Home Grown Leather Holds Sway at District Level

Consumers at Addis Abeba’s exhibition markets enjoy a variety of leather goods manufactured by small-scale leather producers who are demanding direct access to raw materials. As investment increases and production expands, these items are becoming available for export to other African countries as well as to markets in Europe and the United States. BROOK ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER takes us on a shopping expedition for locally made leather products and explains the production process

Parties’ Lukewarm Ideological Debate at Addis Abeba University

It seems that as the election process reaches its momentum, political parties have been using every outlet in order to present their ideological, policy and program alternatives to the electorates. As a matter of fact, debates between political parties are known for attracting the feeling of ordinary audiences and some characterised by fierce exchange of words. However, the debate that was held among three political parties had circulated around presentation of hardcore ideologies

Fasting Market Swings

Traders at a Crossroads with Vegetable Price Increase while meat may reign supreme during the rest of the year, it all but hibernates during the fasting season known as Lent. This, of course, creates a change in the market, in this case, giving rise to other food items such as vegetables and fish.


Salt is among the most abundant resources that the country has. It is also the least used resource and the most sensitive commodity in the country. Although the produce at the resource sites is many, the market demand is not able to absorb it all. The production is also not supported by technology thus, leaving the country’s salt iodization uneven. BROOK ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, gets into the salt issues that are behind the scenes.

Alle Bejimla: A Game Changer?

The chain of events that led to the establishment of Alle Bejimla are very simple. There was lack of competition in the market, which in turn caused high rates of inflation, which in turn prompted the government to launch Alle Bejimla. But this is not to say that Alle Bejimla has been the answer to the prayers of consumers, retailers and the like. FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, looks into why.

The Banking Boom

While it is mostly good news for the private banks in Ethiopia in terms of paid-up capital, there is also a flip side to the coin in terms of earnings per share (EPS). But the bulk of the criticism surrounding the banks stems from their lack of good service as well as the lingering criticism that they have no room for growth. BROOK ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, delves deeper into the matter.

The Improved Seed Irony

It has been several years since Ethiopia started using seed improved seeds but, according to some data, only eight percent of farmer in Ethiopia are using improved; In fact, the government claims the number has reached 20pc. Even more, the framers who use improved seeds claim they are facing changes in getting the seeds. Apart from all, the amount of seed which is are produced for distribution is not fully strewn to the farmers, leaving a significant amount of left over seeds stocked annually and the amount roughly goes to 20pc of the total seed production, FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER explores paradox of improved seeds.

Restrictive Light Rail Fences Lead Businesses to Huge Losses

The two-line electrified railway project, having a 31Km length is in the final stage since its commencement back in 2011, down the line of its commencement, the project is a source of hope for the people who are suffering from transportation problems, but the fence that is installed to separate the rail from the road is becoming a source of disappointment for the businesses located on the side of the rail projects causing decline in their sales, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Nation falls short of MDGs

The Millennium Development Goals that 189 countries around the world approved at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000 and set out to accomplish is going to be concluded by the end of 2015. As only months are left before the deadline, the UN Economic Commission for Africa in partnership with the African Union, the African Development Bank, and UNDPhas published a report that assess and evaluates the progress of Africa towards the MDG. SNETSEHAY ASSEFA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITTER focusing on Ethiopia, will go through the achievement as well as the shortcoming efforts of Ethiopia towards the goal.

Opposition Parties go Ahead Despite Complaint Over Observers’ Election

As the registration of electorate for the upcoming fifth national election has began opposing political parties are raising their concern over the process of the election while the incumbent party arguing in contrary, report DAWIT ENDESHAW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.  

Steady Holiday Market

As the holiday of Christmas is forth coming with few days only left, the souk of different kinds of food items is starting to get warm up with a larger flow of such items into the city, as consumers are rushing into the market at large reports LUCY KASSA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER more the chief markets of the city.

Dumping through Street Vendors

Dumping, an importation of cheap products to sell them at prices far lower than normal market prices, is affecting Ethiopian manufacturers. The perception of the impact, however, varies between stakeholders. Authorities claim that there is little that can be done to remedy this situation besides making local products more competitive, report BEREKET GETANEH and ESRAEL YOHANNES, Fortune Staff Writers.

Battle Over Policies

As the election next May draws nearer Addis Abeba residents claim to see no real alternatives to the ruling power. DAWIT ENDESHAW, BEREKET GETANEH and SNETSEHAY ASSEFA, Fortune Staff Writers, looked into the political landscape to get a gauge on what can be expected from the forthcoming 2015 election.

Fuel Gauges read Empty: Oil Market Declines; Consumers Pay the Price

With the global price of oil declining, local stations across Ethiopia are reluctant to reduce prices and incur losses. Ultimately, the consumer is the only loser. Fortune staff writers JEMAL ABDU AND LUCY KASSA go to the pumps to speak to fuel consumers and retailers to find out more.

Crop Loss Tackling Under Whelms

As the hay turns yellow, marking the start of the post-harvest season, Fortune staff writer FASIKA TADESSE speaks to farmers and farming researchers to understand the challenges of individual small scale farmers and what is being done to help mitigate their crop losses.

Building Economic Bridges Between Ethiopia and France

With the second France-Ethiopia Business Forum in Paris last week French businesses from the energy sector and Ethiopian companies hoping to secure investment met to discuss how they could increase relationships between France and Ethiopia. Fortune staff writer FASIKA TADESSE talks to some of the forum attendees to understand what gains were made.

Butchers Face Tax Confusion

Butcheries face a number of different systems of taxation of their goods. With differing calculation methods at work no one agrees how best to estimate taxes due. JEMAL ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, speaks to butchers and livestock traders, representatives of the Addis Abeba Butcheries Association (AABA) and the Ethiopian Revenue & Customs Authority (ERCA) to unravel the complications.

Raised by China

The Ethio-China relationship has dated long since the two countries began formal diplomatic relations in 1970. Although the two countries are tightening their relations and a number of investors are attracted to the country, the trade balance between the two countries remains in favour of China. The recent expo of the Chinese companies reflects the Chinese high presence in the country with top number of projects, reports JEMAL ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Soaring Egg Prices Remain a Mystery

It is a paradox to see a significant price increment on eggs, in a country with a total production of eggs averaging 100 million eggs for the year 2013/14 compared to 93.1 million eggs of last year 2012/2013. Even though it is still a mystery how this significant price change occurred starting from 2014 Ethiopian New Year, ordinary consumers are paying the cost, reports DAWIT ENDESHAW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

The Wheat Paradox

It has been several years since Ethiopia became net importer of wheat while the county is a major one from sub Saharan countries in its potential of wheat production. Indeed, the yield of wheat production is increasing per hectare, for instance four year back one hectare plot of land yielded 19ql of wheat but this number increased to 24ql during the past one year, even though the production is increasing as the same time import is increasing relatively at same rate, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Wired Up Security

It has become increasingly common to see barbed wire fencing running along the top of walls throughout Addis Abeba. Indeed, those working in the sector have noted a marked increase in demand, with many now also favouring the electrified system. The cost of such a security measure depends on the type of wire and system installed, but, with more and more actors in the sector, prices have become more competitive, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Tit for Tat with Sole Opposition MP

Although the floor was open to all MPs, it was the sole opposition member who dominated proceedings in the motion raising many questions dividing into different sections; political, economic and social. The prime minister, rather defensive in his response and non-accommodative to the suggestions, cleared the stand of his party and government to the 547 seat parliament, reports JEMAL ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Apologetic State of Union Address Maintains Cautious Optimism

The annual State of the Union address by the Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome (PhD) was apologetic in its tone, whilst maintaining an optimism driven by healthy GDP growth and stable inflation. The vast number of mega projects currently reshaping the nation’s infrastructural landscape are, despite being a shining beacon of hope, causing concern and irritation for the general public at present. The poor export performance and stuttering manufacturing industry also add to the frustration caused by below par transport and services provision, although the Ethiopian President sought to provide assurances that steps were being taken to improve the country for all, reports, JEMAL ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Ethiopia Main Beneficiary of Hotels Forum

Not only was Ethiopia boosted by the relocation of the third African Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) from Nairobi, Kenya, to their own capital, Addis Abeba, but too the outcomes were extremely positive. Ethiopia still sits further down the ladder, in terms of tourist inflows and the presence of international hotels, than many other countries on the continent, but developments are painting a much rosier future. A total of six agreements were signed before, during and after the event, for new international brand hotels in Addis Abeba, and with demand influenced by the growing tourism sector and numerous diplomatic events, this trend looks set to continue, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

ERCA Uses Bank Account Balance in Income Tax Calculations

Taxpayers have been left disgruntled by the approach of the ERCA, which has led to many choosing to store their cash in safety boxes as opposed to banks. The announcement that the Authority will not return excess monies collected has further aggravated this. A recent study indicated that there was no uniform approach in the use of bank accounts across the ERCA’s branches, with many citing the lack of information provided to businesspeople regarding the appropriate use of personal and business accounts, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER


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