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.


IT’S JUST THE BEGINNING

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.


Premier Makes No Bones in Parliament

The new Parliament with no deviating voice was expected by many to fall short of the usual, low impact ideas from the minority opposition parties. The third extra-ordinary meeting of the Parliament though, added to the realistic expectations of the public. While the Premier covered all the issue bases, his responses to questions raised by his comrades were superficial and unable to inspire the hope needed for transformation.


Little Gabies: Ethiopia’s Next International Breakout Brand

Branding Ethiopia is definitely not restricted to tourism but also applies to high quality indigenous products and innovation such as that which characterises Little Gabies. FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, MIKIYAS TESFAYE, enters the warm and cuddly world of hand made baby blankets made in Ethiopia, incorporating its rich heritage in source materials, design and production for sustainability. Little Gabies has all the makings of an Ethiopian brand with a global market to be exploited. Definitely a brand to watch.


Bill for Residential Housing Development, Transactions

Legal Draftspersons have obviously been busy demonstrating the urgent need for regulating housing development and related transactions. FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, DAWIT ENDESHAW discusses the draft legislation and obtains the views of various stakeholders.  


State of the Union Signals Intent

Beginnings always hold promise – new hope of things to come and one must wish the country continued peace and prosperity. While the new appointees can be congratulated, the public has the responsibility of vigilance to ensure that the ministries and authorities are transparent and accountable in executing their mandates.  As the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, so these must quickly translate to effective action if, indeed, youth and women are to be mainstreamed in development. As Fortune staff writer, Dawit endeshaw learns, good governance must go beyond cosmetics if there is to be meaningful engagement that enables the voice of opposition to be heard at the highest levels of decision-making. Especially now, it cannot be business as usual in the execution of GTP II. 


Meeting the Meat Demand

With obvious concern about food security, all indications are that Ethiopia is affording its livestock sector priority in all aspects – from protecting live animals and regulating domestic trade, to increasing revenue earnings from meat exports. No evidence of the heightened prioritisation is more compelling than the proposed new Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development. As FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, LUCY KASSA reports, the new ministry will have to hit the ground running as one of its first tasks will be to address quality assurance issues in the export market and persuade Ethiopia’s biggest meat export destination to lift the recently imposed ban.


Disparity in The Quality of University Education Prevails

The numbers of students enrolling for Higher Education are indeed impressive but quality seems to be sacrificed when one encounters graduates of tertiary education who seem unable to meet the needs of the labour market. FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, MIKIAS TESFAYE takes an in-depth look at the poor state of Higher Education institutions and joins the call for greater focus on quality.


Risk to Public Safety Looms Large

Three years and nine months after the survey design of the project was conducted in January 2012, Getachew Betru (PhD), CEO of the Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC), announced last week…


The Teddy Afro Saga

Another year and another controversy surrounding a would-be concert by Teddy Afro, dubbed by many as the most popular, if not populist, contemporary Ethiopian singer and song-writer. Enjoying the support…


Status Quo Maintained, Despite Discontent

The gloomy mood that had clouded the northern town of Meqelle following the 12th Congress of the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF) had cast a dark shadow on the EPRDF Convention in captivating public’s attention, reports our staff writer, Mikiyas Tesfaye.


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