Fun Times For All at Addis’s Game Centres

Gaming centres are becoming increasingly popular for families living in Addis Abeba. Especially during the holidays and at weekends, they provide lots of fun for all. They include video games, sports, swimming pools, simulators and lots more. Children love to spend as much time as possible in such places, and adults too can enjoy, reports ASTER MENGESHA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Slowly, Gradually

It has been common for a while for a number of cafes and restaurants to open more than one branch across different locations of Addis Abeba. Some Ethiopian businesses are…

School Clothing Rates Remain Uniform

As the New Year approaches, parents are frantically trying to get their children ready for the new school year. One of the major aspects of this is purchasing their uniform, along with a range of other materials. Merkato is traditionally the main centre for such purchases, with Military Tera providing the material and tailors required for the job. Although the prices this year have remained the same as last year, there has been a decrease in trade, according to many who work in the sector. This has largely been attributed to the sprouting up of new shopping centres outside Merkato and the inconvenience of ongoing construction works, reports ABDI TSEGAYE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Merkato’s Modern Makeover

Merkato has been a major marketplace in Addis Abeba since the Italian occupation. It is known to be the largest open market in Africa and famed for its chaos. Times are changing, however, with new multi-storey buildings replacing the ground level shacks. With the shopping culture yet to catch up, some located on the upper floors of the new modern malls complain that they receive almost no customer. Some buyers prefer to shop amongst the shacks, which they believe provide better value; others prefer the convenience of the malls. With changes picking up pace, it will be interesting to see how the modern Merkato will look, reports JEMAL ABDU, FORTUNE SFAFF WRITER.

Tennis Brothers Nurture Ethiopian Talent

Tennis may not be very popular in Ethiopia in comparison to other African countries. This does not, however, mean that there are no talented players in a nation of over 83 million. Two brothers, Tariku and Desta Tesfa, seem to have understood this well. Their search for the untapped tennis talent in the nation is bearing fruit, reports HIRUY FEKRE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Hill Bottom Gives Family Recreation a New Face

The Hill Bottom Recreation Centre has become the latest addition to the family recreation scene of Addis Abeba. Established by a former diplomat with a grand vision for a sense of community, the Centre offers customers an upbeat service and quality cuisine. But it is the community feeling that seems to have attained the highest regards, reports HIRUY FEKRE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Ethiopian Public Yet to be Bowled Over by Sport

Bowling has existed in Ethiopia since the Italian occupation, yet, despite a new modern centre at Lafto Mall, Ethiopians are yet to embrace the sport. The oldest alley in the country has been closed for four years, and others show signs of abandonment, rather than the joy and entertainment they were designed for and once had. With Embuay Mesk set to be refurbished and reopened, and a plan for more facilities at Edna Mall, things may be set to change, however, reports DAWIT ENDESHW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Clean Living, Healthy Profits

The cleaning business is bringing in good profits for the 48 licensed companies in Addis Abeba. Although the sector has been alive in Ethiopia for many years, recent growth is making many in the sector optimistic. Still there is need for increased marketing and promotion, however, with public awareness not yet where it should be, reports Aster Mengesha, Fortune Staff writer.


This year’s New Year’s Bazaar has been providing visitors with a wealth of great bargains, from clothes through to baby food, with companies offering large discounts recording healthy sales. Some exhibitors have, however, been less successful and many have scolded at the increased price per pitch, which has been going up year on year. The organisers also complain that there is a lack of space within the exhibition centre, meaning that many exhibitors have had to be turned away. The night time sees crowds gather to watch the entertainment, as beer and food companies compete for sales, reports, FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


A new Adidas store, located on Africa Avenue, has become a latest addition to upbeat shopping in Addis Abeba. The store has been launched through long-time Adidas distributive agent, Alfarag Trading Plc, and resembles something more akin to stores in Dubai or other large cities around the world. The high demand and counterfeit issue was behind the decision to open the store, reports ASTER MENGESHA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Condo “Fit for Living” Leave much for Finishing

Residents moving into the many new condominiums around the capital are having to pay large sums of money just to bring their new homes up to standard. Fixing doors, windows and electrics, as well as painting walls and ceilings, are among the many tasks required. This goes against the claims of the Addis Abeba Housing Construction Project Office (AAHCPO), who claim that new residents can simply carry their belongings inside and settle in. Despite the inconvenience, the situation is proving profitable for many working within such developments, reports JEMAL ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Smokers Coughing Up a Hefty Price

The price of cigarettes in Ethiopia has increased rapidly over the last decade, putting a strain on those who choose to indulge in the harmful practice. The percentage of users has, however, decreased almost tenfold since 2002/2003, and is much lower than neighbouring countries. With the government committed to WHO guidelines in reducing the large amount of deaths caused by tobacco smoke, it is likely that this number will continue to drop even further – much to the disappointment of the sole manufacturer in the country, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Increased Costs Blocking Construction SME Profits

SMES, setup to produce construction materials for the city’s condominium projects, are facing serious financial distress. With the purchase price of their products fixed a three-year-old levels, the increased cost of inputs has diminished their profits. A committee is now at work to decide upon a plan of action, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

India Promotes 4.6 Billion Dollar Textile Industry in Ethiopia

Indian textile industry eyes up opportunities in Ethiopian market with the first exhibition of its kind in the nation. With seven textile factories already in the country, 20 Indian exhibitors filled the Lalibela Ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel in a bid to find new buyers and partners in Ethiopia, reports JEMAL ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Ethiopia’s Tech Industry Emerges

Having lagged behind many of its neighbors for years, Ethiopia’s online tech businesses are slowly emerging and gaining traction with Ethiopian customers. We talked with the pioneers in the industry and explored the factors behind their early success reports, HIRUY FEKRE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Blue taxis’ bleak future

In the evolution of city transportations service in Addis Abeba beginning from carts pulled by mule to the Fiat Secentos and later to wuyiyits, pick-up customised for passengers none has served for the longest time like the blue and white, mini bus taxis. It was one of the attractive investments, though it involves complexities in management. However, with the strict regulation by the government and the incoming new city transportation services including the light railways transit system under construction, the business is facing with difficulties both from within and from the out side making the current operators hope to be transformed to the mass transportation system the government is contemplating as a replacement to the mini buses, writes ABDI TSEGAYE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.Nuredin Ditamo, 52, has been in the taxi business for 30 years now. He owns two minibus taxis, one of which is broken but he still uses the other one, which is fully functional and operates at morning and at night only.

New Code Interpretation Driving Up Tax on Vans

Ambiguity in the definition of vans being used for goods and those intended for passengers has led to a sudden shift in taxes being levied on half-vans. This has catalysed a more than four-fold increase in the amount of tax being charged to importers for a certain type of van. With several vans now being held in a warehouse, whilst those in the sector consider their options, the sudden shift has seen many van importing businesses grind to a halt. The ERCA, however, claims it is simply fulfilling the World Customs Organisation’s code, which it had previously failed to do, reports JEMAL ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Sweet Surrender

A critical sugar shortage has hit a number of industries in Ethiopia, with businesses from soft drinks to pharmaceuticals forced to cease production. The blame has been placed upon the shoulder’s of Indian contractors, who are lagging far behind in the construction of a new factory, which was expected to be finalised last year. The issue has led to the Ethiopian government having to look into the potential import of a million tonnes of the commodity from Sudan or Dubai, reports ABDI TSEGAYE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Steel’s the Way

Precarious looking wooden scaffolding has for long been a trademark image of the transformation of Ethiopia’s capital city. Now, however, the wooden beams – locally known as atanas – are being replaced by steel. Despite its far greater cost, many new construction sites are making the choice based on its safety and longevity, reports JEMAL ABDU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

A Bakery with a Huge Difference

Mulmul Bakery has joined Addis Abeba’s bustling consumables business sector with its wide variety of products. But the bakery is more than what its name traditionally indicates. It rather is a hub of freshness, quality and unique flavours. In this review, HIRUY FEKRE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, provided a detailed account of the bakery that is making a huge difference.

Rainy Season Pours Less Profit as Cloth Traders Struggle

The rainy season has changed the face of boutiques around Addis Abeba. Most are seen displaying items that could be used for the season. As much as their faces might have changed, though, little could be said about their profits. For most, profit has declined as compared to the previous year. But the market for the seasonal items is not homogenous, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.

Ramadan Provides a Sweet Deal to Snack Sellers

The Muslim fasting period of Ramadan comes with a wealth of money making opportunities for street snack sellers. In and around the Anwar Mosque in Merkato, a plethora of sweet treats are available from late afternoon for itfar – when Muslims break their fast after sunset. Restaurants in the area have to develop more innovative approaches to maintaining their revenues during the period, with one restaurateur selling coupons for the ‘haves’ to provide to the ‘have-nots’, in line with Islamic tradition, reports GENET TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

MultiChoice Hopes to Ride the Waves of the New African Narrative

Access to entertainment on the African continent is shifting. With the increasing popularity of pay-tv and faster internet connectivity, what lies over the horizon is both exciting and unknown. MultiChoice Africa has been enjoying a prime position on Africa’s entertainment landscape, but is now threatened by the speed and scope of change. Optimism reigns, however, and by joining in on the Africa Rising narrative, there is the hope that the operator of DStv and GOtv will be a key catalyst of positive progression on the continent, reports Tamrat G. Giorgis, Fortune Staff Writer – Mauritius.

Flourishing Furniture

The construction boom, which has hit Ethiopia over the past 5 years, has led to the increased demand for furniture. According to the Addis Abeba City Administration’s Small & Micro Enterprises Development Agency there are now 3,000 companies involved in the sector, including SMEs. Competition between imported furniture and locally manufactured goods is high and this is putting pressure on many of the actors in the sector. This is compounded further by issues such as high taxation, poor logistics and power outages, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Mobile Marketing

The recent trend of turning buses into mobile advertising boards has caused a variety of issues. It has led to confusion, as decades old companies have lost their defining colours in favour of indistinct advertisements. This too has affected the overall appearance of the city, with many suggesting that companies need to think more of the wider consequences before jumping on the bandwagon. There are also safety issues to consider, with certain other countries having banned the approach, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


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