South Sudan Crisis: No Cakewalk


A call for urgency has been repeated time and time again, with regards to the current crisis in South Sudan. Many issues have, however, been dragged out and this has, at times, threatened to escalate the problems. The presence of Ugandan armed forces in the country has been one such issue, with their involvement having been condemned by neighbouring governments. The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has played a crucial role throughout, thus far passing his toughest diplomatic test to date, reports TESFALEM WALDYES, SPECIAL TO FORTUNE.


Addis’s Finest

The three-wheeler taxis, made in India, first came to Ethiopia in 2005. They have become very popular as a convenient method of transport in regional cities, but are now proving more popular in certain parts of the capital too. With city authorities not deeming them suitable for a metropolis the size of Addis Abeba, it is likely that they will eventually be pushed back out to other regions, reports HIWOT SEYOUM, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER


Veges in Demand As Meat Free Lent progresses

The Lent fasting period, which sees many of the county’s Christians enjoying a meat and dairy-free diet, provides a boost to Ethiopia’s vegetable markets. Prices have fluctuated dependent on supply, with onions displaying a particular shortage. On the other hand, the price of potatoes has dropped. Additional land being availed to onion and potato growth later this year is expected to stabilise the markets, reports HIWOT SEYOUM, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Anyone For Tennis?

Despite facilities having existed in the country for over half a century, ground tennis has yet to take off in Ethiopia. Many of the clubs are exclusive to members and the cost of others are beyond the capacity of the large proportion of those living in the capital. With a focus on youth, many older players find themselves left with the only option of becoming a coach, reports HIWOT SEYOUM, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


The Business Face of Facebook

The online social networking platform, Facebook, has recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Its popularity in Ethiopia continues to grow – almost all of the nation’s Internet users have a Facebook an account. Although its primary purpose was for socialising, it has become an increasingly useful tool for business marketing. The popularity is helping to prop up Internet cafes, which are concerned about the growing presence of Smartphones and other new technologies, reports HIWOT SEYOUM, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Millennium Hall Hosts Seventh All African Leather Fair

Leather is a major priority industry in Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), but has not been meeting targets thus far. This week saw approximately 200 exhibitors from 41 countries taking part in the seventh All African Leather Fair – an event that the Ethiopian Leather Industries Association believes will help Ethiopian companies to gain improved access to markets. Some local leather companies, however, suggest that the poor supply of raw materials is hindering the sector, reports YONAS MULATU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Flower Merchants Love Valentine’s Day

With the price of a stick in Holland, the destination for Ethiopia’s exports, increasing from 0.19 dollar to 0.41 dollar, for the Valentine’s Day, Ethiopian flower exporters are expecting boost in flower sales. The peak is expected to raise pieces of flowers sold by vendors in Addis Abeba from just a few hundreds to four or five thousand, reports HIWOT SEYOUM, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Pork: Prime For Investment

Pork has historically not had a major presence in Ethiopia, largely due to the cultural preferences of both Muslims and Orthodox Christians – who make up a large proportion of the population. The increasingly cosmopolitan nature of Addis Abeba is, however, seeing the country’s first major pork production business, Prime Meat, performing very well. Not only is this big business, but also the increased presence of pork in Ethiopia could provide a vital source of protein, reports HIWOT SEYOUM, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Domestic Brands a Shoe-In

The purchase of locally branded shoes has become popular in Ethiopia’s capital. This has been driven by the increase in leather manufacturers since the Ethiopian government’s move to encourage quality-addition in the leather sector. Shoppers, impressed by the price and quality, have begun flooding to stores selling the shoes, although more work still needs to be done to make them more competitive in both the domestic and global market, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


OFF THE GRID Tidbits: from AU Summit

Konjit Sinegiorghis: Iron Lady   Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom (PhD) is known as being generous in expressions of admiration to the national soccer team, his staff and the country. It…


Pruning the Fruits of their Labour

At this time of the year, prunes adorn numerous fruit and vegetable stores throughout Ethiopia. Some have entered into the business almost by accident, whilst others have committed many years to the sale of the popular fruit. Known locally as Prim, the fruits grow at the beginning of the Gregorian year. Although they have many uses, they are currently predominantly eaten fresh in Ethiopia, reports YONAS MULATU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


DEAL IS MADE! NOW, WILL IT HOLD?

The South Sudanese mediation efforts in Addis Abeba have been far from straight forward. At times, it seemed that things were only going to get worse before they started getting better. Even now, despite the signing of a ceasefire agreement, there continues to be tension over the peace process in the world’s newest nation. With the talks set to continue after a two-week break, we are still yet to discover whether a rapid and peaceful resolution can be found, reports Tesfalem Waldyes, Special to Fortune.


Addis Shopping Festival: An Exhibition in Competition

The exhibition and events sector has been growing rapidly in Ethiopia over the past few years. It is not without its challenges, however. The two major competing companies, Century and Afrodan, have somewhat of a monopoly on the sector and newcomers struggle to find a foothold. There are also complaints from a number of exhibitors regarding the cost of a pitch and this too influences the prices they can offer. Despite this, the major issue remains attracting customers through the door, reports BINYAM ALEMAYEHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Stop-Start South Sudan Peace Talks Continue

Although the peace talks between the two warring South Sudanese factions have shown positive signs, there have also been a number of tactical delays. Ongoing fighting isn’t helping and there is the real risk that violence could escalate if the talks fall apart, reports TESFALEM WALDYES, SPECIAL TO FORTUNE.


Parking Woes Hefty price-mark sparks discomfort

Businesses and patrons, especially, breathed a collective sigh of relief when the completion of Africa Avenue marked the end of one of many chaotic episodes in the rapidly expanding capital’s history. New rules and regulations relating to parking have, however, put a dampener on spirits once more. A chronic lack of car parking spaces is nothing new, but now arguments over parking fees are adding more fuel to the fire, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Christmas Cattle Chaos

It is a common site to see crowded cattle markets on the eve of any national holiday; this Christmas was no different. Licensed vendors complain, however, that illegal trade is taking both their space and their custom. Although the newly resurrected Code Enforcement Services Office is supposedly cracking down on such illegal activities, according to most, it is not enough, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER


Hard Work but Dwindling Return

It is a common site inEthiopiato see animal hides being sold after a festive slaughter, but this Christmas has seen a drastic drop in price. Despite recent positive developments, the country is still falling a long way short of maximising the potential of its leather industry. A major part of this is the lack of access to quality animal hides, reports BINYAM ALEMAYEHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Shops Benefit from Coordinated ‘Real’ Sales

All over the world, the holiday season coincides with a number of large-scale sales. The concept has been a little slow to take-off inEthiopia, although the Mafi Complex proved, this year, that with a coordinated effort positive results could be achieved. Whether or not this is profitable for businesses, however, is another question, reports LULADAY BERHANU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER


South Sudan Crisis Tension Continues With Talks Starts

The face-to-face talks scheduled to take place between the two conflicting South Sudanese factions, in Addis Abeba, has started. There has also been positive progress in proxy discussions with both parties, with the suggestion that both are committed to a speedy and peaceful resolution of the crisis. With the evacuation of Ethiopians well underway in many regions, it is residents in Juba who now fear the advance of rebel troops. Many fear that the crisis could turn into a bloody civil war, destroying all the hope that South Sudan has had since independence in 2011, reports Tesfalem Waldyes, Special to Fortune.


Competition Cramps Christmas Bazaar

The human traffic, predominantly female, has begun to flow through the Christmas Bazaar in Meskel Square, but companies are complaining about high rental costs and limited sales. This has been blamed on increased competition, with many stalls selling similar items. This year also sees musical acts coming from as far and wide as Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia, reports BINYAM ALEMAYEHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Local Liquor Lines for Christmas Consumption

The local liquor, araqe, is always popular at this time of year and wine sales also go through the roof. Imported liquor, however, is seen struggling. Private liquor makers are also not able to profit from an industry where demand is met by state-owned companies, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER


Christmas Consumption

In many parts of the world, Christmas is an important festival, with lots of money being spent on gifts, decorations and food. Although the date may not be same, Ethiopians are no different when it comes to spending money at this festive time of year, reports BETELHEM MELKA. FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Window Shopping Thrives at SME Bazaars

Although rules prohibiting the sale of imported goods at the bazaars are designed to promote locally produced goods, they are also limiting competition and diversity. This has led to businesses focusing on promotion ahead of sales, and the majority of customers simply choosing to window shop, reports LULADAY BERHANU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


Remittance Flows Connection Woes

The total amount of money being sent to Ethiopia in remittances has increased rapidly over the past few years. During the holiday periods, millions of individuals are especially keen to pick up money sent from overseas to help fund their festivities. With poor connections stunting the process at banks, however, many continue to use informal channels, reports KALEAB MINDA , FORTUNE STAFF WRITER


Parallel Banking Sparks Hard Currency Shortage

New parallel banking markets have developed due to the increased demand for currency exchange from Saudi returnees. This has compounded the long-term negative impact the unofficial systems have on the availability of hard currency for businesses, reports KALEAB MINDA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.




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