Ethiopian Business Review

DOHA2019: Golden Opportunity for Ethiopians to shine

Monday, 16 September 2019 06:00 Published in Sport Biz

Doha, the capital of city of Qatar, will host the World Athletics Championships as of September, 2019. The current two-year cycle began in 1991 but was originally held every four years, first in 1983. Since then, Ethiopian runners, along with their Kenyan counterparts, dominated long distance running in every championship. In the championship, where 3,500 athletes are expected to participate, the Ethiopian Football Federation, which fears that the hot weather in Doha would affect the country’s performance, is yet to pick the teams that are going to represent Ethiopia in each competition, although some have been shortlisted. EBR adjunct writer Abiy Wendifraw writes.

Asgegnew Ashko: Star Born Amidst Challenges

Monday, 16 September 2019 06:00 Published in Art & Life

Born in Gamo Gofa in the southern part of Ethiopia, Asgegnew Ashko accidentally became a singer while presenting a poem in an event held in Wolaita. Soon after realizing his skills, he was lucky enough to win the hearts of many Ethiopians living in the country and abroad. He has been able to garner more than 12 million views from his eight songs listed on YouTube and present his works in more than 15 countries and three continents. EBR’s Kiya Ali sat down with the 28-year-old singer to learn what makes him unique.

Situated 1043km away from the capital in the state of Tigray, Aksum is home to some of the most valuable heritages of Ethiopia. The Obelisks, tombs and churches found in the town as well as the welcoming people are its major characteristics. Even though the remnants of the Kingdom of Aksum portrays the long history the town has, its historical significance is not well-promoted to the world. Now, with the deteriorating condition of the obelisks and other heritages of the town, Aksum is at a risk of losing its status given by UNESCO. EBR’s Samson Berhane, who visited the town last month, writes.

Joro Shanko: Visually Impaired Bonesetter with Healing Hands

Monday, 16 September 2019 03:00 Published in Society

The use of traditional bonesetters to treat musculoskeletal injuries is common in Ethiopia. Joro Shanko, who lost her sight while in grade five, is the most sought after by many in this regard. Gaining popularity among urbanites in Addis Ababa, she is known for healing many suffering from bone fractures and various complications. EBR’s Kiya Ali visited Joro at her house, where she provides services to her patients, to learn what makes her distinct.

Fiscal Federalism: Elusive Concept Far from Reality

Monday, 16 September 2019 03:00 Published in Topic

It was in 1995 that Ethiopia adopted federalism. The constitution also gives ultimate power to regions which formed the country. Although regions seem autonomous and independent, they have been losing economic power and have been surviving on subsidies from the central government. This makes Ethiopia’s fiscal federalism to be based on solidarity finance allocation from the center. This confusion is causing friction among regions and the federal government. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores.

 In Africa, the number of internet users grew by 116 times since 2000. Currently, more people in Africa use the internet than in Latin America, North America, or the Middle East. At this moment, there are 525 million internet users in Africa, while 447 million people use internet in Latin America and the Caribbean. On the other hand, there are 328 million and 174 million internet users in North America in the Middle East, respectively.

Taxi-Hailing Taking Root in Addis

Monday, 16 September 2019 00:00 Published in Focus

Taxi-hailing services that use online-enabled platforms to connect passengers and drivers are becoming common in Addis Ababa. With the help of apps, these service providers are enabling customers to hail a cab and allow users to pay flat fare in advance, contrary to the metered taxis. The number of companies that provide such services are now six, an increase from two just three years ago. EBR’s Kiya Ali explores the progress of these companies as well as the challenges facing them.

Vehicles Remain Unaffordable

Monday, 16 September 2019 00:00 Published in Focus

Buying a car continues to be a daunting task in Ethiopia. Because of its unaffordability, many are forced to become commuters. Although there is hope that it would decline soon following the pledge of the government to reduce taxes on new cars, the price keeps on increasing every day. The local assemblers are also not in a position to fill the existing gap as they sell their cars for a price equal, if not higher, compared to the imported ones. The spike in the price of cars is also worsening the income inequality and implies that the value of the local currency is dwindling against the basket of major foreign currencies. EBR’s Kiya Ali reports. 

Navigating the Debates on Land Holding Systems

Monday, 16 September 2019 00:00 Published in Investment

Ethiopia is one of the few countries in Africa that has not made significant changes in its basic land policy since the radical land reform of 1975. Exceptions to this have been occasional land redistributions to accommodate the growing population. This is not because the current policy serves the interest of agricultural development better than its alternatives. Various studies suggest that the insecurity of land tenure hampers rights on land, discourages farmers to productively invest in land, and restricts transferability of land, posing significant constraints to agricultural growth and natural resource management. The government, which remains in its firm position that there are no private property rights on land, seems to ignore such findings. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale investigates.


Buying houses from real estate developers incur 15Pct Value Added Tax and six percent title deed transfer fee of an actual price tag. Additionally, real estate developers take more time to deliver housing units which further escalate cost of construction that ultimately push price tag further.
This makes houses built by real estate companies more expensive for the vast majority of Addis Ababans. As a result, house buyers have been looking for affordable options
Villas developed by unlicensed individuals have become one of the options. The unlicensed individual developers have lesser tax obligations and deliver houses for less at a shorter span of time. As a result, they are becoming more active in the housing market.
As their number increases, there is a fear that the market would become informal and out of the watchful eyes of the government. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale Explores.

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