Transacting in the Shade

Sunday, 16 September 2018 15:00 Published in Topic

Wide Spread Contraband Trade Cripples Ethiopia

Contraband , part of the shadow economy, is still a threat to Ethiopia’s economy. But even more, it has recently started to affect the well-being of the nation. The recent violence in the states of Ethio-Somali and Benishangul Gumuz shows the severity of the problem. Items from textiles products to precious metals are traded by contrabandists. This has paved a way for a shadow economy to thrive, raising its contribution to the GDP to as high as 40Pct. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale investigates.

In Ethiopia, micro finance institutions (MFIs), which were mostly founded with the aim of fighting poverty, play a big role in addressing the needs of people who are considered ‘high-risk’ by commercial banks. In a country where over 77pct of the population is unbanked, MFIs provide loans to the large portion of the population with very few assets.

Decisive Moments

Sunday, 16 September 2018 09:00 Published in News

Head of governments across Africa convened in Beijing to attend a high-level summit hosted by China. The summit, which was also attended by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, is called the Forum for Africa-China Cooperation, FOCAC, and was organized with the aim of increasing diplomatic, economic and bilateral ties amongst the two sides. It started on September 3, 2018, and lasted for two days. The summit kicked off at a time when Chinese financial support to Ethiopia is being cut down.

Eyob Tesfaye (PhD), a macroeconomist and policy analyst, is among the few scholars who are known for voicing their concerns about the well-being of Ethiopia’s economy. He has served in different governmental positions, including as the Director-General of the Public Finance Institutions Supervisory Agency and Director of the Academy of Financial Studies at the National Bank of Ethiopia. He has been an external examiner of post graduate students at Addis Ababa University and advisor to post graduate students of the London School of Economics and Georgetown University.

Eyob, who is now Program Director at the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) believes Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed (PhD), inherited an economy in shambles from his predecessors, and is facing an uphill task. According to Eyob, the PM should devise a plan to put the economy back on track and address the problems that have deterred structural transformation, adding  that the Prime Minister should have his own economic road map, even though it is too soon to conclude whether or not the government should continue with developmental state model. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with him to discuss the flaws in the economy and the recent reforms.

Asmara Golden History, Grapples with Modern Struggles

Sunday, 16 September 2018 06:00 Published in Investment

Home to just over half a million people, Asmara has been the capital city of Eritrea since the early 19th century. Although its evolution dates back centuries, many parts of the city were built during the Italian colonial period. Referred to as ‘Little Rome’, its impressive architecture and well designed buildings make Asmara distinct from other cities in the horn of Africa. However, not everything in the city has stood the test of time. From the decaying and severely damaged heritages to poor economic conditions and tough business environment, Asmara is currently struggling to maintain the artefacts of its golden era. EBR’s Samson Berhane visited the city to discover what makes it exceptional: both in a good and bad ways.

Parliament Slashes Ministries to 20

Sunday, 16 September 2018 03:00 Published in News

Parliament has unanimously legislated a proclamation that will slash the members of council of ministries from 28 to 20. This includes the amalgamation of the Ministries of Industry and Trade, and the Ministries of Urban Housing Development and Construction.

Cycling In Eritrea

Sunday, 16 September 2018 03:00 Published in Sport Biz

A Sport Like No Other 

Cycling is a culture in Eritrea. From the youth to the elderly, Eritreans use cycling as their primary mode of transportation. Introduced by the Italians during colonial rule, the sport has currently enabled the nation to be one of the top professional cycling countries in Africa, and the world. For instance, the national team won the African Championships for eight consecutive years. However, there are uncertainties behind the successes. Many Eritreans who aspired to follow the path of their friends into professional cycling have not been able to pursue their dreams because of financial constraints, as EBR’s Samson Berhane reports.

Sustainable Ethio-Eritrean Relations

Sunday, 16 September 2018 03:00 Published in Commentary

Major issues to consider 

One of the greatest achievements of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) in his short stay in power is bringing peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which is an excellent political and diplomatic success. This is also a smart political move on his part to fight established interest groups who could stand against his reform. His visits to Egypt, the UAE and Saudi is also a predictable political underpinning for the success.

A Trip to Eritrea

Sunday, 16 September 2018 00:00 Published in Focus

Asmara Keren And Massawa Through Ethiopian Eyes

Although optimism about the future of Eritrea was high in the 1990s, Eritrea now exists in isolation; the lives of ordinary Eritreans is tough and many cities remain underdeveloped. In fact, Eritreans now make up a significant portion of those migrating to Europe on dangerous crossings through Libya. EBR’s Samson Berhane, who travelled to Asmara, Keren and Massawa explores the lives of Eritrean residing in these cities. 

No End in Sight

Sunday, 16 September 2018 00:00 Published in Focus

Hardships of National Service Recruits in Eritrea

Eritrea has long had a policy of national service, which conscripts the country’s youth into positions in its army and civil service. However, in spite of legislation limiting the term of national service to 18 months, many people are trapped in their service for many times that limit, even up to nearly 20 years. This, in addition to the already existing issues of low wages, strict anti-desertion laws, and alleges human rights abuses compounds the day to day issues faced by the soldiers. EBR visited Eritrea to get a glimpse at the lives of everyday people who are serving their country.

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