The apogee of Ethiopia’s livestock reserve is yet to translate into anything more than a disappointing cliché. The leather industry that feeds on the country’s livestock resources is being tied up with old challenges of poor bureaucracy, lack of finance, and market linkage issues. Adding salt to the wound, the Covid pandemic, instability, and recent removal of Ethiopia from the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) are making the industry’s future look rather bleak. Recognizing the industry’s immense potential and resolving its challenges is an assignment for no tomorrow, write EBR’s Lidya Tesfaye and Bamlak Fekadu.


Gizeshwork Tessema

Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Gizeshwork grew up dealing with her own version of ‘the woman’s challenge’. Yet, she identifies them not as such but rather as experiences that may bring forth opportunities.

Gizeshwork founded Gize PLC—a logistics company, about 25 years ago—and is also a contributor to the World Bank’s Doing Business Index as well as member of the United Nations Global Compact—a community of 8,000 CEOs from all over the world that convenes once a year to chart innovative ways for entrepreneurship for a better world.

She is a familiar face in the business scene as well as spearhead of the fundraising committee for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), for which she has taken a keen interest in as it is a project of pride for her and the nation.

Entrepreneurial and making business from solving problems from her start, she is of the firm belief that one should not stay put with accomplishments but rather always push for more success. From a stationary to a travel company and from construction inputs to freight and logistics services, Gizeshwork has made her living and name in Ethiopia’s business sphere as a strong woman that overcomes her problems by providing solutions to her customers and clients—and gaining financially from it. She gave an audience to EBR’s Addisu Deresse on her experiences as a woman, an entrepreneur, and one that assumes roles in global institutions.


Ethiopians have depended on their religious beliefs and traditional practices to insure themselves against morbidity for long. Even though various life insurance packages have been sold by companies for years now, the idea of insuring health has not been popular among Ethiopians and as a business model for industry actors. The bumby relationship between insurers and hospitals and clinics is another obstacle for the matter. With the introduction of a community-based health insurance scheme a decade ago and a new draft in the making, poor awareness towards being insured seems to be slowly changing, writes EBR’s Bamlak Fekadu.


Ethiopians have always had traditional ways of looking good for both the face and body. Culturally recognized hairstyles, eye coloring sticks, hand softening traditional creams have been around for long. Modern makeup is growing more and more, however. The last few years have seen a change where makeup studios are becoming widespread. So much so that even makeup trainers and schools are popping up in Addis Ababa. Such is the growth as both a business and personal practice, writes EBR’s Trualem Asmare.


At the FINTEX Furniture and Interior Design Expo held at Ethiopian Skylight Hotel, Melaku Alebel, Minister of Industry, stated that Ethiopians consume 70Pct of locally-made furniture. However, the bulk of raw materials used to manufacture locally are still imported. The expo, hosted by Prana Events and African Trade-Fair Partners showcased furniture, interior and construction finishing products, technologies, machineries, raw materials, accessories, and services to visitors and prospective business clients.

It was also stated that Ethiopia spent over USD78 million on furniture imports, especially from Turkey, China, and Malaysia during the previous five years. Semi-processed goods and raw materials are particularly imported. Melaku stated that the government is working towards using the nation’s forestry riches to guarantee supply to furniture and interior design operators.

Large furniture manufacturers such as Nazra, Salma, and Waryt took part alongside handicraft and bamboo furniture makers.

Along with the exhibition, the Ethiopian Furniture Manufacturers Association hosted a Panel Discussion, which has been a success in previous years, and other technical and professional concerns for collaboration and coordination were discussed.


Born on October 23, 1950 in Debre Markos in the State of Amhara, Berhane Mewa was educated in his hometown until joining Bahir Dar University’s Polytechnique Institute for his diploma in industrial chemistry. Then, after attaining a BSc. in Chemistry from Addis Ababa University, he founded Processing of Poly Industrial Chemicals (PPIC) in 1978. Berhane is known for his role at the Ethiopian Industrialists Association and Ethiopia Chamber of Commerce. Others also recognize him as a diaspora member involved in the Coalition for Unity and Democracy—the famous political movement and party during and after the 2005 national election. He recently returned to Ethiopia as part of the diaspora homecoming with plans to invest along with other colleagues in the pharmaceuticals industry. EBR’s Addisu Deresse had an audience with Berhane on the potential of the diaspora to play a greater role in Ethiopia’s economy as well as on the challenges of the private sector.

Ethiopia was left with little option other than defending itself when the super powers waged a war against it in support of domestic terrorists. No different for Ethiopia, peace and security are the minimum public goods a government should deliver to its citizens. Unfortunately, war is not a unilaterally avoidable evil. This is particularly true in the current world where a tense fight between those who want to assert their freedom and continue their greed hegemony is prevalent.


Current and past administrations have tried to tap into the potential of Ethiopians living abroad. As much as there always has been the understanding that the diaspora can play a greater role in the Ethiopian economy, politics has always taken over the way in which government looks at this vast community.

The Ethiopian diaspora—vocal in their criticism of local politics—has long been regarded as a threat to government. Hence, they have been alienated from social, political, and economic activities of their home country. For the most part, the nation has not been able to tap into the opportunities of economic potential which the community possesses.

The recent mobilization of the diaspora in the diplomatic arena gives an insight into their economic potential. If mobilized upon the appropriate strategy, they can play a greater role beyond remittance and direct financial support to be investors and champions of investment, writes EBR’s Bamlak Fekadu.

It’s the beginning of the end of Western-hegemony

The war that has been waged against Ethiopia by neo-colonists is not like ones encountered before. It is multifaceted, congruent, and coordinated on several fronts, employing every possible way to enact regime change with the anticipation of complete disarray, and a civil war that proceeded to create a complete collapse.

It also set an unprecedented level of convergence between neocolonial powers, which were otherwise known to pursue unreconciled stances on several spheres. The inexplicability of this unholy alliance between these groups remains to be a mystery and a puzzle for many. Moreover, what exactly Ethiopia has done to deserve such a level of hostility and conspiracy makes the puzzle even worse deep in the cynics.


The Coca-Cola Company announced the official launch of Schweppes Novida Pineapple, a new non-alcoholic malt based beverage, for the first time in Ethiopia.

Coca-Cola organized a launching event yesterday at the lavish Marriott Hotel in Addis Ababa through a fashion show event, featuring top Ethiopian designers to commemorate the occasion.

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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