Ethiopian Business Review

Khalid Bomba is the CEO of the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), which he has helmed since its establishment in December 2010. In that time, his name has become synonymous with the revitalization process in Ethiopian agriculture. 

His road towards agriculture was not a direct one. A graduate of Swarthmore College in the United States, he also holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics. He also spent over ten years working in corporate finance, and on sovereign debt issues at JP Morgan, and at other private sector institutions. He was regional director for African countries at the Global e-Schools and Communities’ Initiative, a UN-ICT Task Force, and finally, senior agricultural development program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, after which he was tasked with establishing and leading the ATA, which was financed by the Ethiopian government as well as institutions like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Agency is tasked with crafting policy instruments to forward agricultural development in the country, based on research analysis, as well as helping to provide support and education for those in the sector, operating as something between a public institution and a private business.

Even though Khalid believes that science should be the ultimate decider of the country’s policy direction, the agriculture sector in Ethiopia still relies on tradition wisdom and methods. However, Khalid argues, with the finalization of the soil map, one of the ATA’s grand projects, agriculture will come around in the next few years. EBR’s Ashenafi Endale sat down with him to find out more.

Saturday, 15 June 2019 00:00
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Africa has become the next frontier for European and Asian car manufacturers. Adding to Ethiopia’s collection of foreign auto companies, Volkswagen signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ethiopian Investment Commission in the beginning of 2019. This makes Ethiopia the third country in sub-Saharan Africa to sign an MoU with Volkswagen, following Ghana and Nigeria, which both signed MoUs with Volkswagen in August 2018. Volkswagen already has a manufacturing plant in South Africa, which has been active since 1951.

According to the MoU signed between Ethiopia and the company, Volkswagen will focus on four key pillars: the establishment of a vehicle assembly facility, localization of automotive components, introduction of mobility concepts such as app-based car sharing and ride hailing as well as the opening of a training center. Thomas Schaefer, Head of Volkswagen Sub-Saharan Africa Region, who signed the MoU, detailed his company’s intentions in Ethiopia in an email interview with EBR’s Ashenafi Endale.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 06:00
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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.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 03:00
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