Ethiopian Business Review

Samson Berhane

Samson Berhane

Editor-in-Chief

samson.b@ethiopianbusinessreview.net

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"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.

Samrawit Fikru is the creator of Hybrid Design, a company behind the most popular taxi hailing app in Ethiopia, Ride. Samrawit is always trying to identify problems and respond accordingly. It was likely this quality that was the key to her success. Transformed from an SMS-based on demand service to a mobile app, Ride is now used by more than 1,300 drivers and has been downloaded over 50,000 times. EBR’s Samson Berhane sat down with the 29 year old entrepreneur to learn about her journey to success and the challenges she has faced so far.

Zero Hour

Saturday, 16 February 2019 03:00 Published in Topic

Ethiopia's Economic Slowdown Takes A Toll

Ethiopia been praised by the global community for its outstanding economic performances for decades.  Although the country has registered one of the highest economic growth rates in Africa, the economy has been slowing down in recent years. In December 2018, the International Monetary Fund announced that Ethiopia’s economic growth dipped to 7.7 pct in 2017/18, due to political uncertainty and severe foreign exchange shortages. Now, Ethiopia’s economy seems to be at a crossroads. While the decline of exports, a rise in prices, a drop in construction activities and the disruption of main trade routes signal that the economy is indeed slowing down, experts are worried that decreasing state involvement, coupled with the drop in government spending, will make the problem worse, as EBR’s Samson Berhane reports.