Ethiopian Business Review


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EBR is an expertly and independently written, masterfully designed, and well-circulated magazine.


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E-Commerce Trading away Middlemen

No person or thing seems to have been blamed for continuous price hikes in the Ethiopian economy like middlemen. Whether gas or groceries inflation, both current and past administrations have a way of blaming these players for their failed attempts to establish a strong and resilient market structure. Even though various factors may contribute to the failure to sufficiently tackle price increases, middlemen have indeed had their fair contribution to the problem.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3OP1IRV


International Trade Fair Coming to Ethiopia

Addisbuild is to be held at the Millennium Hall in May 2023. Endorsed by the Ministry of Urban Development and Infrastructure, the exhibition will showcase opportunities across Ethiopia’s construction sector, which currently contributes 5Pct towards Ethiopia’s workforce, according to the Central Statistics Service (CSS).

Organized by dmg events and its local partner Ethel Events and Communication, and part of The Big 5 global series of events, the three-day exhibition is to host local, and international attendees that are intent on taking part in Ethiopia’s growing construction sector. The goal of The Big 5 Construct Ethiopia is to accelerate construction industry innovations and complement Ethiopia’s economic growth, investment, and a sustainably built environment.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3ajpZR6


Not many have been as pioneering in the Ethiopian business sphere like Addis Alemayehou. From Afro FM to Kana TV to 251 Communications, Addis is an impactful business personality progressing over the years to now lead a holding company. Grab your copy to read this and several other interesting stories in EBR Edition № 108. Find EBR at major supermarkets and bookstores. Call 0961 41 41 41 for subscription.


Huawei, Partners Exchange Tech Info

The Chinese technology giant, Huawei, held a program at the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa to promote and certify its technologies with its partners and institutions in Ethiopia. In attendance were Huria Ali, State Minister of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology alongside senior officials from Huawei and organizations and domestic partners. The minister stated that Huawei is contributing to the realization of the Ethiopian Digital 2025 Strategy by bringing the best technology in the world to Ethiopia, including the recently launched 5G network.

Read More https://bit.ly/3nm15n3


Top 10 Cumulative Infrastructure Investment in Sub-Sahara Africa from 2007 - 2020

In addition to being Africa’s biggest trading partner, China is building the future of the continent’s urban landscapes almost single-handedly. Between 2007 and 2020, China’s two main overseas development banks invested USD23 billion in infrastructure projects on the continent which is USD8 billion more than what the other top eight lenders combined, including the World Bank, African Development Bank, and US and European development banks, contributed.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3I1we8T


Clarence Seedorf Throphy Tour

Ethiopians have used their lifestyle itself to stay fit: they walk in abundance to and from schools and markets; they spend hours running up the hills and down to the rivers while attending to their livestock on the pastures. That lifestyle seems to be changing in recent decades and years. Now, urban settings are hosting modern gyms which house people exercising with the goal of being fit. These scenes in gyms also bring strong women of various backgrounds. From the fit looking to get fitter and the overweight looking to trim some fat, gyms entertain various individuals with divergent mental and physical stances. Abiy Wendifraw shares an uplifting story of one of these strong women whose life has been changed by just going to the gym.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3niQzNn


Ethiopians Creeping Into Crypto

The idea of digital currency has been in the making for long. Still, challenges are ever-present in realizing the idea no matter how powerful the digital world has grown throughout the years, especially post-Covid. Recently, however, digital currencies are slowly taking shape to allow transactions across borders and the decentralizing of trading—abolishing the role of middlemen as well as regulations from financial institutions and governments. In similar fashion to the trade of hard currencies in financial markets, digital currencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Tether (USDT), among others, are being traded on online digital currency markets for the end purpose of buying and selling goods and services in the physical world.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3QP8VD5


Areqie Local Alcohol Cutting Dreams, Lives Short

Eating meat and drinking arekie—one of the hardest local alcohols in Ethiopia—as a means of speeding up digestion, has been tradition for ages. In some parts of the country—like the highlands of Shoa—areqie is also used as a means of survival against the cold weather. Even though this local alcohol has been around for long, its growing consumption among young boys in urban settings that were supposed to be part of the workforce is a rather grim image. Apart from stealing their courage to fight the hardships of life, the new trend of increasing alcoholic beverage consumption in the capital is also causing early health challenges, writes Henok Engida.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3QHPfkt


Online Education Business on the Rise

One of the success stories in the Ethiopian education sector is increased reachability over the past fifteen years. At one point, the Ministry of Education declared access to education has reached more than 99Pct. As much as public schools have played a significant role here, private investment in education has also played an indispensable role. Missing in the story, of course, is the quality of education—a point of discussion in most high-level dialogues concerning the nation’s social, economic, and political path. As a fairly recent phenomenon, online businesses have joined the sector in an attempt to offer increased access and quality. Even though their impact, both as a business model and educationalist, is yet to be tested, these new academic business models are believed to offer something unique and untried, writes EBR’s Eden Teshome.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3tWIBgm


Ethiopians Slow Walking Into NFTS

Ethiopian artists have long presented their works for insufficient compensation. The same is true for artists worldwide, to varying degrees.

The idea of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is now offering alternatives for artists to generate the income they deserve by ensuring the intactness of their artworks’ copyrights. Even though NFTs are a very recent phenomenon, some Ethiopians are slowly introducing themselves to this parallel digital reality. As much as this new world of NFTs offers an immense opportunity, legal, structural, and ethical challenges still remain to be addressed, writes EBR’s Addisu Deresse.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3zRe9rW


"There isn't much difference between local and imported drugs."

Daniel Waktole President, EPMSMA

Daniel Waktole is President of the Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies Manufacturers Association (EPMSMA). The PhD candidate in pharmacy is also author of Guide to Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Marketing in Ethiopia and co-author of the first international edition of the Book-master Guide for Medical Representatives. In 2020, Daniel founded Kilitich Estro Biotech PLC—a joint venture with an Indian pharmaceutical manufacturer. His academic background, coupled with his preeminent role in the sector—both as a Businessman and President of his sector’s trade association—affords him quite an insight into the sphere.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3tNMlRe


Healing the Pharmaceutical Industry

Lack of essential medication is a common recurrence facing patients. Mortality and morbidity caused by shortages of direly needed drugs during surgery and other critical points of treatment have become features of the medical industry. The common reason for the prevailing situation facing drugs is mostly tied with forex shortages and lack of sufficient local supply. Even though there are reports of sabotage in the industry, there has not been a consolidated effort to replace imported drugs and avoid the drug-induced chaos in the health sector. Recently, however, there are signs that that might be slowly changing. With the government’s high attention to the pharmaceuticals industry, there are new entrants in the sector coming with massive investments.

Read More: https://bit.ly/39A9ShI


Is the Ethiopian banking Sector at a Crossroads?

As per the Prime Minister’s speech on the inauguration ceremony of the Head Quarter building of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), the government plans to open up its banking industry to foreign competition. As per his word, the banking industry has been protected for decades. But it will not continue to be so. Therefore, commercial banks need to be prepared to keep pace with the growth of our world and to compete with the banks of other countries as well.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3QmHaS1


Safaricom Ethiopia will be Bigger than Safaricom Kenya

Anwar Soussa CEO, Safaricom Ethiopia

Anwar Soussa is a senior corporate executive who now serves as the founding CEO of Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia, a subsidiary of the Nairobi-based telecommunications and financial multinational, Safaricom.

Ethiopia announced the opening of the telecom sector in 2018. This materialized with the establishment of the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) in the same year and subsequent licensing of the Global Partnership for Ethiopia (GPE) in 2021, which has now become Safaricom Ethiopia. This ends the 128 years of monopoly in Africa’s second-most populous country.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3NNAgUh


Financing Agriculture for Sustainable Structural Transformation

Structural transformation requires long-term investment to expand productive capacities, as well as infrastructure development that underpins industrial activities and reduces systemic bottlenecks. Rapid transformative growth will also require a relevant and context-based development strategy.

Three decades ago, the Ethiopian government devised an agricultural-led industrial development strategy, with the aim to boost economic growth and to foster food security. Although many experts in the field have repeatedly criticized the move stating that it is difficult to realize a sustainable economic development through fragmented land, however, there is no doubt that in the current context of Ethiopia, agricultural policy is a viable option. This is mainly due to the fact that more than three-quarters of the population is living in rural areas and agriculture is a major source of livelihood, foreign exchange earnings are mainly dependent on agricultural product exports.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3NScyWT


Will Electric Vehicles Arrive Sooner?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are a fairly recent phenomenon around the world, and more so in Ethiopia. As much as the idea seems to be luxurious for African countries, recent developments show that they might not be far off. The automobiles’ environment- and cost-friendly operation seem to be fast-tracking their realization worldwide. Ethiopia is also a nation with some experience in electrifying public and freight transport. With the launch of assemblers and an ever-increasing interest of importers toward such automobiles, we are not far off from EVs becoming commonplace. Yet, even though Ethiopia might benefit by reducing foreign exchange outlays to import fuel, lubricants, and spare parts, the growing prospect of electrified cars could be puzzling in a country where half the population has no access to electricity, writes EBR’s Eden Teshome.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3NTVMXG


OLA Energy Ethiopia Rebrand and Launching of Premium Servicing

OLA Energy Group unveiled a new brand for its pan-African network of retail outlets, channels, and petroleum products.

Formerly OiLibya Ethiopia Limited, both the local and pan-African company has now been renamed and rebranded to OLA Energy Ethiopia Limited and OLA Energy Group on February 7, 2022. The new branding is now taking foot in Ethiopia, originally with few service stations in Addis Ababa, followed by a phased rollout over the entire retail network across the country.

The company also introduced their Accel Auto Care Center at their Meskel Square service station, aiming to provide better quality services at their service stations across the country. Towards this, they have struck a collaborative deal with Gigar Trading and Technical Center, which will be operating the premium car maintenance center in the country.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3xKKjUu


Leading a diverse group companies, Aster Solomon has experienced the effect of lacking peace on business. From banking to education, and from hotels to technology, the experienced businesswoman shares her outlook in an informative interview. Grab your copy to read this and several other interesting stories in EBR Edition № 107. You can find EBR at major supermarkets and bookstores. Call 0961 41 41 41 for subscription.


The Story of the #Strong #Woman in the #GYM

Ethiopians have used their lifestyle itself to stay fit: they walk in abundance to and from schools and markets; they spend hours running up the hills and down to the rivers while attending to their livestock on the pastures. That lifestyle seems to be changing in recent decades and years. Now, urban settings are hosting modern gyms which house people exercising with the goal of being fit. These scenes in gyms also bring strong women of various backgrounds. From the fit looking to get fitter and the overweight looking to trim some fat, gyms entertain various individuals with divergent mental and physical stances. Abiy Wendifraw shares an uplifting story of one of these strong women whose life has been changed by just going to the gym.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3NYYFGi


Leather Struggles, but Hopeful

The apogee of Ethiopia’s livestock reserve is yet to translate into anything more than a disappointing cliché. The leather industry that feeds on the country’s livestock resources is being tied up with old challenges of poor bureaucracy, lack of finance, and market linkage issues. Adding salt to the wound, the Covid pandemic, instability, and recent removal of Ethiopia from the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) are making the industry’s future look rather bleak. Recognizing the industry’s immense potential and resolving its challenges is an assignment for no tomorrow, write EBR’s Lidya Tesfaye and Bamlak Fekadu.

Read More: https://bit.ly/3GGEcDI

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