Unilateral Application of Neo-liberal Policies Hurts Economy


The decision to partially privatise profitable state enterprises in major sections of the economy is a scheme that the Bretton Woods institutions have long been advocating. But the decision needs to be reconsidered given the economic conditions on the ground, writes Alemayehu Geda (Prof.) (ag112526@gmail.com), professor in the Macro & International Economics Department at Addis Abeba University (AAU).   


Business Leaders Need to Anticipate Change

Dynamism is necessary for growth and for businesses to thrive in the 21st century. The initiative needs to come from business leaders, writes Asseged G. Medhin (kolass799728@yahoo.com), deputy CEO of operations at the National Insurance Company of Ethiopia (NICE).


Can Education Contain Violence?

If the education system uses teaching methods that foster understanding of the interdependencies of humans and an appreciation of ethnic, linguistic, cultural and historical differences, the resort to mindless violence would be avoided, writes Debashis Chakrabarti (Prof.), professor at the School of Journalism & Communication at Addis Abeba University.


Ethiopia, Eritrea Ought to Learn from the Past

The ongoing Ethio-Eritrean thaw deserves to be commended for the economic and political advantages it will create. But the Ethiopian government needs to carefully gauge the economic and geopolitical implications of upcoming agreements, writes Alemayehu Geda (Prof.) (ag112526@gmail.com), lecturer in Macro & International Economics Department of Economics at Addis Abeba University (AAU).


Ethiopia’s Developmental State Model Runs Out of Steam

Ever since 2005, the role of the state in the economy has grown in an effort to fend off market failures. This was not just the wrong panacea, but given corruption and unprofessionalism, the endeavour has been glaringly unsuccessful, writes Abdulmena Mohammed (abham2010@yahoo.co.uk), a financial expert with 15 years of experience.


If, When We’ve to Sell the Family Silver

Privatisation has its benefits, but if undertaken it should be done to improve the performance of state enterprises and needs to be combined with well-thought-out liberalization and regulatory reforms. Divestiture ought to be carried out transparently and in phases, 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.


Macroeconomic Fundamentals Need Stringent Attention

A healthy economy cannot be realised without increasing output, creating employment opportunities, stabilising prices, balancing the budget and creating a healthy balance of payments, writes Mesfin Namarra (mesfin.namarra@yahoo.com), former member of parliament and NBE.


Currency Swap: No Silver Bullet but Necessary Pain Killer

Foreign currency shortage forced the government to take measures, such as the devaluation of the Birr against a basket of major currencies, it otherwise would not. While long-term solutions are being hashed out, it is crucial to look at currency swaps as short to middle term fixes, writes Amanuel Assefa (amanassefa1998@gmail.com), a finance and risk professional with over fourteen years of experience in the financial services industry. 


Privatisation of Ethiopia’s State Enterprises to Maximum Benefits

The EPRDF government has announced partial privatisation of state enterprises. Transferring enterprises in strategic parts of the economy will have positive effects on the competitiveness of the economy and the privatised firms.  This can only be achieved if the privatisation process is transparent and inclusive, writes Addisu A. Lashitew (PhD) (lashitew@rsm.nl), a researcher at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.


Competitive Markets Realise with an Open Economy

The leadership must have the courage to drive forward with economic reforms that can create competitive markets, writes Asseged G. Medhin (kolass799728@yahoo.com), deputy CEO of operations at the National Insurance Company of Ethiopia (NICE).


Abiy Ahmed: Blazing Meteor or Rising Comet?

The resolution of the crisis the EPRDF finds itself in will depend on the outcome of the interactions of the old guard, the new leadership and the public at large, writes Tsedeke Yihunie, founder of Flintstone Engineering & Homes, a real-estate and construction firm.


Local Capital Market: Better Late than Never

As the EPRDF’s Executive Committee has decided to partially or fully privatise major state assets, the question has reverted to how transparent and fair the process would be. Setting up a capital market would be the best way of addressing this, but only if handled cautiously and carefully, writes Abenet Bekele (abenet_be@yahoo.com), chief strategy and corporate communication officer at ECX and IFC-Milken Institute Fellow.


The Elephant in Ethiopia’s Macroeconomy

Poorly diversified export portfolio, the vagaries of global commodity markets and weak logistic services are pointed out as the culprits for the current foreign currency shortages. The role of the Central Bank’s rigid exchange rate policy has been a factor, 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.


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.




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