Fuel Gauges read Empty: Oil Market Declines; Consumers Pay the Price

With the global price of oil declining, local stations across Ethiopia are reluctant to reduce prices and incur losses. Ultimately, the consumer is the only loser. Fortune staff writers JEMAL ABDU AND LUCY KASSA go to the pumps to speak to fuel consumers and retailers to find out more.

Crop Loss Tackling Under Whelms

As the hay turns yellow, marking the start of the post-harvest season, Fortune staff writer FASIKA TADESSE speaks to farmers and farming researchers to understand the challenges of individual small scale farmers and what is being done to help mitigate their crop losses.

Building Economic Bridges Between Ethiopia and France

With the second France-Ethiopia Business Forum in Paris last week French businesses from the energy sector and Ethiopian companies hoping to secure investment met to discuss how they could increase relationships between France and Ethiopia. Fortune staff writer FASIKA TADESSE talks to some of the forum attendees to understand what gains were made.

Butchers Face Tax Confusion

Butcheries face a number of different systems of taxation of their goods. With differing calculation methods at work no one agrees how best to estimate taxes due. JEMAL ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, speaks to butchers and livestock traders, representatives of the Addis Abeba Butcheries Association (AABA) and the Ethiopian Revenue & Customs Authority (ERCA) to unravel the complications.

Raised by China

The Ethio-China relationship has dated long since the two countries began formal diplomatic relations in 1970. Although the two countries are tightening their relations and a number of investors are attracted to the country, the trade balance between the two countries remains in favour of China. The recent expo of the Chinese companies reflects the Chinese high presence in the country with top number of projects, reports JEMAL ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Soaring Egg Prices Remain a Mystery

It is a paradox to see a significant price increment on eggs, in a country with a total production of eggs averaging 100 million eggs for the year 2013/14 compared to 93.1 million eggs of last year 2012/2013. Even though it is still a mystery how this significant price change occurred starting from 2014 Ethiopian New Year, ordinary consumers are paying the cost, reports DAWIT ENDESHAW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

The Wheat Paradox

It has been several years since Ethiopia became net importer of wheat while the county is a major one from sub Saharan countries in its potential of wheat production. Indeed, the yield of wheat production is increasing per hectare, for instance four year back one hectare plot of land yielded 19ql of wheat but this number increased to 24ql during the past one year, even though the production is increasing as the same time import is increasing relatively at same rate, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Wired Up Security

It has become increasingly common to see barbed wire fencing running along the top of walls throughout Addis Abeba. Indeed, those working in the sector have noted a marked increase in demand, with many now also favouring the electrified system. The cost of such a security measure depends on the type of wire and system installed, but, with more and more actors in the sector, prices have become more competitive, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

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.


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