Ethiopian Business Review

Infrastructure projects are key elements for a development of a nation. Ethiopia has been undertaking massive infrastructure projects, most notably in the road sector and huge amount of investment is dedicated for the sector. 

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Since the establishment of the Bank of Abyssinia (a one million shilling venture between the Ethiopian government and the Central Bank of Egypt, which was owned by the British government) in 1905, provision of modern financial services have seen ups and downs in the country. After the liberalization of the financial sector in the early 90s, the sector has shown better performance. Especially, in the last six years the sector seems to be in a massive expansion phase. From June 2008 to June 2013, the number of bank branches has more than tripled while the number of banks operating in the economy has increased by around 73Pct. Yet this number cannot show the whole picture. Still the country is among the most unbanked nations in the world. A single branch serves more than 50 thousand citizens, capitalization and diversified, technologically advanced, new products are still insignificant, often directed and dictated by the National Bank. The percentage of the population that uses modern financial products is still in single digits.

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Is the number of households in Addis Ababa with monthly income of USD500, according to The Addis Ababa Consumer Report, a report released on August 30,2013 by Sagaci Research, a market intelligence firm dedicated to African markets, based in Paris. The firm’s survey over 1,000 households in the capital city also found out that 10Pct of these households earn more than USD1,000 per month. The report provides an overview of households’ expenditures and consumer behaviours in the different income classes, including equipment ownership, savings, and financial services usage, shopping behaviours as well as mobile, internet usage and TV preferences. Sagaci research, founded in 2012 by former consultants from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), publishes reports and databases on retail and consumer goods, statistical data on household consumption and conducts field studies in 19 countries of the continent.

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