A Journey of Childhood Dreams, Inspiring Discoveries

London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a breathtakingly a vibrant city. Though its history dates back to the Roman times, it’s a modern 21st-century city. In what he calls a childhood dream, Tamirat Astatkie visited this mega city and offers this note.


Unravelling the Potential of Supply Chain Finance in Ethiopia

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges for the Ethiopian economy, affecting small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) more, while remittances declined and poverty levels worsened. While the Ethiopian government’s initiative to address these issues deserves credit, the potential of supply chain finance, a set of technology-based solutions that aim to lower financing costs and improve business efficiency for buyers and sellers, still needs to be explored. While the merits of embracing digital transformation, sustainability practices, and regional integration remain valid, Ethiopia can further employ the transformative power of supply chain finance to assist the private sector. EBR’s Nejat Ahmed explores.

The Government of Ethiopia recently released its Draft Trade Policy. The 46-page document serves as a guideline for the government when negotiating and implementing bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade agreements and when taking domestic measures to facilitate and regulate trade.

For years, Ethiopia has needed a single comprehensive trade policy document. Instead, it had a raft of general economic plans and policies to fill the gap, notably the previous Growth and Transformation Plan I and II and the current Ten Years Development Plan. These documents focused on increasing Ethiopia’s market access, trade competitiveness, and strengthening its economic relations with other countries.

Ethiopia’s Sea Access Opens Doors to New Opportunities for the Horn

Ethiopia’s landlockedness has hindered its trade due to high transport costs. Reliance on Djibouti for port access has made Ethiopia vulnerable to port fee fluctuations and trade route disruptions. Ethiopia has actively pursued port diversification strategies, signing agreements with Kenya and Somalia to develop new ports, to reduce reliance on Djibouti and lower transportation costs.

Seizing the Inflation Battle Opportunity

Ethiopia’s central bank recently implemented a policy to cap credit lending rates at 14Pct to combat inflation. While this move may appear challenging, it presents an opportunity for Ethiopian banks to strengthen their financial institutions, contribute to economic stability, and enhance long-term competitiveness. Key to this transformation is the adoption of robust credit risk management frameworks, a disciplined focus on enterprise risk management, adherence to international standards, and active cost management across the entire organization, argues Michael Okwusogu, Managing Partner and Head of Financial Services at Value X Partners


Ethiopia’s reputation as an investment hub has been tarnished by issues such as corruption, lack of foreign exchange, inter-ethnic conflicts, and intermittent violence. Because of these conflicts, agricultural exports particularly sesame, coffee, flowers, fruits, vegetables and others have been severely impacted. Exporters face difficulties in finding markets, dealing with rising costs domestically, and navigating security risks which have heightened the business risks they face. The government’s focus on obtaining foreign currency to service its debts and finance the import of key commodities such as fertilizer and fuel has further strained the business environment. The cancellation of Ethiopia’s membership in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) by the United States has further affected exports, especially in the garment and apparel industries. Some exporters are considering selling or abandoning their investments, while others are exploring opportunities in the local market as an alternative. Despite these realities, Ethiopia has recently ranked at the top among countries offering vast business prospects in Africa according to the 2023 Africa Risk-Reward Index which was published last September by the Africa Oxford Economics. EBR’s Samuel Getachew dives into the report and discusses the multifaceted challenges local and foreign investors face the prevailing business environment.


Gudaf Tsegay, Tigist Assefa’s BID for World Athlete of the Year Title

Tigist Assefa, who won the 2023 Berlin Marathon in a stunning finish, is the distance record holder. She is nominated for World Female Athlete of the Year accolade. Similarly, 5000-meter World Record holder and reigning 10000-meter World Champion Gudaf Tsegay competes for the same title. The World will know the winner on December 11 in a colourful event in Monaco. Meseret Defar in 2007, Genezebe Dibaba in 2015, and Almaz Ayana in 2016 are previous female award winners of this prestigious title from Ethiopia. Haile Gebresillase (1998) and Kenenis Bekele (2004, 2005) have accomplished this feat in the male category. Tigist or Gudaf, who have raised the profile of Ethiopian athletes on the world stage, will be hoping to join this exclusive club. EBR’s Dr. Brook Genene closely examines how these two athletes reached this point.


The African Sourcing and Fashion Week is a vibrant and captivating event that showcases the rich tapestry of African fashion and design across the continent. This annual gathering brings together talented designers, artisans, and creatives, offering a platform to express their unique vision and talent. This event grows in scale and international attention each year, fostering meaningful connections within the fashion industry. One of the standout features of African Sourcing and Fashion Week is its commitment to celebrating and promoting sustainability and ethical practices in the industry. Many of the designers featured utilize locally sourced materials and employ traditional production techniques, ensuring minimal environmental impact. This emphasis on sustainability not only adds depth and meaning to the garments but positions Africa as a global leader in a responsible fashion.

The diversity of African fashion is another notable aspect, with each designer bringing their cultural influences and heritage. Vibrant Ankara prints, intricate beadwork, and other colours, patterns, and textures capture the essence of Africa’s rich cultural tapestry on the runway. Attendees can expect runway shows and workshops, panels, and networking, providing a platform to exchange ideas and collaborate – facilitating growth, innovation, and creativity within the African fashion scene. This year’s 9th African Sourcing Fashion Week has spotlighted African continental free trade, sustainability manufacturing, and AI’s role. EBR’s Eden Teshome sat down with the CEO of organizers Trade and Fairs Group, based in Germany and Kenya, Skander Negasi, for insights.

“Port is a commodity and we can purchase it where it is affordable.” This statement was the opinion of the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi. He said this when he asked about the impact of Ethiopia’s landlockedness on the country’s development two decades ago. The deceased added: “Now we do not use ports of Masawa and Assab. We lost nothing by not using these two ports. Ethiopia achieved the fastest growth and development in its history in those years. So, landlockedness does not result in poverty and we can use ports of other neighbouring countries. Therefore, there is no reason to regret the landlockedness of Ethiopia. Landlockedness is not and cannot be detrimental to us. Ethiopia was poor when we had ports. Now, we do not have ports, but we are moving forward in our development aspirations. So, a port is not necessary for development,” concluded the late premier.


Shedding Light On Hope Amidst Despair

Amid an overwhelming hopelessness, Nazrawit Tesfaye, a graduate of Jima University, expressed her inner turmoil through a haunting Facebook post. “Benhed Yeshalenal”, literally meaning we would rather go away, was the last words she shared with the world on her Facebook page, signifying her tragic final plea for help or maybe goodbye. Nazrawit’s social media presence had been marked by glimpses into her ongoing battle with depression, a silent struggle that weighed heavily on her soul. Her heart-wrenching story is not an isolated incident; a wave of desolation has swept across the youth in Ethiopia, their cries for help echoing through the virtual realm. In a world where the impact of these struggles is increasingly felt, we must delve into these heart-touching narratives, opening our hearts and minds to the profound pain that silently engulfs so many, writes EBR’s Eden Teshome.

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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