Disruptors – Not Manufacturing Hubs – Make Ethiopia’s Economy Great


Establishing a manufacturing hub is indeed necessary to becoming a lower middle-income country. But in the face of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Ethiopia’s best bet is human capital, which the government should give greater focus to by improving the educational system, writes Nima Khorrami (n.khorrami.a@gmail.com), a political risk consultant.


Ethiopian Airlines: Beautiful Forest, Fallen Trees

Ethiopian Airlines is the Africa airline with the highest capacity, courtesy of aviation publication Flight Global, but for the aviation industry’s insiders, the picture is not that of a beautiful forest but one of fallen trees, writes Yonathan Menkir Kassa (aeroread@gmail.com), an aviation correspondent.


Financing Hotel Pipe Dreams: Not for the Light-hearted

The future looks promising for the hospitality industry in Ethiopia. But hotel projects are likely to remain pipe-dreams since getting the necessary financing is far easier said than done, writes David Desta (destadavid@gmail.com), a Cornell University graduate from the School of Hotel Administration who has been working in Ethiopia for the past several years.


Transformative Infrastructure: Route to Better Growth Output

The 2018 African Economic Outlook suggests that African countries will continue to develop. Such a growth outlook would be supplemented if the nations matched it with transformative infrastructure development, which takes renewable energy and digitisation into consideration, writes Desta Mebratu (Prof.) (desta@africaleapfrog.org), CEO of African Transformative Leapfrogging Advisory Service.


Unless We Build IPs Suitably, They will Not Come

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) last week attended the inauguration of an industrial park in Adama. These parks could indeed help Ethiopia to become a manufacturing hub in Africa but may end up hurting the economy if not managed properly or built for political reasons, argues Dawit Tadesse (dawittadesse9053@yahoo.com), an assistant professor who specializes in finance and economics and the managing partner of Lead Plus Management Consultancy & Training Center.


Current Ethio-China Relations: Only Tip of the Iceberg

China is already one of the biggest investors in Ethiopia and is the African nation’s largest trading partner. But with China’s eagerness to play a bigger role in Africa and Ethiopia’s need for support, this diplomatic relationship will grow even larger, writes Yohannes Gebeyehu (yohannes.ga@yahoo.com), who has am MA in diplomacy and international relations from the Ethiopian Civil Service University.


Farm Machinery Licenses Could be Easier to Get

The farming mechanisation sector is thriving, but increased used of public roads by farm equipment pauses risks, writes Yohannes Mekonnen (yohamek@aol.com), an agricultural engineer. Views expressed here are the writers’ and do not reflect that of any organisation.


The Developmental State Reaches Dead End

Ethiopia’s model of the developmental state has been employed for the past two decades. It has had its merits but government should adjust to the present times and allow the private sector a piece of the pie, writes Asseged G. Medhin (kolass799728@yahoo.com).


Only an Autonomous Central Bank Can Address Inflation

One of the major macroeconomic headaches in Ethiopia is inflation. There are a number of measures the government can undertake to deal this problem, but they will not work unless the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) is independent of the machinations of the executive body, writes Abdulmena Mohammed (abham2010@yahoo.co.uk), a financial expert with 15 years of experience.


Lots of Schooling But Not Enough Learning

Ethiopia has come a long way in improving access to education. But poor quality of education is still a fundamental problem created as a result of poor policies and political considerations, writes Fiseha Haile (fisehahaile77@yahoo.com), an economist at the World Bank. The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Bank.


Practical, Emblematic Changes for Nation’s Currency

The National Bank of Ethiopia needs to take measures to improve the redundancy of the design of the Birr notes and add higher denominations to ease the pressure on the 100 Br notes, writes Alemseged Assefa, former vice-governor of the central bank.


Stopovers Can be More Amusing by Providing Choice

Ethiopian Airlines is doing its part to improve the nation’s tourism figures by getting its transit passengers to spend money in the country rather than at the airport. But there is more Ethiopian can learn from other international experiences, writes David Desta (destadavid@gmail.com), a Cornell University graduate from the School of Hotel Administration who has been working in Ethiopia for the past several years.


Effective Project Governance Indispensable in Real Life

A country needs to develop effective methods of evaluating projects and their governance to ensure long-term benefits. This is crucial for countries such as Ethiopia, which have few resources it can afford to lose, Asmamaw Tadege (PhD) (asmamaw.tadege.shiferaw@nmbu.no), associate professor of project management at Norwegian University of Life Science.


Bottom-up Approaches Help Farmers Farm Better

The top-down approach applied by non-governmental organisations toward realising farmers’ productivity has not worked. Farmers need to be consulted during initial decision-making processes and afforded broader choices, writes Kenny Ewan, CEO of WeFarm.


Ethiopia’s Economy in Code Blue

The nation’s economy has reached a point where the economic fundamentals cannot be sustained without a major intervention. A starting point that could have a significant impact would be privatisation of major state enterprises, writes Ermias Amelga, an economist and a businessman engaged in manufacturing, commercial banking, investment banking and real estate. He is a frequent writer and speaker on development economics and development strategy in Ethiopia and Africa.


Goodbye Developmental State, Hello State of Confusion

The long-subscribed to economic model of the EPRDFites – developmentalism – seems to have fallen out of favour by the administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD). But what is going to replace it remains vague, writes Fiseha Haile (fisehahaile77@yahoo.com), an economist at the World Bank. The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Bank.


Education, Health Sectors Need to Give Autism Focus

Despite the strides made in introducing universal access to education and healthcare, there still remain gaps when it comes to autism and related disorders, writes Getaneh Abera (get_abera@yahoo.com), an education specialist at Nehemiah Autism Centre.


Land Laws: Too Vague to Instill Security

It has been decades since land fell into the hands of the state instead of citizens. But the laws concerned with land rights are vague and continue to be held captive to disputes, writes Emlaelu Fesseha (eshete_em@yahoo.com), legal adviser, lawyer and former executive manager at Women for Life non-governmental organisation.


Changing Appearance of 100 Br Notes Fights Crime

Despite the efforts by the government to curtail the illicit flow of money in the economy, the parallel market does not show any sign of succumbing in the long-term. Enforcement efforts should be met by effective policies to arrest the problem, writes Sharew Erkehun (sharewerk@gmail.com), a public policy analyst.


Developmental State Needs Tweaking, Not Demolition

The developmental state model applied in Ethiopia has been flawed because the government has been unable to create political institutions that are inclusive. With some tweaking, the developmental state can still deliver on its economic promises, writes Teodros Kiros (PhD) (kiros@fas.harvard.edu), professor of philosophy at Berklee College of Music and Non-Resident Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University. 


China-Africa Partnership Can Still Evolve

The 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be held in early September in Beijing, China. Previous meetings have bore fruit, but African countries can still use the opportunity to derive greater benefits from their cooperation with China, writes Gedion G. Jalata (gedion@centerofexcellenceplc.com), CEO of Center of Excellence International Consult. His views do not represent that of any organisation.


Economic Reform Must be All Inclusive

Necessary economic reforms have long been delayed, but their relevance and inevitability are slowly becoming clear. Despite the necessity of reform though, inclusivity is an element that cannot be overlooked, writes Asseged G. Medhin (kolass799728@yahoo.com), deputy CEO of operations at the National Insurance Company of Ethiopia (NICE).


Private Interests Compromise Privatisation’s Advisory Council

An advisory council has been set up to ensoure partial privatisation of large state enterprises is undertaken transparently. Although it is commendable that members of the council bring a wide set of expertise to the table, there needs to be a robust code of conduct to protect against conflict of interests, writes Yemareshet Taye (ytgemeda@gmail.com), a compliance advisor at a French asset management firm based in Paris.


The Inherent Tension within Federalism

The incident in Jijiga, capital of the Somali Regional State, has brought focus to the problem of the inherent tensions between local and federal governments. Although this has created confusion, it should be understood that federalism is a concept elastic enough to cushion the impact of such incidents, writes Tibebu Bekele (tibebubekele@icloud.com), who has 16 years of experience in leadership positions in the non-profit sector, including conflict resolution in rural communities.


Independent Internet Infrastructure: Not a Distant Dream

Investment in the continent’s internet infrastructure will change how data is routed. Assuring that data does not leave the continent will allow African users to access the global internet much faster than is the case currently, writes Geoffrey Shimanyula (Geoffrey.Shimanyula@liquidtelecom.com), chief commercial officer at Liquid Telecom Kenya.




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