Long-term Economic Wellbeing above Ideology, Politics

Ethiopia’s economy is at a crossroads. The same old advice will not save it, but a pragmatic economic prescription should not be overshadowed by ideology and politics, Asseged G. Medhin (kolass799728@yahoo.com), deputy CEO of operations at the National Insurance Company of Ethiopia (NICE). 

Warnings from the Global Trade Cycle

Global trade is set to be impacted by protectionism by the United States, an economic slowdown in China and Brexit. The effect will be noticeable on world economic growth, writes Stephen S. Roach, a faculty member at Yale University and former Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia. This article originally appeared on Project Syndicate.

Ethiopia Can Stem the Tobacco Scourge

As tobacco companies reap the benefits of weak tobacco controls across many African countries, illnesses and economic burdens are rapidly shifting to low and middle-income countries. Ethiopia must continue to toughen legislation to protect citizens and nip the epidemic in the bud or pay the price of complacency, writes Dereje Shimeles (shimelesd@gmail.com), a public health lawyer.

Insurance Leaders Should Take Stock of Shared Values

Ethiopia’s financial sector is overdue for new shared values and practices that can see it cross into the 21st century, writes Asseged G. Medhin (kolass799728@yahoo.com), deputy CEO of operations at the National Insurance Company of Ethiopia (NICE).

One Time Generational Shot for Climate Resilience

More than halfway along on its ambitious 2025 vision to achieve lower middle-income status, Ethiopia should be deep in the implementation of the Climate Resilient Green Economy‘s priority initiatives, writes Haimanot Tefera (h.tefera@hotmail.com), an environmental engineer and project manager at GIZ.

Ethiopian Sugar Sector: High on Resources, Low on Strategy

The potential of the sugar industry in Ethiopia has yet to be taken advantage of. The only things that stand in the way are better management and the institution of market forces, writes Austine Sequeira (PhD) (austinesequeira@gmail.com), socio-economic analyst and advisor.

Human Capital: Weak Link in the Chain

The government’s drive to achieve economic development has gone a long way, as is evident in the nation’s success in reducing poverty and attracting foreign direct investment. A crucial ingredient has been missing though, which is human capital development, and it is not a problem limited to the public sector, writes Senay Lemma (senaylemma2@gmail.com), a human capital manager.

Stock Markets Require Robust Institutions for Dev’t

The plans to introduce a stock market are commendable. But for such a market to be able to satisfy its purpose of efficiently allocating capital and providing companies with liquidity, new institutions that can facilitate the process need to be developed, writes Million Kibret (million.kibret@bdo-ea.com), managing partner at BDO Consulting Plc.

Capital Markets Revolutionise the Insurance Industry

One of the reasons for Ethiopia’s lack of a dynamic and competitive economy is its weak insurance sector. This can change with the introduction of capital markets that allow enough distribution of risk it to thin out, writes Asseged G. Medhin (kolass799728@yahoo.com), deputy CEO of operations at the National Insurance Company of Ethiopia (NICE).

Special Forex Windows Wear Parallel Market Out

Various regulatory measures have been taken by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) to curb foreign currency from flowing into the parallel market. It is about time that the central bank begins to consider beating the parallel market at its own game, Million Kibret (million.kibret@bdo-ea.com), managing partner at BDO Consulting Plc.

FDI into non-Export Sectors Worsens Forex Crunch

There seems to be a consensus that foreign direct investment positively affects developing economies. But when it comes to non-tradable sectors, it would instead exacerbate the foreign currency shortage, writes Zinabu Samaro (zinabu.samaro@gmail.com).

Reinforcement from Non-Banking Institutions for Banking Problems

A novel way of avoiding a liquidity crunch and credits risks for banks is to adopt interest rate commission agent banks. Through these agents, investors could directly finance entrepreneurs, with interest rate commissions flowing to banks and loans being traded on markets, argues Ameha Tefera (ambet22002@yahoo.com), an employee at Commercial Bank of Ethiopia who has published banking research articles.

The Legal, Moral Imperative for Media Impartiality

The media does not just inform. It can shape opinions and set agendas, which is why media outlets have – in Ethiopia’s case – the legal, as well as moral, obligation to exercise impartiality, writes Lea Mehari (leamehariwork@gmail.com), a full-time graduate assistant at Addis Abeba University’s School of Law.

Distributed Energy Systems: Best Path for Poverty Reduction

Despite being a continent with abundant energy resources, a great chunk of the African population still lacks access to electricity. This could change by focusing on the use of distributed energy resources, writes Desta Mebratu (Prof.) (desta@africaleapfrog.org), CEO of African Transformative Leapfrogging Advisory Service.

Youth in Agriculture, Key to Developing Economies

The agriculture sector remains a crucial sector for the development of African economies. Governments and multilateral institutions thus should work not only to create an environment for the development of the sector but find ways of making it attractive for the youth, writes Chimimba David Phiri, FAO subregional coordinator for Eastern Africa and FAO representative to the AU and ECA.

The And-and Formula to Growth, Environmental Sustainability

To double the forest industry’s share of gross domestic product and create over half a million jobs, we need to ensure Ethiopia’s forests are maintained, nurtured and restored, write Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, founder and CEO of SoleRebels footwear, Kitty van der Heijden, director of WRI Africa and WRI Europe, and Sebsebe Demissew (Prof), professor at Addis Abeba University.

Putting Communities at the Heart of the Fight against Desert Locusts

Desert Locusts have been costly to combat, because efforts are made after plagues have already started. Maintaining the capacity to predict plagues will have multiple advantages, but this could be strengthened by engaging communities, writes Mathew Abang, a crop production officer at the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.

From ‘Voodoo Economics’ to a Well-being Economy, Africa’s Choice

African nations have been importing economic theories to fit realities on the ground, with little to show for it. But it is never too late to adopt a “Well-being Economy,” one that takes stock of opportunities and limits of local resources and external opportunities, writes Desta Mebratu (Prof.) (desta@africaleapfrog.org), CEO of African Transformative Leapfrogging Advisory Service. 

Graduate Population Benefits from Appropriate Management of Money

Ethiopia’s graduate population is expanding thanks to massive investment by the government. It is then up to graduates to find ways to save, invest and grow their wealth by managing money effectively, writes Cassie Steele (cassie.steele@hickorymail.net).

Gov’t Needs to be Clinical about Regulatory Approaches

Lack of proper medication and diagnosis by doctors has eroded the trust in health care provision, costing the nation human and economic loss, write Tigistu Adamu (MD), independent public health consultant and fellow of College of Surgeons of Eastern, Central & Southern Africa (COSECSA), Samson Esseye (MD), consultant surgeon and fellow of COSECSA, and Alemseged Janka (MD), surgeon in private practice.

 Let’s Make Agriculture Attractive to Young Africans

As Africa’s population continues to increase and environmental degradation takes its toll, meeting the food and nutritional demands of the continent will be hard. To address this, governments ought to put in place policies to make agriculture attractive to the youth, write Nomathemba Mhlanga, an agribusiness officer of FAO’s Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa, and Divine Njie, deputy strategic programme leader of the Food Systems Programme (SP4) at FAO.

Another Year, Another Financial Predicament

The National Bank of Ethiopia has recently made available its fourth-quarter report for the past fiscal year. While the report shows that some headway has been made in deposit mobilisation and monetisation of the economy, there are developments in the financial sector that are worrying, writes Abdulmenan Mohammed (abham2010@yahoo.co.uk), a financial expert with 15 years of experience.

Lessons, Priorities for Africa’s Future Industrialisation

Time and again, industrialisation has been a major policy objective of African governments but with little to show for it. This is because the focus should not only be on building physical infrastructure or aiming to bolster exports, argues Desta Mebratu (Prof.) (desta@africaleapfrog.org), CEO of African Transformative Leapfrogging Advisory Service.

Tobacco Trade: Bad Enough without Illicit Trade

Illicit tobacco trade is deterring efforts to combat hazards to public health. Ethiopia should thus adopt the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products of the FCTC, writes Dagim Alemayehu (dagiyealex11@gmail.com), legal expert at the FMHACA.

Tourism Industry Offers Rich Returns if We Invest

Ethiopia has significant potential to create a competitive tourism industry, given the nation’s long history and lingo-cultural diversity. But poor management of the industry is exacting a heavy toll, writes Asrat Begashaw (asratb@gmail.com).


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