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.


The Colourful Convention

The candour of delegates participating in the 10th EPRDF Congress in Mekelle is nothing sort of refreshing and significant, as it signals winds of change. To use the old adage Vox Populi, Vox Dei (the voice of the people is the voice of God), if the Front’s current and future leadership, as servants of the people take the criticism maturely they can immediately take the first steps towards realising the hotly discussed goal of good governance with improved outcomes for GTP II. FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, MIKIYAS TESFAYE is among the journalists covering the Congress. His detailed report follows.


Permission to Build, a Complex Waiting Game

Explanations abound but no matter how plausible they are, delay and complexity in the process of obtaining construction permits cannot be explained away. While FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, BROOK ABDU hears the complaints of architects and the rebuttals of officials, one cannot but wonder at the frustration of construction project owners as they wait, and wait, for their projects to begin.


Cloud of Hope and Fear 

Great uncertainty surrounds rainfall and general weather conditions in certain parts of the country despite reports by various authorities that are meant to reassure the populace about the nation’s preparedness to respond to drought. Anxiety, giving rise to negative images of the past stems from hardship already being encountered by farming communities. DAWIT ENDESHAW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER travelled to some of the affected areas and spoke with people experiencing the impact of rain shortage, who have real cause for concern.


Everything but the Rains

In Ethiopia’s Agriculture-led economy, every single thing depends on rain. With predictions of drought being realised in some of the country’s important agricultural production areas, there are also instances where the information provided does not match experience on the ground. FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, DAWIT ENDESHAW, met with farmers and agriculture in Dodotta, Arsi Zone, in Oromia Region, he received first hand information about how farming communities are affected with implications for the entire nation.


The Eagle’s View

Many an account of historic relations between Ethiopia and the USA surfaced last week to observe ties that were broken during the regime of the Derg but have been restored. Looking at how those ties will be strengthened and sustained into the future remains topical, though President Obama has left. FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, DAWIT ENDESHAW trailed the visiting President last week and obtained various perspectives on the impact of his brief stay.




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