Forex Crunch: Short to Medium Term Game Plan


A forex crunch has once again afflicted Ethiopia. Given the increase in global oil prices and the country’s rapid growth, it deserves much more attention than usual, writes Amanuel Assefa (amanassefa1998@gmail.com), a finance and risk professional with over fourteen years of experience in the financial services industry. 


NBE: Less Central Bank than Printing Press

Given the nation’s macroeconomic crisis, there is a great burden on the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE). It needs to improve operational practices, policies and leadership, writes Mesfin Namarra (mesfin.namarra@yahoo.com), former member of parliament and NBE staff.


We Need the Right Peace with Eritrea

The Central Committee of the ruling EPRDF has made the first move, extending a dramatic but unilateral opening to Eritrea. But President Issayas sees this as a sign of weakness, not a sign of strength, writes Abdul Mohammed.


Liquidity Event: Just as Painful as Building a Business

Building a business is hard but going liquid could be just as complicated if the buyers are looking to get a proper valuation for their firms. A good management team should be assembled, good governance ought to be implemented, and trusted professionals must be hired to negotiate the deal, writes Tesfaye Hailemichael (thailemichael@gmail.com), a certified public accountant and author of Love’s Flight. 


Insurance Industry Must Ensure Adaptability

The Ethiopian insurance industry has remained too tame to adapt to the digital age and enhanced competition for market share. New models of doing business need to arise where technology solutions are integrated, and existing advantages are better leveraged, writes Asseged G. Medhin (kolass799728@yahoo.com), deputy CEO of operations at the National Insurance Company of Ethiopia (NICE).


Warm Ethio-Eritrea Relations Still Restorable

It has been almost a decade since the Ethio-Eritrea war has ended, but there is still no peace in sight. Seemingly a border dispute, lack of negotiations have soured the relationship, which, given political commitment, can be salvaged, writes Marew Abebe (marew88@gmail.com), lecturer at Oda Bultum University and guest at University of Gottingen in Germany.


Think Big but Borrow Small

There is usually too great a focus on commercial banks when often times the same gaps can be filled by microfinance institutions. Not many are as informed about this though. Thus the government must take the initiative to show that there are alternative sources of financing to engage in, writes Belay Abera (belayab2020@gmail.com), a public health professional and researcher.  


Sound Public Financial Management: Economically Cheap, Politically Expensive

Effective public financial management has been a challenge to the government, with billions of Birr reported each year either missing or not properly accounted for. Improving it requires policy reforms as well as political will, writes Solomon Gizaw, managing director of HST Consulting. The views reflected here are only his and do not represent any institution.


Better to Address Hot Button Issues Sooner

Ethiopia’s federal system of government has been the subject of public grievances, sometimes giving way to conflicts. It is about time the issue is addressed, preferably with a great deal of input from the public, writes Belay Abera (belayab2020@gmail.com), a public health professional and researcher.


Lakes Already Feel the Pinch of Climate Change, Industrialisation

Ethiopia is not yet industrialised but greenhouse gases emissions globally are affecting its environment. Without due attention, the availability and variability of freshwater resources will be severely hampered, writes Mekonnen Teshome (mokish03@gmail.com), a communication and public relations consultant. 


Addressing a “Five-Star” Economic Problem

In the absence of fundamental economic reforms, inertia in economic growth does not carry for too long. Even faster growth brings some negative impacts with it, writes Eyob Tesfaye (PhD), a macroeconomist, urging policymakers to pursue desperately needed reforms. The views reflected here are only his and do not represent any institution.


Local Tourism: Gateway to Sense of Patriotism, Empathy

If there is a mechanism that helps low-cost service providers make profit, is cost-effective to local tourists and brings sustainable socio-economic benefits to people living in tourist areas, there is no reason that a positive mutual relationship cannot be built, writes Neftalem F. Hailemeskel (neftalemfikre@gmail.com), a certified digital marketer and owner of a digital marketing firm.


Labour Bill: Let’s Talk More About It

The draft labour bill concerning employees in the private sector changed 53 articles in the existing labour law, and 18 of those were rejected by the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU). The draft indeed needs a thorough discussion before it could move further, writes Senay Lemma (senaylemma2@gmail.com), a country human resource manager.


A Way Forward for Food, Land Use in Ethiopia

To unlock the potential of better food and land use, business leaders and policy-makers working in the food and land sectors need long-term science-based targets and pathways to make better-informed decisions, write Gemedo Dalle (PhD), Ethiopian minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, and Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever and chair of the Food & Land Use Coalition.


Tale of Two States

Some are “advising” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) to avoid indulging in the controversial historical narrative. But given that the public is hopeful due to the change in the leadership of the ruling party, we have a historic opportunity to revisit our past, argues Eyob Tekalegn Tolina (eyobjobt@gmail.com), a political economist who is currently a director at an American investment firm.


Ministries Merger: Threat to Livestock, Fisheries Sector

Last month, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) introduced a bill to parliament to merge the ministries of Livestock & Fisheries and Agriculture & Natural Resources. This move will hamper the livestock and fisheries sector argues Lemma Habtamu (lehabtamu@outlook.com), a PhD candidate and an assistant professor of dairy sciences.


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