsthand knowledge of what actually works and what doesn’t, as well as how to really run a successful business. In order to bring the Western spa experience and beauty culture to Ethiopia, Tadiwos, a happily married father of three who led a prosperous life in the US, bought a plot of land along Africa Avenue and started building the eight-story Boston Partners building in Addis Ababa. He established a salon, which he dubbed Boston Day Spa, after the renowned city of Boston, which had acted as a stepping stone to his great accomplishments.

Since the debut of Boston Day Spa, Tadiwos has expanded and opened the now well-renowned Kuriftu Resort in Bishoftu Town, in the State of Oromia, and Bahir Dar, in the State of Amhara. He also launched the Kuriftu resort in Awash. And notably, the Kuriftu Water Park is the first of its kind in Ethiopia. Tadiwos also proudly promises further mega projects in the State of Afar and the town of Arba Minch. The pan-African businessman is also building The African Village, due in September, which aims to serve as a melting pot for African culture and the hospitality industry,  offering visitors a unique experience. In this interview with EBR’s Addisu Deresse, Tadiwos talks passionately about the need to tap into Africa’s potential and boost local tourism, among other matters.


Ethiopians have had a difficult time in recent years. In a nation where the news is full of war, conflict, displacement, and economic challenges, just making it through the day might be the wisest choice. People do that, especially in the capital, Addis Ababa. Going to theaters, movies, and other festivals might temporarily relieve stress. A new addition to the list is the growing trend of standup shows. Even though it has not yet reached its full potential, standup comedy is indeed helping urbanites ease their economic pain. In this article, EBR’s Hemen Asmare shares insights she gathered talking to a young man who started a center in hopes of supporting the growth of standup comedy, and the role it may have in society.   


Technology is transforming the digital economy, and digital financial services (DFS) are vital facilitators. DFS is expanding access to and use of financial services, emphasizing affordability and improving access to credit through a new digital lending system. As a result, new environments have been established to meet more demanding clients, with neo-banking being the new paradigm threatening brick-and-mortar banking.

Financial service digital technology innovators are driving growth, and the market is changing rapidly. DFSs are a critical enabler of a digital economy in which access to finance is essential. FinTechs, in alliance with commercial banks and microfinance institutions, are increasing access to and usage of financial services while emphasizing affordability. They are also setting new trends by fostering access to credit through a new digital lending scheme.

Ethiopia has 1.3 million registered vehicles, of which 84 Pct are used in the transport business. The ride-hailing industry provides an estimated 90,000 rides daily, using mobile technologies. Petroleum products are imported for USD 3 billion, increasing the demand for gasoline by 14 Pct on average per year. In this article, EBR’s Bamlak Fekadu assesses the landscape of the growing digitalization of the Ethiopian economy with an emphasis on digital payment systems.


Ethiopia’s economy, like most other economies, has taken a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. When the rest of the world’s troubles eased over time, Ethiopia had to fight its own war– literally. In October 2020, a war broke out between federal and allied forces and the Tigray Liberation Front (TPLF). The war took a heavy toll on the economy as well as on humanity, claiming more than 600,000 lives. Ethiopia’s attempt to restructure the mounting debt, and access another round of support remained unthinkable, owing primarily to the civil war. Following an agreement between the warring sides in November, 2022, a few doors appear to be opening. The government has been knocking on all those slightly open doors, wasting no time to save the last breath in the dying pulse of the economy. Whether these efforts will come in time or bring about the needed relief remains to be seen and felt, though, writes EBR’s Addisu Deresse.


If Ethiopia is proud of anything, it is not the media. For decades, the Ethiopian media landscape has been nothing but a propaganda machine for the incumbent, whoever that may be. However, the media experience has also seen its high points. One was right before the 2005 national election, when tens of thousands of copies were sold in the capital every week. The other moment could be right after the coming to power of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Ph.D.), when the number of publications hit a record high. The latter moment was short lived though. This time, the toughest challenge comes from the price of paper and the migration to digital platforms, threatening livelihoods, writes EBR’s Bamlak Fekadu.


New City Displaces Thousands

Ethiopians have been internally displaced for a variety of reasons over the last couple of years. The security challenges posed by Shene, a group labeled a terrorist organization in Wolega, Western Oromia, or by Gumuz Militants in the State of Benishangul Gumuz, or during the war between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), have all shown Ethiopians the height of social and economic challenges. The most recent reason for displacement, however, is related to the establishment of a city- Sheger, a name previously used to refer to the capital Addis Ababa. In this article, EBR’s Trualem Asmare tries to depict the plight of citizens who are displaced following the plan to establish the new city.

After months and months of military showdowns between the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a war broke out in October 2020. Ever since that first shot was fired that historically unfortunate night, hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives, while millions have been displaced.

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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