Ethiopian Business Review

The government recently appointed Nebiyou Baye as the new director of the National Theatre of Ethiopia. Although he worked in films as an actor and writer on top of lecturing at Addis Ababa University, Nebiyou has spent almost his entire life in the theatre, building up a wealth of knowledge and expertise to bring theatre to a higher level. EBR’s Menna Asrat sat down with him to find out what to expect fat the National Theatre in the coming years.

The Making of Elite Athletes

Friday, 10 August 2018 18:00 Published in Sport Biz

Ethiopia Broadens its Focus To Recruit Future Talent

The 2018 World U20 Championships, also known as the World Junior Championships, took place at Ratina Stadium in Tampere, Finland from July 10-15 2018. Solomon Barega and Tilahun Haile were among the 36 Ethiopian athletes who participated in the Championships. They come from Quante, a small town located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) state, which has similar topography and weather conditions as Bekoji, known for producing many of Ethiopia’s Olympic medallists. As EBR adjunct writer Abiy Wondifraw, found out unlike the previous trend of recruiting from only a few places, more athletes are now coming from all corners of the country including Quante, to represent Ethiopia on the national stage.

The Blossoming Bloom Business

Friday, 10 August 2018 18:00 Published in Focus

Lately, decorating outdoor patios with greenery is becoming a common trend especially in Addis Ababa, a city that is home to almost a million households. As a result, individual property owners and real estate developers as well as hotels and government institutions, are increasingly becoming a customer of nurseries. EBR’s Tiruneh Assefa explores how these factors changed plant and garden businesses, dynamically. 

Addis Flooding Crisis

Friday, 10 August 2018 18:00 Published in Focus

What is the way Out

In recent years, Addis Ababa has been increasingly affected by flooding due to its vulnerability to rainfall and flash floods.  The vulnerability to flooding has been further aggravated due to a poor drainage system, rapid urbanization and climate change, which have lead low-income communities to settle in flood-prone areas. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale explores the extent of the damage as well as what the government is doing about it.

Sole Scarcity Makes Locally Made Shoes Unaffordable

Friday, 10 August 2018 18:00 Published in Focus

Starting around ten years ago, Ethiopian-made leather footwear has become increasingly more popular. From children to youths, many people are now increasingly seen wearing locally made footwear. In spite of its popularity, footwear has recently became very costly for users, primarily because the price of soles for shoes has increased. Most soles are imported from abroad. Although there are four local companies that manufacture soles, they are still unable to produce soles in bulk to satisfy the demand, as EBR’s Tiruneh Assefa reports.

Jemal Mohammed is the general manager of Blue Matrix Consultancy, and has been working in the field of drainage and sewerage management for the past 20 years. His company has been involved with many projects, like setting up the drainage master plan for Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) town in addition to the preparing sewerage master plans for Dire Dawa, Jimma, Gondar, Adigrat and Hawassa. Blue Matrix is known for designing sanitary landfills for Dila and Bishoftu towns. Four months ago, the company submitted a proposal to participate in the tender floated by the Addis Ababa City Roads Authority for the design of a drainage master plan for the capital. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat with Jemal to discuss how to resolve the drainage related problems in Addis Ababa, especially during the rainy season.

Free Trade Area

Friday, 10 August 2018 18:00 Published in Investment

Is it the Magic Bullet for Africa's Industrialization?

The African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) was signed by 44 African countries, including Ethiopia, in May 2018, and will cover a market of 1.2 billion people and a gross domestic product of USD2.5 trillion once it is implemented. In terms of numbers of participating countries, ACFTA will be the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization. The creation of a free trade area is expected to boost the current intra-Africa trade, which stood at 13Pct. Although officials stress that it will be a beneficial for Ethiopian goods to penetrate other African markets, many are concerned over the competitiveness of the private sector in the local market, let alone outside the country. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale reports.

The Riddles of Urban Safety Net

Friday, 10 August 2018 18:00 Published in Investment

For a long time, rural poverty has been a big concern in Ethiopia. Compared to rural standards, the urban population, which was estimated at over 20 million last year, might live in better conditions.  But, recently, poverty among the urban population reached a point where it can be considered a crisis. Due to this, the World Bank, in partnership with the Ethiopian government, implemented the first Urban Productive Safety Net Program last year, at a cost of USD450 million, to reduce urban poverty. EBR’s Samson Berhane evaluates the success of the program.


Friday, 10 August 2018 18:00 Published in Society

The Fate of Arada Hangs in the Balance

Piassa, at the heart of Addis Ababa is representative of the city’s old face. It was long known for being the go to place for commerce, and leisure. But in the past few years, urban development has been changing the face of the area. As the older parts of the city are being demolished residents feel that Piassa has lost some of its unique character. EBR’s Menna Asrat went to Piassa to find out what makes Piassa tick and what residents think the future holds for Addis’ old city.

The Foreign Exchange System Should Be Changed

Friday, 10 August 2018 15:00 Published in Interview

Peter M. Sullivan has been the managing Director and head of the Public Sector Group for Africa at Citi Bank since 2007. The Public Sector Group is committed to facilitating global best practices and success transfers among its client base including central banks, multilateral development banks and sovereigns.  

Peter, who is responsible for developing business and structuring and delivering product solutions for sovereigns, state-owned enterprises and multilateral institutions in Sub-Sahara and North Africa, has 27 years’ experience in the banking industry with Citi including the coverage of Global Financial Institutions, Industrials and Sovereigns.  Peter has headed many innovative transactions, such as the first fuel import hedging by a Sub Saharan African Sovereign, the first local currency sovereign Sukuk, the first local debt exchange and a number of receivable-backed financings for Central Governments across Africa. He has also worked with the officials of central banks and executives of several commercial banks in Ethiopia, while he was also a member of the teams that arranged debut bond issuing for Ghana, Gabon, Senegal, Nigeria, Rwanda and Cote d’Ivoire as well as the respective follow-on issues

He was a member of the delegation from the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA), which visited Ethiopia for three days from June 24, 2018 with the purpose of exploring opportunities to increase trade and economic cooperation. EBR’s Samson Berhane sat down with Peter on the sidelines of the event held between the delegates and the Ethiopian government, to discuss the engagement of Citi Bank in the Sub-Saharan African market and his viewpoint about the Ethiopian financial industry.

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