Ethiopian Business Review

Samson Berhane

Samson Berhane


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The Uncertain Future Awaiting Refugees

Sunday, 30 June 2019 23:24 Published in Investment

Ethiopia hosts one of the largest refugee populations in Africa, and in the world. Right now, almost a million refugees live in Ethiopia. The majority of the refugees, especially those living in the states of Somali and Gambella, have lived in Ethiopia for over a decade. Yet, many of them remain unemployed and are in a situation where they are unable to change their future. To ease the problem, Ethiopia recently adopted a new law to allow refugees to get work permits and even citizenship. But many in the refugee community and the communities that host them don’t think the measure will work. EBR’s Samson Berhane reports.


Saturday, 15 June 2019 09:00 Published in Investment

Rising From the Ashes

The two-century old Jigjiga has been the capital of the state of Somali for twenty years. Home to more 300,000 people, the city is known for being a center of the contraband and khat trade. But trade activities have slowed down in recent years, mainly because of administrative measures and civil violence. Although the city was rocked by some of the worst incidences of violence in the country nine months ago, Jigjiga and its residents are now trying to heal from past wounds. EBR’s Samson Berhane, who visited Jigjiga, reports.

"Fashion is not all about big brands and red carpet."

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 03:00 Published in Interview

When Anna Getaneh made headlines in late 1980s, the modelling industry in Ethiopia was almost non-existent.  Born in Sweden as the second child of an Ethiopian career diplomat father and a fashion designer mother, Anna is one of the few Ethiopians who have become successful on the global modelling stage.
She briefly lived in Ethiopia at the age of four, but it was only after she earned a bachelor ‘s degree in business and marketing that Anna realized her potential in modelling. Subsequently, she pursued it as a part time job. Soon, she met with an agent who persuaded her to work as a model in Italy and then London. After that, modelling became her full time job.

Besides modelling, Anna is also involved in humanitarian work.  After she met with workers from Pharmacists Without Borders, a French organization, Anna went to a camp in Moyale, on the Ethio-Kenyan border, an area which houses many refugees from Somalia. She stayed there for a week helping with the feeding program. This inspired her to establish the Ethiopian Children’s Fund, which is registered in New York. Soon after, she came back to Ethiopia, visiting places around Addis Ababa, and opened a school with a feeding program clinic in Aleletu, a woreda in the state of Oromia.

To fund her organization and promote fashion in Ethiopia as well as Africa, Anna, a mother of three, established African Mosaique, a company registered five years ago. A year and a half ago, she built a new factory on 9,000 meter squares of land, at a cost of ETB15 million. The model and designer now produces an average of 500 pieces of clothing a month.

Anna, who stresses that fashion is not all about big brands and red carpets, says that the fashion industry can be source of growth for the Ethiopian economy. However, she also has concerns over the rise in consumption of used clothing imported from abroad. Anna thinks that the government gradually must ban used clothes and should create awareness of local clothes amongst the public. EBR’s Samson Berhane sat down with Anna to learn about her journey from international model to successful designer.