GDP comprehensively measures the monetary value of all the products and services that are produced in a country within a given period of time. It gives a relatively accurate estimate of the size and growth rate of a country’s economy, thereby helping investors to make strategic decisions. GDP considers factors such as production, expenditures and income. The figure can sometimes be adjusted to reflect inflation and population growth, thereby providing deeper insights.

On April 26, 2022, a number of people were killed in Gondar following an incident that involved the fighting of two groups divided along religious lines. As reports have it, the incident happened during the funeral of Sheikh Kemal Legas. Apparently, a person who wanted to get a burial stone from a nearby Christian place of worship got into a fight with another who refused to the taking of the stone. The matter escalated to spread from the Islamic cemetery to the city.


No person or thing seems to have been blamed for continuous price hikes in the Ethiopian economy like middlemen. Whether gas or groceries inflation, both current and past administrations have a way of blaming these players for their failed attempts to establish a strong and resilient market structure. Even though various factors may contribute to the failure to sufficiently tackle price increases, middlemen have indeed had their fair contribution to the problem. Over the past few years, electronic commerce platforms have been popping up, helping counterbalance their negative effect. Despite the impact of these attempts being on the smaller end, there is enough evidence worldwide to argue that e-commerce can indeed help in curbing the counterproductive effect of these trade players in the middle. In this article, starting with the story of a recent entrant in the e-commerce business, EBR’s Addisu Deresse analyzes the impact, considerations, and challenges of e-commerce platforms in an economy.


Aster Solomon
Chairperson, Addis Ababa Hotel Owners

Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Aster Solomon is a pioneering businesswoman who introduced geographic information systems (GIS) to Ethiopia through a company she founded with a colleague. Information System Services (ISS) was founded in a rather bold move by the entrepreneur at a time when not a lot of people were able to use computers and when government offices were using typewriters. She is also the owner of Mosaic Hotel as well as New English Private School, one of the leading private schools in Addis Ababa.

Aster’s leadership roles extend from the Addis Ababa Hotel Owners Association to the city’s Chamber of Commerce. She was elected to chair the board of directors of the metropolitan hotel owners’ association in September 2021. She is also one of the founding women of Enat Bank, the first and only women-initiated and -led financial institution in Africa and the Middle East. She has been an active member of the board of directors of the city’s chamber for several years. In this interview with EBR’s Addisu Deresse, she shares her multi-disciplinary involvement in various sectors as well as her experience in being an entrepreneurial woman.


The impact of insecurity on the Ethiopian economy has been ongoing since 2013. Following the coming to the helm of a new prime minister, a pandemic and all-out war have continued to challenge the already weak economy. Recently, a new directive by the National Bank of Ethiopia has sent shock waves within exporters’ circles—the nation’s global traders who help ease the forex famine and elevate the hopes of importers. All these challenges are being faced at a time of global supply disruption caused by the Russia-Ukraine war. At such an important moment of unprecedented internal and external challenges, the government’s approach to the matter has a potential to define the economy, and hence, the country’s sustainability, writes Bamlak Fekadu.


With the opening of dozens of universities and the ever-increasing graduates flooding out of these new institutions, unemployment and underemployment have been typical in Ethiopia’s labor market for more than the past decade. With new graduates continuing to rise, the labor market seems to be experiencing other developments, as well. While some sectors like education are dealing with a dwindling interest of employees, the financial sector seems to be entertaining a contrasting and dynamic interest. As the labor market continues to shape itself away from a mainly agrarian economy, new graduates are also preferring to work for themselves or as freelancers over full employment, writes Eden Teshome, EBR Staff Writer.


Samuel Yalew Adela
Ethiopia Country Head, Mastercard Foundation

Samuel Yalew, as head of Mastercard Foundation – Ethiopia, leads a massive youth employment drive of one of the world’s largest foundations with global commitments of around USD4.4 billion. Holder of a Master of Arts from Addis Ababa University, he has over 25 years of experience in education, child rights advocacy, public health, and youth employment while working at public, private, and non-governmental organizations—with many in senior leadership roles in various large and multi-year projects in Ethiopia, Namibia, Canada, and Uganda. Samuel joined Mastercard Foundation in 2015 and is said to have played an essential role in developing vital strategic interventions and programs, including the foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy. Prior to his current engagement, in August 2019, he moved to Kampala, Uganda, to set up the foundation’s branch and Young Africa Works strategy there, which he successfully delivered. As of August 2021, Samuel has been the Country Head for Ethiopia, working towards the effective implementation of the Young Africa Works strategy to enable 10 million young women and men access dignified and fulfilling work which earns them the respect of their families and communities. In this interview with EBR’s Addisu Deresse, he talks about the foundation’s ambitious goal of creating millions of jobs in the decade


The making of household materials using wood has been part of Ethiopian history for centuries. Furniture manufacturing has also seen a rise in the last decade. With the ever-growing construction of hotels and residences of different types, furniture business has been entertaining quite a surge in demand in recent years. However, the expected benefits of this rising demand have been lost to imports with little appetite for locally manufactured furnishings. However, a slowly shifting interest of the public to locally manufactured furniture might see a more expanding local sector with a potential for exports, writes EBR’s Trualem Asmare.


The various Olympic events, international championships, and other regional and global athletics contests used to be venues for Ethiopian runners to shine. These used to be moments for Ethiopians to shed tears while the rest of the world would watch in admiration. As of recently however, that has not been the case. It has been some time now since Ethiopians began losing races which they had been so accustomed to winning. Various reasons can be presented with one definitely being dispute and power struggles among various institutions tasked to lead and support the sport towards success. In this article, Abiy Wendifraw, who accompanied the Ethiopian team to the Tokyo Olympics, looks back at the deficiencies of the games and the dispute that followed.


The rampant pandemic has hurt businesses worldwide of all sizes and types. As if that is not enough, Ethiopia has been rocked by a series of security challenges imposing unimaginable challenges on business activities across all sectors. In Ethiopia, a wedding is not just a matter for the couple—it calls for a number of small businesses to make the big day happen. From the decorators to the DJs, and from the photographers to event managers, they all play their part on that special day. As Covid restrictions are easing and weddings are finding their return, these businesses seem to be entertaining the reinvigorated atmosphere of social gatherings, writes Bamlak Fekdu.

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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