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.

New Trends in the Fishery Market

The seasonal fish market is in full swing, with the advent of the Easter Lenten season. However, like other seasonal fish, the year round market for fish is still strong. However, with the growth of the population and the spread of industry, fish populations in some rivers and lakes are falling. Runoff from flower farms is said to be one of the reasons that fish populations in Lake Ziway, although it is only one reason that the fish market is floundering, as SAMSON BERHANE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports.

The Saga of Unemployed Graduates

Youth unemployment has been a hotly debated topic in Ethiopia, particularly after the announcement of the revolving Youth Fund by President Mulatu Teshome last year. However, youth in areas outside of Addis Abeba, who have been educated, but have not managed to find jobs, are finding themselves increasingly frustrated with their situation. For some, the Youth Fund represents new possibilities. Some others are less optimistic. Youth in the areas southeast of Addis Abeba represent both views, as SAMSON BERHANE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports.    

Road Maintenance Divides Addis Residents

Road maintenance in Addis Abeba has been a bone of contention between city authorities and residents for many years. The rapid flow of people from rural areas into the city means that more people than ever are sharing the streets, whether they are drivers, or pedestrians. The Addis Abeba Roads Authority’s program of repairing and upgrading the streets of Addis Abeba has found some admirers among the city residents, as MENNA ASRAT, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports.

Late Payments Derail Machinery Rental Business

Ashenafi Beza has been in the business of renting out construction machinery  for the past five years. Like many others, it was Addis Abeba’s construction boom that attracted him to…

Businesses Buckle Under Forex Crunch

Foreign exchange shortage has been gripping Ethiopia for almost the past decade. Essential imports, such as medicine and grain, as well as forex generating industries such as manufacturing have been receiving priority to access foreign currency. The country’s swift economic growth and the growth of its manufacturing sector has put pressure on foreign currency reserves; a situation which is not expected to be alleviated for another 15-20 years. However, smaller import businesses, such as furniture and gift importers are being left behind and made to rethink their business models, as MENNA ASRAT, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports.

Bright Prospect for Local Mobile Assemblers

  Birhan Abera’s electronics shop is one of a few mobile phone distributors located inside Addis Abeba Mall. Her shop has been an agent for a local mobile assembler called…

New Waste Pickup System Causes Headaches

The sanitation and garbage management of Addis Abeba has always been a subject of scrutiny for its residents. Controversies about landfills and waste disposal have hung over the city and its administration in recent years. However, now, there is a new system that is being implemented for managing the city’s voluminous waste: compactor trucks. So far four districts have implemented them, with more to follow. However, residents are not finding that they are any better than the usual systems, as MENNA ASRAT, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reports.

ATM Woes Plague Customers

Since ATM’s were introduced to the banking system in Ethiopia almost a decade ago, people have enjoyed the ease in which they can access their accounts. More customers have become accustomed to using an ATM machine nearby to make a quick withdrawal. But, lately, ATM’s around Addis Abeba have been experiencing glitchs leading to dysfunctional and unpredictable service. Now they are causing problems for customers trying to withdraw money, with some not being able to get their cash, a MENNA ASRAT, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER reports

Hiccups in Remittance Flow Around Holidays

Holidays are mostly considered by the Banks to be a peak season when it comes to remittance flows. Among other things, Banks will rush to have the biggest pie from the cake using different strategies from aggressive promotions and to sometimes providing gifts for those who use their bank channel to attract customers. However, anecdotal evidences indicate that the week before the Ethiopian Christmas was struck by a slow down in the volume of the remittance , reports, DAWIT ENDESHAW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


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