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.


With Coordination, Education Goals Realise

In the past 15 years, more children than ever have enrolled in primary schools, thanks to a massive global effort to get them into the classroom. Inadequate management structures and poorly coordinated mechanisms though are thwarting efforts, writes Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, the director of UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.


Banks Almost Inexplicable Advance Despite Omens

Private banks are suffering from a shortage of foreign currency, not to mention that they have been hit with restrictive directives by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE). Industry insiders and commentators have predicted earlier that the banks are looking forward to a grim end-of-year report. Their third quarter performance report though tells a different story, writes this author with a solid background in finance and whose identity Fortune withheld upon request.  


Forex Crunch: Ethiopia’s Immovable Object

The recurrent cause of Ethiopia’s forex crunch ranges from declining export performance to increasing imports; from declining net official public and private capital to stagnating individual transfers, writes Abdulmena Mohammed (abham2010@yahoo.co.uk), a financial expert with 15 years of experience.


Abiy’s Daunting Economic Assignments

A huge assignment awaits Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) to put the industrialization effort of the nation in a stable footing. And there is much that needs to be done in both policy or strategic front as well as operational front, writes Getachew T. Alemu (getupfront@gmail.com), an economic development and investment consultant with Apex Consulting, US, and Director of Strategies, ExoTalent.


On Prime Minister Abiy’s Plate

Refreshingly original, both in form and substance, the emphatic inaugural address by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has generated a strong sense of optimism in the nation. Not only has it rekindled hope, but it also has set high expectations, writes Eyob Tekalegn Tolina (eyobjobt@gmail.com), a political economist that was the manager of the Ethiopian Public Private Consultative Forum (EPPCF) most recently and a director at an American investment firm currently.


Revolutionary Democrats Find their Match

The EPRDF must be thanked for a smooth transfer of power. What remains is for it to act quickly and formulate policies in concert with peaceful opposition parties to envision the way forward, without emergency decrees, argues Teodros Kiros (PhD) (kiros@fas.harvard.edu), professor of philosophy at Berklee College of Music and Non-Resident Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University.


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