Industrial policy has always been a controversial dimension of growth and development strategies in emerging economies. Now, the introduction of the CHIPS and Science Act, [a US federal statute enacted by the 117th United States Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden on August 9, 2022. The act provides roughly USD280 billion in new funding to boost domestic research and manufacturing of semiconductors in the United States], and the (misnamed) Inflation Reduction Act in the United States has reignited a similar debate in advanced economies. Unfortunately, it’s a debate that often generates more heat than light.


Thanks to big corporations and financial companies, Addis is becoming a city with many buildings compared to East African cities. With its challenges, many local contractors have built magnificent buildings in the past two decades in the capital and the rest of the country. Most structures built by local contractors need more quality and basic infrastructures and have similar designs. Frustrated, many builders are now turning their backs on local contractors while strengthening their ties with foreign ones, particularly those from China. Chinese contractors run the country’s significant buildings, roads and dam projects. This article is an updated version of earlier content published on EBR, 8th Year • Dec.16 – Jan.15 2020 • No. 81.

A debt-to-GDP ratio is an economic term that contrasts a country’s public debt with its gross domestic product (GDP), which measures the total worth of all the goods and services it produces. The debt-to-GDP ratio, which is stated as a percentage and provides a quick estimation of a country’s capacity to repay its current debts, is frequently used to assess the stability and health of a country’s economy. It is commonly estimated along with metrics like GDP per capita, GDP growth, GNP, and GNI per capita, which relates to one another.


The traditional tattoo (Nikisat) has a long history in Ethiopia. Legends have it Ethiopians started tattooing with the introduction of Christianity millennial ago. Traditional tattoo (Nikisat) is one of the ways women in Ethiopia express their beauty, especially in Gondar, Gojjam and Tigray. Mothers and young women look beautiful by tattooing different designs on their necks, foreheads, gum and hands. Even though the old tradition of inking bodies is fading, a contemporary tattoo practice is on the rise as a culture and a business, mainly in the capital, writes EBR’s Hemen Asmare.


The practice of sending older people and those who need special care to specialized centres are rare in Ethiopia. Instead, they remain at home, depending on their loved ones. Caregiving for the elderly and long-term patients usually remains the responsibility of family members. The practice has been tied so closely to African tradition that there is even a saying that “Because you [i.e., the child’s older parents] have taken care of me to grow teeth, I will take care of you till your teeth fall out. As young men and women now would rather spend their day at their schools and jobs than take care of the elderly and sick, this tradition seems to be changing slowly but surely, writes EBR’s Eden Teshome. 


For the past four years, the hospitality industry has been suffering from the impacts of political instability. It has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the local hospitality industry loses over 50Pct of its market. Ethiopia’s hospitality sector is adjusting to taking a share of the recovering market, with travel restrictions gradually easing and vaccination rates rising reflected in higher occupancy rates, as many hotels offer flexible cancellation policies and discounted rates to entice travellers back to their properties.

Despite ongoing marketing challenges, hotels are investing in new technologies and safety measures to provide their guests with a safe and comfortable experience, critical in rebuilding consumer confidence and trust, writes EBR’s Bamlak Fekadu.


Execution, Literacy Challenging Transformation

Ethiopia’s economy has been affected mainly by peace and security challenges. Shortage of forex, dwindling industrial outputs, and inflation, among other challenges, have stood on the economy’s throat, leaving it gasping for air. Amidst these dark moments in the economy, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s (PhD) administration has shown a solid commitment to one thing: digital transformation. Last month, the Ministry of Transport and Logistics implemented a digital payment system at fuel retail, banning cash payments throughout Addis Ababa. Since the announcement, operational gas stations have been chaotic. Despite the multi-facet advantages of digital payment, enough preparations to work on the digital literacy of the public are necessary for a seamless transition into the modern way of payment. Moreover, the details of the execution of the digital transformation need to be well thought out, writes EBR’s Bamlak Fekadu.


Almost every part of everyday life involves the Internet. In many parts of the World, internet connections have gone from being a luxury to a necessity. The COVID pandemic has brought into clear view the necessity of being linked to the outside Internet for survival and general sanity. 

Digital transformation has been a significant agenda item for the government, with the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed taking a personal interest in the matter. The Internet was a necessity to disseminate and access information and follow up business activities such as upkeeping of supply chains and e-commerce, remote banking, or the ability to contact friends and family. Ironically, the Prosperity regime is also suffocating access to the Internet to limit the use of social media, which it accuses of fueling political tensions in the country. In this article, EBR’s Eden Teshome assesses the paradox of digital aspiration and the limited Internet access on which digital services heavily depend.


The practice of local revenue collection for cities and towns in Ethiopia is limited. Most towns and cities depend on state and federal governments support to finance development projects, leaving them with no power to collect their own revenues. The practice has left development impaired while leaving essential services to the mercy of aid. With what seems to be a plan to change that, the Addis Ababa City Administration has embarked on a new property tax. As much as this new scheme is essential as a source of local revenue, the amount of tax would be unbearable for city dwellers, writes EBR’s Addisu Deresse.   

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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