Ethiopian Business Review

Ethiopias Alarming Debt

Saturday, 07 July 2018 08:54 Published in Topic

Debt stress has always been a contentious matter in Ethiopia. As the country pursues billions of dollars worth of infrastructural development projects, external debt stock has been growing proportionally, now accounting for almost 30Pct of the GDP. While the risk to debt sustainability escalates, several challenges limit the prospects for bucking this trend. This includes the wide gap between investment and savings, and the underperformance of the export sector. With such factors in mind, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), changed the debt stress rating of Ethiopia from moderate to high recently, hinting that the chance of defaulting on loans is increasing. Although the government is able to take corrective measures such as refraining from taking commercial loans, experts say that is too late. EBR’s Samson Berhane spoke to government officials, macroeconomists and financial analysts to probe into the matter.

Investment Risks in Djibouti

Saturday, 07 July 2018 05:59 Published in Investment

Over the past two decades, Djibouti has taken steps to open up to foreign investment, and become a regional trans-shipment hub. Its strategic location near the Bab el-Mandeb strait – through which one third of seaborne global trade passes on its way to the Suez Canal – and decades of peace and political stability compared to its immediate neighbors has played in Djibouti’s favor among international investors.

Africa's Must-Do Decade

Saturday, 07 July 2018 05:49 Published in View Point

Since 2000, Africa has recorded impressive rates of economic growth, owing largely to development assistance and a prolonged commodity boom. While the continent shows great diversity in the socioeconomic trajectories, growth rates have generally masked an underlying lack of structural transformation.

Ethiopia at a Cross-road Again

Saturday, 07 July 2018 05:44 Published in Commentary

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's Economic and Political Challenges

In my commentary published in EBR issue 55 entitled “Stand Still and Movement” I expressed my grave concerns about the future of our nation. The coming to power of the new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed is a relief for such concerns, at least for now. Abiy is the right pick in all senses of the word to be at the helm of power (as that happens to be the criteria at this juncture in our history). However, for all the peace that he has brought about to be sustainable, it is imperative to understand the major political and economic challenges that he in general, and we as citizens in particular, will be confronting. I will begin to highlight the top five economic challenges first and conclude by briefly noting two major political challenges that are preconditions for addressing the economic challenges.

The Rise of Feudalism in Ethiopia

Saturday, 07 July 2018 05:39 Published in Commentary

The formation of the Ethiopian state is owed to countless historical and political trajectories. The established narrative, though, is that modern Ethiopian state was formed during the reign of Emperor Menelik II. This is because the modern Ethiopian state was expanded through conquest during his era, especially to the Southern and South Western parts of Ethiopia.  

The Debt Shackles Return

Saturday, 07 July 2018 05:34 Published in View Point

Global growth is accelerating. But before we break out the champagne, we should acknowledge the long-term risks to sustained expansion posed by rising private and public debt. Market analysts view the uptick in private lending in most emerging and some developed economies as a sign of higher demand and a precursor of faster growth. But, while this is true in the short run, the relentless rise of overall debt remains among the most serious problems burdening the global economy.

Fighting Corruption Critical Policy Attentions

Saturday, 07 July 2018 05:32 Published in Commentary

Recently, the Ethiopian Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed terminated high-profile corruption charges brought against Melaku Fenta and Gebrewahid Gebregziabher, former Director General and former Deputy Director General of the Law Enforcement Division at the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) respectively. Prominent businessmen, such as Nega Gebreegziabher, owner of Netsa Trading PLC; Ketema Kebede, owner of KK PLC; and Fikru Maru (MD), founder and CEO of Addis Cardiac Hospital; and Simachew Kebede, major shareholder of DH Simex Plc which owns Intercontinental Addis Hotel were also charged with corruption-related offenses.

Bamlak Tessema

Saturday, 07 July 2018 02:05 Published in Sport Biz

Representing Ethiopia in International Football Tournament

Bamlak Tessema is one of six referees in Africa selected by FIFA to officiate the games of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Bamlak will represent his country on the world stage, 48 years after another Ethiopian referee, the late Seyoum Tarekegn, took part in the 1970 tournament in Mexico. The 38 year old international referee has had an interesting journey to reach to this level. EBR’s adjunct writer Abiy Wendifraw sat down with the Bamlak to learn about his career.

The Prime Minister's Progress

Friday, 06 July 2018 19:41 Published in News

Ethiopia has seen some surprising developments this month, with the recent lifting of the state of emergency during a parliamentary session in early June, and the release of more than 500 people held on corruption and terrorism related charges. Prominent businesspeople and government officials, including Melaku Fenta, former Director General of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA), Nega Gebreegziabher and Fikru Maru (MD), were among those who had corruption-related charges against them dropped and were released from detention. 

Ethiopia has lost many ancient cultural heritages and treasures to plundering and looting, and it is common to find ancient Ethiopian artefacts in various western museums. Although there have been initiatives to facilitate the return of these stolen heritages in the past, the outcomes have not been pleasing. 

Recently, Tristram Hunt, Director of the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum said the quickest way for Ethiopia to get back its artefacts from the V&A would be through a long term loan, referring to items stolen from Mekdela by British forces in 1868. The displayed treasures include a gold crown, a gold chalice and a royal wedding costume, among others. Ethiopia launched a formal restitution claim to have the treasures returned in 2007. 

Government officials and scholars have voiced their apprehension, echoing that the return of historical treasures should not be up for discussion.  Yonas Desta, Director General of Ethiopian Heritage Authority has been one of the most outspoken figures in the negotiations emphasizing that any treasure is only meaningful to the owner, not to the looter.

Yonas has been actively participating in heritage conservation and management since 2010, when, during his time as a director at the then-Ministry of Trade and Industry, he conducted a study about heritage management in Ethiopia. Former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, offered him a chance to lead the then-Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH). EBR’s Samson Berhane sat down with him to discuss his firm position towards the country’s lost treasures, heritage management and their contribution to the economy.

Page 1 of 2