Businesses, Government Grapple with Overstayed Containers

Amid the disputes of the Ethiopian Revenues & Customs Authority and taxpayers over stalled containers, the flow of containers to dry ports is increasing every day. None of the stakeholders can bring a solution to evade the real bottleneck, except point fingers at each other, BERHANE HAILEMARIAM, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports.

Armyworm Still Wreaks Havoc on Maize

Although the fall armyworm pest set foot for the first time in Ethiopia in February 2017 in only one regional state, it has currently spread to six, attacking 135,000ha of land covered by maize. The government claims that it is extending support to the farmers in the affected areas by providing pesticides and other technical assistance, but the farmers in these regions are still exercising handpicking of larvae as an immediate response to the armyworm attack, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Addis Again On a Massive Knockdown

Before the end of the current fiscal year, city officials are rushing to clear 1,510 houses, resting on 56ha in Arada District, in an area locally known as Satan Bet. Although this redevelopment project was planned three years ago and the demolition started a year ago, it was on and off for various reasons. But for the past 20 days, the Wereda has resumed demolition of the houses aggressively, leaving some of the residents clueless where to go, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Audit Gaps Concerns

It is common to hear that government institutions misappropriate billions of Birr in resources. However, the Administration has failed to take action against institutions that have not managed to use their budgets appropriately. When confronted, the leaders of these establishments come up with one excuse after another. Last week, the Auditor General reported illegitimate transactions of 20 billion Br. This problem has been alarmingly on the rise since 2014. Over time, government agencies with financial books in disarray are surging as SAMSON BERHANE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports.

Red Alert Over Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks are becoming a headache to the networked community in Ethiopia. The number of attacks on computers of private and public institutions is increasing, particularly following the coming of the infamous malware – WannaCry. Weak computer security systems, lack of literacy in IT and computer use, and the easily transferable nature of malware are among the causes that expose for a cyber attack, as SAMSON BERHANE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports.

Traders and Tax Authority Play Hide and Seek

Giving a closer look at the empty outlets of businesses located in many parts of the city, it can be witnessed that there is something new happening in the scene. It is the new daily income valuation process of the tax authority, that has led traders to hide their products with the major fear of being subjected to higher taxes. At the same time, the Authority is trying a different mechanism in order to address these challenges, FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports.

Judgment Execution, Another Nightmare for Justice Seekers

Two weeks ago, the state celebrated the seventh national Justice Week at a time when most of the people are uncertain about the judicial system in the country. One of the sources of disappointment in the justice system is the delay in the process of execution as FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports.

Breathalyser: Poison for Some, Food for Others

After the introduction of the breathalyser in Addis a few months ago, nightlife in the city has acquired a double-edged face. Traffic accidents are decreasing and night cab services are sweetening their profits. But only to the dismay of night businesses of the city’s bars and nightclubs, as Binyam Hailemeskel, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports.

Fuel, City’s Unyielding Test

Like many times before, fuel shortage in the city has intensified in recent days. Many gas stations are shut while open ones are overcrowded with large amounts of vehicles hungry for fuel. Even if the Ethiopian Petroleum Supply Enterprise and the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Gas are stating that the problem is solved, anger from drivers and apparent long line-ups around stations magnify the capital’s adage, as SAMSON BERHANE and BINYAM HAILEMESKEL report.

Gifts: Bank’s New Customer Acquisition Strategy

Despite a drop in foreign exchange in the country, remittances are becoming an important and fairly stable source of income for millions of families and of foreign exchange to Ethiopia. It is the number one contributor of the country’s foreign reserve followed by export. Now, with the aim of gaining foreign exchange, most private banks of the country are showering gifts on remittance customers. For most of the bank which markets directly to consumers, gifts are becoming a dominant form of promotional material, reports SAMSON BERHANE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Cement Market Set for a Concrete Future

The cement industry in Ethiopia, although still largely untapped, is set to see some growth in the next few years due to the growth in the construction sector. Governmental mega projects and large scale housing construction are amongst the things that will push cement demand to ever greater heights. New companies, both local and international are trying to make their mark on construction in Addis, and Ethiopia. Even small differences between brands could translate into a huge difference in demand and revenue, as BINYAM HAILEMESKEL, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports.

Moderate Retail Food Prices for Easter

The holiday season means something different for businesses than it does for everyone else. It still represents love, generosity and sentimental sharing. On their part, consumers are much more inclined to open up their pocketbooks during the holidays. Unlike previous holidays, the current festive season seems to be stable for many households as the price of major food items was moderate, reports SAMSON BERHANE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Unexpected Demolition Leaves Residents Clueless

Last week a place locally known as Bulgaria, close to Genet Hotel on the road going from Qera to Mexico, was in a mess following the urgent demolition that occurred only after three days notice from the city administration. Many of the people have received replacement housing, but some of the residents have been left in a state of quandary to find other homes, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Ethiopia’s Real Estate Market, Still Under Construction

Despite being one of the fastest growing countries, housing remains a major problem in Ethiopia. In recent years, private investors have significantly ramped up development, particularly in the more developed cities like Addis Abeba. However, this has not served as a solution to address the challenges to the high number of Ethiopians who do not own a home. Losing confidence in local developers, homebuyers are now looking for new players, as SAMSON BERHANE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports.

Health Sector Graduates Flounder in the Job Market

The health sector has always been an issue that has long concerned the residents of Addis Abeba. Whether there are issues of education, with colleges being shut down for failing inspections, or patients encountering under-qualified medical personnel, issues in the health care sector have always kept a place in the forefront of the collective consciouness of the urban population. However, in the last year, closures of famous health colleges, as well as health centers and hospitals has brought the topic back into the forefront of conversation, as MENNA ASRAT, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports.

Hailemariam’s Uncanny Omissions before Parliament

Despite widespread concerns over foreign exchange crunch in the economy, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn was mute last week when he appeared before Parliament, presenting half-year performance report on his administration, reports Fasika Tadesse, Fortune Staff Write.


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