Price Discrepancy Stunts Coffee Exports


The discrepancy in price between the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) and the New York Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has meant that exporters are often selling at a loss. Two major contributing factors to this issue are the contraband sale of coffee on the black market and actors who both import and export the commodity. Exporters suggest that it is in the government’s interest to amend the situation, reports ELLENI ARAYA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Student Transport Bedlam

An increased level of intake, alongside poor planning from numerous parties, has led to transport chaos as university students head to register for the new academic year. Such delays also come with other negative implications, including numerous bags being stolen in the rush. There is chaos too at the end of the academic year, when universities insist that students leave accommodation, often at short notice, reports YOSEPH MEKONNEN, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


ATM Woes:Blame falls at feet of ethio telecom

Although still relatively new inEthiopia, ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) are expanding rapidly across the country. Despite this sustained growth, the services are often marred by a series of problems and complications. The majority of the blame has been placed at the feet of ethio telecom. Although both banks and the telecommunications monopoly claim to be working together to resolve the issues, currently it is the customers who suffer, reports YOSEPH MEKONNEN, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Transport Wars

As the new school year gets under way once more, the chaos of the public transport sector is proving increasingly problematic. With a lack of organisation, along with the extensive road and rail construction, people are having to wrestle for taxis. This is making getting to school or work a challenge in itself, reports YOSEPH MEKONNEN, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Animal Hides Go Cheap As Leather Industry Falters

The cost of Ethiopian leather is making it uncompetitive in the international market. This, in turn, is impacting on the price of raw animal hides and skins, as the demand diminishes. A new draft law to remove middlemen is seeking to improve the cost efficiency and thus the competitiveness of the industry, reports ASMERET HAILESILASSE, SPECIAL TO FORTUNE


Holiday Food Prices Remain Stable

There is still time for the price of many items to inflate rapidly as the New Year approaches. So far, however, it has only been onions that have witnessed a sizeable increment. This is largely due to the quantity of players within the market chain, according to some experts. The early birds are making sure they get their core ingredients in, before further increments take place next week, reports BEWKET ABEBE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Shareholders Under Fire

A lack of a legal framework has left individual investors prone to losing out on shares. This has created an environment with limited trust. The Ministry of Trade is, however, developing a new directive to help install safety nets for investors and hold share companies accountable for their actions, reports BEWKET ABEBE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Technical, Vocational Training a Last Resort

Despite the importance placed on technical and vocational training by the government, it is still considered as a last resort for many. Anyone achieving less than a certain score in their grade 10 national exams has to sacrifice academic studies in favour of technical and vocational training. Poor attitudes and a lack of facilities are, however, limiting the benefit of such centres, reports BEWKET ABEBE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


FORFEIT FOR FUTURE

Registration for the 40/60 housing scheme, the only of the three government condominium schemes open to the Diaspora, began last week, Monday, August 12, 2013. The government plans to deliver 10,000 homes, within this scheme, during the 2014/2015 fiscal year. With past performances having fallen short and numerous wannabe homeowners still waiting for delivery of their homes after 8 years, some feel the target is too ambitious, reports BEWKET ABEBE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER


Poor Export Revenue Demands Diversification

With the export revenues falling way short of targets for the third year in a row, experts are insisting that the government needs to shift focus. With traditional products, such as coffee and oil seeds, accounting for such a large percentage of total exports, there is immense vulnerability. Proposed reforms must be pushed through if GTP targets are to be met, reports BEWKET ABEBE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER


Ten Year Extension Sought for US African Growth Opportunity

The opportunity, which was first enacted into law in 2000, was designed to help eligible countries open up their economies and build free markets. Ethiopia, as well as numerous other countries, have, however, struggled to make the most of the opportunity. They are, thus, seeking a ten year extension, in order to reap the potential benefits, reports BEWKET ABEBE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Unprofessional Demolitions Continue at the Expense of Human Life

The Ethiopia Railway Corporation (ERC) have been given a tight deadline of just 17 months to complete the construction of the light railway. This has seen the demolition of buildings on the line increase, in both number and speed. Unfortunately, with haste comes danger, and with no licensing in place for demolition, the cost has been human life and injury, reports BEWKET ABEBE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Medical Testing Disparity Stunts Maid Migration

A number of Ethiopian women hoping to travel to work in Middle Eastern countries have been left stranded in Addis Abeba. This is as the result of the revoked Ethiopian Gulf Approved Medical Centres Association’s License. The major issue being the disparity between what they state they do as a business and the reality of their activities, reports ASMERET HAILESILASSE, SPECIAL TO FORTUNE.


Education Gaps Responsible for Poor Graduate Employability

With a total of 67,595 new graduates set to enter into the job market, there are concerns that Universities are not providing an education that matches employer needs. Indeed, often the only benefit companies see in hiring new graduates is the low salaries they can pay them. More must be done to ensure a high proportion of graduates are able to find work within their sector, reports BEWKET ABEBE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER


Transport Chaos Threatens Commuters

The new federal directive, which limits public bus services to areas outside Addis Abeba, is having a profound impact on a large number of commuters, YETNEBERK TADELE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports. Indeed, it is placing them under a virtual curfew, with lengthy queues also serving to restrict their movement.


Shrinking Potatoes

Model farmers with improved varieties of Potato were able to avoid the disease, but many small-scale farmers have lost entire yields, leading to the request of food aid and a shift in crop focus, ASENAFE ENDALE, SPECIAL TO FORTUNE, reports.


Growing Pains in Fertiliser Drive

Many farmers have already seen the potential benefits of fertiliser use on increased harvest, but raising costs and a lack of credit are leaving increasing numbers unable to afford the initial purchase, Yetneberk Tadele , FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports. The Agricultural Transformation Agency and the Ministry of Agriculture are now working on reintroducing credit initiatives.


Tomato In Danger

The dreaded Tuta Absoluta has arrived in Ethiopia with devastating effects, destroying a large proportion of the nation’s Tomatoes, especially in Raya and Alamata, in Tigray Region State; Awash, Central Shewa and Eastern Shewa – including Meki and Ziway – and all through the Oromia Regional State. Believed to have entered into Ethiopia via Tigray, seven months ago, the infamous moth has already damaged 200ha of farmland in Ziway, which is predominantly occupied by large scale farmers, who lease between 10 to 40ha of land. A lack of chemicals, along with illegal chemical sellers, has exasperated the problem, leaving many farmers in fear of the long-term implications on their livelihoods. The Ministry of Agriculture is said to be committed to training the farmers, controlling the illegal chemical sellers and contacting countries, like Spain, familiar with the moth, reports Ashenafe Endale, SPECIAL TO FORTUNE.


Housing galore

With two out of the three new housing schemes beginning the registration process imminently, there has been a rush of people setting up savings accounts at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia. With such sizeable need, there is the hope that the process will run smoothly from here on in, although many are concerned that they may be waiting for a long time before becoming homeowners writs, ELLENI ARAYA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER


New faces of ERCA

The recent high profile corruption cases have led to many senior business people questioning the inner workings of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA). Add to this the not too distant dividends tax debacle, and there are many people feeling rather aggrieved. There is a plea from some, however, to view the corruption detainees as innocent until proven guilty.


Bole is back

The entire area has been chaotic for months, as construction has been ongoing. Many businesses have suffered and navigating the city by road has proved troublesome. The newly completed Bole road expected to bring huge benefits to the businesses and property owners in the area, although there is still work to do to return to previous levels writes ELLENI ARAYA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


The wave continues

With the number of detainees increasing by the day, the process looks set to be a drawn out affair. There have been numerous complaints regarding a lack of visitation rights and several health concerns. With the investigation still in full flow and arrests still being made, it may be a while before the full facts of the accusations are disclosed to the public, writes ELLENI ARAYA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Great Effort but Little Reward

The price and quality of skins are negatively affecting the market. Over one million skins are wasted every year. MELKEAM ASCHALEW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, writes that many skin traders are having a hard time making ends meet and that if they could collect skins on a larger scale their work would be much more sustainable.


Easter Shopping

This Easter holiday season is a lot more subdued than those before it, with normally bustling markets eerily quiet in the week leading up to the breaking of the Ethiopian fasting season. Yetneberk Tadele, Fortune Staff Writer, examines the inflation on the markets and what it means for the celebration of the most important holiday in the religious calendar.


PM Lauds Inflation Downturn, While Debt Increases

In a surprisingly candid address before Parliament the PM was said to have found his voice. Facing unusually assertive MPs, the PM admitted more can be done to bring in foreign investment and meet export targets while boasting improvements in forex reserves and the rate of inflation. However as Melkame Aschalew Fortune Staff Writer reports some economists are warning that if more is not done to reduce the debt serious economic consequences could be ahead.




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