Ethiopian Business Review

Before the 1880s, Eritrea was part of Ethiopia. It was the advent of colonial rule that created a historic divide between them. Global developments after the second World War and diplomatic efforts by Emperor Haileselassie helped the reunion of the two countries in 1952 through federation. However, the federation was abolished in 1962 and subsequent internal power struggles ignited the Eritrean liberation movement. In a war that spanned for 30 years, Eritrea finally became an independent state in 1991.

The two countries established formidable relations since then. That close relationship, however, was short lived, because of a bloody two-year war between the two countries brokeout in 1998. 

With the coming of a new leadership in Ethiopia, the two countries have now started a new chapter after two decades of a no-peace no-war situation. Eritrea, whose economic growth has been highly constrained because of the hostilities with Ethiopia over the past 20 years and UN sanctions, is now one of the least developed countries in the world. Even though it is difficult to access up to date data, estimates by the World Bank shows that over 60Pct of Eritreans live in poverty. The government’s isolationist policy, which has highly discouraged the private sector, has contributed for its deteriorating economy. EBR Staff Writers visited the state of Eritrea last month to compile this report. 

Thursday, 16 August 2018 07:43
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The Rise of A Shadow Government

State capture refers to systematic high level political corruption that establishes a hidden political regime at odds with the constitutional purpose of the state, by capturing politicians and parties, journalists and the media, the police as well as key state institutions such as the legislature, the executive, the judiciary and regulatory agencies in order to protect and to benefit its own private interests. Although state capture is a concept that has received extensive attention principally in the post-communist states of Eastern Europe and Latin America, it has also found its way into Africa’s political discourse in recent years. In fact, the influence of state captors is growing in developing countries. Ethiopia is no exception, as evidenced by the mismanagement of massive mega projects and numerous corruption scandals as well as political persecution, especially in recent years. EBR’s Samson Hailu investigates the extent of the phenomenon in Ethiopia.

Friday, 10 August 2018 15:00
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For most of the past two years, Abiy Ahmed was best known for being one of the major driving forces behind the economic revolution and reforms in the state of Oromia. But for the last 90 days, his actions as the new Prime Minister of Ethiopia have been grabbing the headlines.  Since he took power, changes and reforms have been announced almost every day. Among these reforms were the decision to fully or partially privatize key state owned enterprises; unconditional acceptance of the Algiers agreement-a peace agreement between the governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia signed on December 12, 2000, in Algiers, for the formal end of the Eritrean-Ethiopian War, which lasted from 1998 to 2000; and the release of thousands of inmates charged with and convicted of corruption and terrorism.  He also negotiated the release of thousands of Ethiopian prisoners in neighbouring countries.  Abiy reshuffled, appointed and demoted several members of the council of ministers; and even removed key officials in the military and security apparatus. The Premier also called on exiled opposition parties and media to open offices in Addis Ababa. 

The sweeping changes that Abiy undertook in a short period of time has enabled Africa’s youngest leader to garner tremendous support.  As a result, a team of released prisoners, bloggers and artists teamed up to organise a rally in Addis Ababa on June 23, in support of the premier’s mission of deepening nationwide reforms. On the day, millions of people flooded the Meskel Square chanting songs of support for the Prime Minister. The rally was going peacefully until a bomb was thrown to the stage. Although the attack didn’t cause fatalities on the spot, some victims later passed away while receiving treatment. EBR’s Samson Berhane explores the reform agendas of the premier and the challenges ahead.

Thursday, 02 August 2018 22:30
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