Ethiopian Business Review

Can Ethiopia Break Free?

With the escalation of violence resulting in the death and displacement of millions of people, the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia has deteriorated over the past six months. The number of internally displaced people in the country, which started to increase last December, reached an historic peak in April 2018. Many attribute the problem to the ethnic based politics that the country has been pursuing since 1991. Since then, politicians have especially been using ethnicity as an instrument to advance wide ranging political and economic interests. EBR’s Samson Berhane explores.

Friday, 16 November 2018 12:00
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Shortcut to Industrialisation? 

The recent unveiling of the industrial park in Adama was just the latest in Ethiopia’s bid to open an industrial park in every region. The plan for industrial parks has always been to attract foreign investment into the country, and thereby start Ethiopia on the road towards industrialization, and eventually to middle-income status. However, many experts warn that the problem of industrializing the country reaches further than just providing a place with reliable electricity and infrastructure. In the face of nearly overwhelming optimism about industrial parks, some still have reservations, as EBR’s Ashenafi Endale reports.

Friday, 16 November 2018 12:00
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Can it help commercial banks mobilize more deposits?

Commercial banks in Ethiopia are currently engaged in ever-more stiff competition to mobilize deposits. Most notably, almost all of the banks have begun to use face to face marketing to gain the attention of new customers. It is now not unusual to see tellers from various commercial banks pleading with people in streets, cafes and other public places to open bank accounts at their respective branches. Experts argue that such methods of deposit mobilization are not effective or sustainable, and criticize banks for not coming up with products and services for the unbanked population, as EBR’s Samson Berhane writes.

Friday, 16 November 2018 06:00
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A Daunting Task waiting Ethiopia

It has been over a decade since the government discovered that a little more than 40Pct of the total arable land of Ethiopia is affected by soil acidity. As a result, the fertility of most Ethiopian soil has already declined posing another challenge to crop production. Soil acidity affects crop growth because acidic soil contains toxic levels of aluminum and manganese and characterized by deficiency of essential plant nutrients such potassium, calcium and magnesium, among others. Had acidic soils been neutralized the country would have increased the production of crops such as cereals four folds. Yet this does not seem like it will be realized soon. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale reports.

Monday, 15 October 2018 06:00
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Bonus Featured

Incentive, Burden

Globally, various bonus schemes are used to keep employees satisfied and motivated. This strategy is increasingly seen adopted by banks, insurances and corporations in Ethiopia. It is becoming common to witness banks and insurance companies showering two to four months of salaries on employees as bonuses. Although these companies are benefiting from the strategy, there are still concerns, as EBR’s Ashenafi Endale writes.

Monday, 15 October 2018 06:00
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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.

Sunday, 16 September 2018 06:00
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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. 

Sunday, 16 September 2018 00:00
Published in Focus
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Nation Continues to lose billions to raw material imports

In recent years, domestic sourcing, a procurement strategy adopted by companies to purchase their inputs,  is gaining momentum due to the fact that localisation brings cost-savings across the supply chain, especially in light of climbing costs in traditionally low-cost regions. However, although many multinational and local companies are investing in the country, Ethiopia lags behind in this regard. Even though the lack of raw materials on the local market has forced companies to lean towards imports, the scarcity of foreign currency is putting extra pressure on their survival. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale investigates the difficulty faced by manufacturers due to low level of raw materials sourcing from domestic suppliers in Ethiopia. 

Thursday, 16 August 2018 13:43
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If anything has cast a pall over the Ethiopian economy, it is the foreign currency shortage, which reached historic lows just three months ago. This has prompted businesses to look for alternative means to alleviate the problem, such as transacting using diaspora accounts. The accounts are offered to non-residential Ethiopians, as well as Ethiopian-born foreign nationals who have been working and living abroad for more than a year. This has opened a window of opportunity for legal as well as illegible account holders to access foreign currency without waiting for the approval of  letters of credit. EBR’s Samson Berhane reports. 

Thursday, 16 August 2018 07:43
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Is it the Magic Bullet for Africa's Industrialization?

The African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) was signed by 44 African countries, including Ethiopia, in May 2018, and will cover a market of 1.2 billion people and a gross domestic product of USD2.5 trillion once it is implemented. In terms of numbers of participating countries, ACFTA will be the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization. The creation of a free trade area is expected to boost the current intra-Africa trade, which stood at 13Pct. Although officials stress that it will be a beneficial for Ethiopian goods to penetrate other African markets, many are concerned over the competitiveness of the private sector in the local market, let alone outside the country. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale reports.

Friday, 10 August 2018 18:00
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