BREAKING NEWS:

Moon, Kim to Visit Ethiopia

Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Tit for Tat with Sole Opposition MP


Although the floor was open to all MPs, it was the sole opposition member who dominated proceedings in the motion raising many questions dividing into different sections; political, economic and social. The prime minister, rather defensive in his response and non-accommodative to the suggestions, cleared the stand of his party and government to the 547 seat parliament, reports JEMAL ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Apologetic State of Union Address Maintains Cautious Optimism

The annual State of the Union address by the Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome (PhD) was apologetic in its tone, whilst maintaining an optimism driven by healthy GDP growth and stable inflation. The vast number of mega projects currently reshaping the nation’s infrastructural landscape are, despite being a shining beacon of hope, causing concern and irritation for the general public at present. The poor export performance and stuttering manufacturing industry also add to the frustration caused by below par transport and services provision, although the Ethiopian President sought to provide assurances that steps were being taken to improve the country for all, reports, JEMAL ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Ethiopia Main Beneficiary of Hotels Forum

Not only was Ethiopia boosted by the relocation of the third African Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) from Nairobi, Kenya, to their own capital, Addis Abeba, but too the outcomes were extremely positive. Ethiopia still sits further down the ladder, in terms of tourist inflows and the presence of international hotels, than many other countries on the continent, but developments are painting a much rosier future. A total of six agreements were signed before, during and after the event, for new international brand hotels in Addis Abeba, and with demand influenced by the growing tourism sector and numerous diplomatic events, this trend looks set to continue, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


ERCA Uses Bank Account Balance in Income Tax Calculations

Taxpayers have been left disgruntled by the approach of the ERCA, which has led to many choosing to store their cash in safety boxes as opposed to banks. The announcement that the Authority will not return excess monies collected has further aggravated this. A recent study indicated that there was no uniform approach in the use of bank accounts across the ERCA’s branches, with many citing the lack of information provided to businesspeople regarding the appropriate use of personal and business accounts, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER


Weighing Up the Options

The demand for locally produced fitness equipment has been increasing of late, predominantly due to its affordability. Other benefits also include the ease at which repair work can be sought. There are, however, quality issues when compared to imported items. Such problems include the lack of accuracy in the weight of the products, leaving users liable to injury, reports JEMAL ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Tough to be onboard

The demand for public transport to regional towns and cities increases exponentially during holiday periods. An example of this has been witnessed during the recent Ethiopian New Year, with an additional 43,419 passengers leaving the capital’s four major bus terminals. Although there has been an increase in service provision from both the private and public sectors, the capacity is still insufficient in meeting the demand. This has led to a number of people being left disappointed, as they queue for several days to find transport to meet up with their families for the celebration, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Tasty Prices for Festive Feast

As the New year approaches, the sensible among us are already shopping for ingredients forthe festive feast. It is common that as the festivities get near, prices rocket up. Currently,
however, shoppers have been surprised by the attractive prices on offer, with many key ingredients going for less than last Easter. The demand for cattle is down on last year,
however, despite the good prices; traders hope that this will change as the New Year draws in, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Cotton Collapse

A year of surplus in 2011/12 has been followed by a collapse in the nation’s cotton production. This goes against objectives laid out in Ethiopia’s Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP). One of the major issues is the land tenure in the Afar region – formerly responsible for a large percentage of cotton production. This has made it difficult for cotton growers to maintain a healthy living. Although efforts from the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), through the Agricultural Investment Agency, exist in other regions, they hold no jurisdiction in Afar. This issue is having an impact on the textiles and garment industry in the country, reports ABDI TSEGAYE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


CONNECTIVITY AT A CROSSROADS

The Universal Rural Roads Access Programme (URRAP), under Ethiopia’s Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP), is lagging far behind targets in many regions across the country. Indeed, the Somali and Afar regions are yet to begin implementing the project, with just one year of the programme remaining. The objectives of the URRAP were to benefit all kebeles with standard and affordable all-weather roads, providing year round access. It was hoped that this would improve the market integration of rural communities and enhance opportunity in the provision of social services, as well as providing local job opportunities. The implementation of the programme has, however, stumbled, with the initial labour-intensive approach proving inefficient and unsustainable reports ABDI TSEGAYE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


GOVERNING WITH REFLECTION

A forum was held in order discuss how to improve the delivery of service to the public and reflect on the work of government institutions. Despite being assured government projects would bring better days, an opposition MP was not convinced by the discussions reports, FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Employment Crunch

In the following years, Ethiopia will have its highest number of graduates ever leave universities around the country. However, there is a severe shortage of employment opportunities for these graduates to fill. As a result many are left with jobs like cobblestone paving, far from their field of study and dream job. Reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Employment Crunch

In the following years, Ethiopia will have its highest number of graduates ever leave universities around the country. However, there is a severe shortage of employment opportunities for these graduates to fill. As a result many are left with jobs like cobblestone paving, far from their field of study and dream job. Reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


The Power Conundrum

The age and capacity of current transformers and substations are being blamed for the unreliable supply of electricity in the country. On top of the annoyance they cause to countless households, power cuts also have a huge impact on business. Costs that come from breaks in production, damage to machinery and the requirement to pay employees overtime is hugely cutting into profits. With two major dam projects currently under construction, such businesses live in hope that one day soon the situation will improve, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Available, But Non-Drivable

The growing economy of Ethiopia has been complemented with a ripening car sales business. But, as in any other sector in Ethiopia, selling cars is also full of challenges. One latest challenge related to temporary plates, however, is slowing putting the brakes on what was once a hopeful sector. The understanding about the rationale and benefit of the new approach of providing temporary plates vary between authorities and importers, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


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