The only drama from last week’s local elections appeared to be how well Azeb Mesfin would do in Kirkos District. Abate Sitota’s victory there came amid sparse observable people at voting booths throughout the city although official estimates place the turnout at 90pc writes ASHENAFE ENDALE, SPECIAL TO FORTUNE.

Local Elections Get Underway

There is a limited amount of the buzz usually associated with elections this time around, with the major focus being in the capital. Many of the opposition parties have complained about a lack of funding, resulting from the classification of the elections, and suggested that they have had to limit their candidate numbers as a result, writes ASHENAFE ENDALE, SPECIAL TO FORTUNE.

Dry Port Congestion Still Not Clearing

With the multi-modal scheme now working effectively, the backlog of containers at the country’s dry ports continues for a variety of reasons. With some suspicious that certain companies are using the low fees charged by the ports as cheap storage, new measures are soon to be taken to punish those who don’t collect their goods within a set time period, reports ELLENI ARAYA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

In the Shadow of Meles!

The Revolutionary Democrats have met in the town of Bahir Dar to attend their ninth political convention, held in the shadow of their late leader, Meles Zenawi. Whilst members of the public called for action to fight the lack of good governance, they concluded their congress with moves that showed power consolidation, reports Tamrat G. Giorgis, Fortune Staff Writer.

Unfinished Business

Ethiopia is one of the few countries in the world where you can find a fully functional shop sitting underneath an active construction site. Although there are many reasons as to why safety standards aren’t up to scratch, financing and a demand for prime locations leads the way writes ELLENI ARAYA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Screen Business Takes a Turn

The rise in the number of individuals purchasing decoders and cards illegally, in order to view football games at home, is seeing a large reduction in the numbers at football houses. Smaller cafes and shops are now too showcasing major football games, and, in lieu of a monthly subscription charge, can afford to charge minimal entrance fees, writes ASHENAFE ENDALE, SPECIAL TO FORTUNE.

Poorly Linked Market Chain Looms Over Weavers

Despite the traditional clothing sector being a fast growing industry, both in terms of domestic consumption and exports, weavers are struggling to produce a profit. The situation, too, is similar for small independent shops, leaving inner city designer outlets, with fingers in many pies, to reap the rewards, reports, ELLENI ARAYA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Payphone Mayhem

Although mobile phone ownership rates have climbed drastically over the past few years, there are still many who rely on public phones to communicate with friends and family. Unfortunately, despite ethio-telecom having provided the city with ample access to payphones, a lack of care and responsibility is destroying the benefits that they should have brought to citizens, writes MELKEAM ASCHALEW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Controversy over Condominium Delays

With the 10-month deadline for completion long past, a large proportion of the new condominium projects are still a vast distance from being finalised. Finger pointing between various components of the build, including; constructors, suppliers and the Addis Abeba Housing Agency, leave people questioning exactly who is responsible for the staggering delays, writes MELKEAM ASCHALEW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

China Positive on Ethiopian Investment Despite Some Concerns

Chinese economic cooperation with Ethiopia has expanded rapidly over the past decade. In 2011, China was both the largest import and export trading partner of Ethiopia. However, investment relations between these two countries is far from the plan envisioned by the Ethiopian government. At the request of the Ethiopian government, the World Bank surveyed 71 Chinese companies operating in Ethiopia in order to better understand their experience and to draw lessons for future investments. The survey found that Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) into Africa is on the rise and Ethiopia is at the forefront of this end, reports ELLENI ARAYA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Numbers Talk?

Voter registration has surpassed the targeted amount for the upcoming Addis Abeba local elections, although this number is small when compared to numbers from the past two general elections. However recognition and information about currently active opposition political parties is low among voters, partly fueled by the dismal participation that such parties have at the grassroots level, writes ELLENI ARAYA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Excess Production Chops Onion Prices

Although a dive in the price of red onions might come as good news to consumers, it has been a setback to many farmers who had increased production hoping to fetch higher prices. Limited information about demand and supply, and inadequate storage services contribute to the problem, WRITES MELKAM ASCHALEW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Habesha Cement at a Crossroads

When shareholders meet today they will hear a mixed bag of good news and bad from their directors. While Habesha has managed to raise a large sum of money from a sizeable shareholders base, its extended start of production date and competition from other factories amidst decreased demands will be sure to cause them worry writes TAMRAT G. GIORGIS, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Road Comes, Water Goes, People Suffer

As some of residents of Addis Abeba suffer intermittent water shortage due to the three kilometre long road construction undertaken by the Addis Abeba City Road Authority (AACRA), that stretches from the Ministry of Mines to Gerji Mebrat Hail area, entrepreneurial individuals are figuring out how to turn a profit by meeting the demands of desperate individuals, writes YETNEBERK TADELE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Is Engineering Precise?

Frustrated by the road construction in their area, as well as the continuous extensions in completion deadlines, ninth grade students at Future Talent International Academy wrote in to Fortune to voice their grievances. The issues raised range from the traffic congestion around the school, which prevents them from getting to school on time, to health concerns caused by dust. YETNEBERK TADELE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, looks into the cause of the road construction delays and takes a closer look at construction management in Addis Abeba.

Christmas Greets Shoppers with Cheaper Prices

Market prices for holiday supplies such as chickens, onions, eggs and butter have stayed remarkable static, while some have even decreased when compared to last year, writes ELLENI ARAYA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Schools Without Books

Primary schools within the city are still awaiting textbooks with a month until the end-of-semester exams. Students are relying on material written on blackboards or photocopied handouts which is slowing down the learning process. Meanwhile, some stockrooms within the city have an excess of textbooks and reports are being issued on the decline in education quality writes YETNEBERK TADELE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Teff Identity Theft

Teff, the grain that had been feeding Ethiopia for centuries, is a thing very much engrained in the local culture. The patent right for some varieties of this grain however, is registered to a Netherlands company, after the grain was shipped to the country in the name of research in 2008. Now, after much damage is done, a committee of officials from Ethiopia are trying to return ownership of the country’s staple grain writes ASHENAFI ENDALE, Special To Fortune.

The Collateral Damage of Revamping Bole Road

Concessions are being made to accommodate the City as it renovates Africa Avenue in the lead to the 50 th anniversary of the African Union. Businesses located alongside the construction are incurring higher losses than initially expected and they are calling out for reparation. Those that anticipated some slow down, are in reality, seeing a complete stall in activity, reports ELLENI ARAYA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Quality Seeds Conundrum

Improved seeds have the potential to dramatically increaseEthiopia’s agricultural productivity. However, discrepancies in the demand and supply of seeds, as well as farmers’ lack of awareness regarding the benefits of the seed are suppressing the hope for improvement. Steps are now being taken to improve the quality and supply of seeds to the market, reports YETNEBERK TADELE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


The long overdue chaotic process of business licensing and registration has yet faced another problematic edge with the problematic filing system of the trade ministry driving businesspeople mad. A process that ought to take not more than one hour is taking more than three days, at the very time that the Ministry is looking forward to automate the whole process in the near future, reports ELLENI ARAYA, FORTUNE’S STAFF WRITER.

The Business of Movie Scripts

Following the rise of the film industry in Ethiopia, amateur script writers are flooding to the sector attracted by its financial benefit. Even thousands of scripts are being written by those who were not in the art profession, writes MELKAM ASCHALEW, SPECIAL TO FORTUNE.

Little Sanitary:Guard on Addis Abeba Eateries

The number of eating establishments grows by the week, inEthiopia’s capital. With it horror stories of unsanitary meals also make the rounds among customers.

Not Yet Habitable

The elation at being a homeowner, starts dimming almost instantly for those that move into Condominium apartments as they have to deal with incomplete infrastructure. Access to electricity, water and nearby facilities are hard to come by, inconveniencing new residents and raining on their parade writes Yetneberk Tadele, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Private Sector Unhappy over Government Promises

Although the federal government has reformed its business registration licensing system by enacting a new proclamation two years ago aiming to speed-up the delivery of service, it brought business people and government officials face to face last week at the third Public Private Consultative Forum (PPCF) as it had failed in achieving its objectives. The Forum that witnessed a lesser number of representatives from the private sector with little enthusiasm when compared with the first two dialogue forums, Though members of the private sector were happy that the government has agreed with most of their concerns and recommendations, they are suspicious of the capacity of the chamber in pressing the government for urgent implementation, writes MAHLET MESFIN, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER


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