Red Light on Benzine Gauges, Fuel Prices Down

There is frustration at the pumps, sometimes spilling over into banging and slanging matches needing traffic police intervention. But why is there a shortage when gas prices are down everywhere? DAWIT ENDESHAW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, joins the gas station lines (on foot) to talk with drivers, distributors and also representatives of the sole supplier to find out what has created the oily mess.

Staggering Food Aid Bleeds Businesses

Transporters are frustrated but distressed beneficiaries hardly want to wait for relief supplies to ameliorate their plight. Despite the multiplicity of authorities involved (or perhaps because of them), the drought relief effort seems marked by delay. DAWIT ENDESHAW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER delves into the logistics of delivering food and fertilizers to vulnerable victims, exploring causes and solutions.

That Illusive US Investment

The recently concluded 10th US-Africa Business Summit provided much opportunity for dialogue and networking among counterparts but it was not characterised by investment deals that signal the winds of change in Ethiopia’s direction. The country’s potential as well as limited institutional capacities continue to be acknowledged but as SOLIANA ALEMAYHU FORTUNE STAFF WRITER reports, the investments of other countries continue to outstrip those of the US in Ethiopia.

Access’ Drama Continues

The name Ermias T. Amelga may have become a household word and as this report by SOLIANA ALEMAYEHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER indicates, angry stakeholders of Access Real Estate are seeking justice. But the troubles of Ermias seem symptomatic of a real estate sector in trouble.

Coordinating Wedding Bells

A wedding is not just the start of a lifelong family partnership, it is also an investment that may take a sizeable chunk of the couple and their family’s income. SOLIANA ALEMAYEHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, checks out the business of the wedding protocol, the range of services provided and the cost of a well-organised wedding ceremony.

Afar, Wello – Land of Extremes with Shared Concerns

The rising incidence of malnutrition among vulnerable groups due to the drought, may not have been preventable but the good news is that the surveillance and screening mechanisms seem to be working effectively. DAWIT ENDESHAW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER travelled to Afar with the Save the Children team and brings this first hand report on how measures to mitigate the impact of the drought are working.

Paradox of the Cattle Market

The traditional Christmas celebration involves breaking a period of fasting and the slaughter of animals for the Christmas feast. In the run up to Christmas Day, DAWIT ENDESHAW FORTUNE STAFF WRITER explored the cattle market in Addis Abeba and the factors that affect current availability and price.

Christmas Trees Full Circle

The iconic Christmas tree has become a standard feature of Christmas in the west. Ethiopians have begun to adopt this symbol in their observation of this holiday. SOLIANA ALEMAYEHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER explores the environmental impacts of Christmas trees and their disposal. Her findings may affect sales, one way or the other.

Locals, Businesses Bear the Brunt of Angry Protest

The Integrated Master Plan may have sparked the recent unrest in many parts of the Oromia Regional State, but underlying issues emerged and continue to fester resentment. DAWIT ENDESHAW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, has talked to those who witnessed, participated in and suffered from the recent riots that left unconfirmed numbers dead and unaccounted property damage.

Toilets, Fast Foods Give Public Convenience Whole New Meaning

The recent provision of public toilets in Addis Abeba is welcome. Yet the details of their provision give rise to questions of public health. DAWIT ENDESHAW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, declined a cup of coffee at a public toilet compound but talked with multiple users of the facilities and shares their experience.

Informed by History, Fear of Dispossession Fuels Unrest

Recent disturbances involving protests in Oromia state have resulted in the tragic loss of youthful lives. The root cause of the unrest seems to have been grounded in the cause of major conflict – land, people’s ties to their ancestral lands and feelings of pending loss associated with the assumed implementation of the Integrated Regional Development Plan. This Master Plan for the development of Addis Abeba incorporates several special zones that fall under the jurisdiction of Oromia State. While the claimed rationale is about harmonization of development, discerned risks of generational dispossession are based on historical trends. DAWIT ENDESHAW & MISGANAW GETACHEW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITERS have spoken with those connected to the Plan and those affected by it.

Non-Performing Agricultural Investments Get the Axe

The recent revocation of investment licences granted to three foreign companies and one local investor was based on their failure to perform. DAWIT ENDESHAW & MISGANAW GETACHEW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITERS, get to the roots of this matter.


Reports about the ongoing drought vary, with commendations and criticisms emanating from myriad sources. Having reported from the field three months ago, DAWIT ENDESHAW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, follows-up to bring a current account from Amhara State.

General Assemblies Generate Businesses

By any calendar, the end of the fiscal year of banks and insurers means increased business for firms providing goods and services in preparation for their annual general meetings. This mandatory assembly of shareholders, directors and managers is the highest decision making body of the firms when officers report to owners, giving an account of annual performance. After the serious business of reporting, there is, traditionally, a celebration: an opportunity to thank customers and entice clients. Though not partying with the bankers, SOLIANA ALEMAYEHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, finds out just how much other business is generated by the general assemblies.

The Ups, Downs in Land Value

Land distribution always ranks high on the development agenda and takes on even greater proportions in the capital city where scarcity and location drive prices. SOLIANA ALEMAYEHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER reviews the results of monthly land auctions and shares findings, not only about the bidding process but also about the areas where land can be leased at the highest and lowest prices.

Forex Crunch Choking Businesses in Ethiopia

The shady dealings that have become common in the foreign exchange market may well reflect the basic economic principle which says where there is demand there will be supply. But accessing foreign currency by any means necessary seems to have evolved from corrupt business and banking practice to a fine art where legal procedures are followed in making illegal transactions. MIKIYAS TESFAYE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, enters this lucrative underworld (not as a player) but to investigate the complex nature of international trade in a context of chronic shortage of hard foreign currency. In this story, it is quite understandable why almost no source wished to be named. Meanwhile, the entire economy and honest, ethical businesspersons continue to bear the brunt.


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