Addis Abeba is home to 3.4 million residents. Its rapid urbanisation and growth in disposable incomes have meant changes in food preferences and eating habits among urban consumers. Hence, the increasing patronage of supermarkets and convenience stores. It is good news as it creates jobs in the area and who would mind the comfort of having a supermarket nearby. But, the naming of these stores as supermarkets and recently hypermarkets is spurring controversies in Ethiopia’s retail market. William Shakespeare once said, “What is in a name?” YIBELTAL GEBREGZIABER, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, tries to answer.
The difference between life and death could be in minutes and not being able to get prompt medical assistance should not be a reason to lose a beloved one. Tebita Ambulance & Prehospital Emergency Medical Services tries to break these barriers in Ethiopia’s medical care system, providing emergency ambulance service and medical help to those in need. For all its efforts though, poor infrastructure, especially roads amongst others, becomes quite the challenge, writes CHRISTIAN TESFAYE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
The Ethiopian film industry may not be as celebrated as Hollywood, but that has not held it back from getting recognition in the world of cinema, with many films screened at international film festivals. One such event to honour Ethiopia’s filmmakers and actors is the Ethiopian International Film Festival (EthioIFF) celebrating its 12th edition since its launch in 2006. The most recognised film was Kedemena Belay, scooping most of the awards. But behind all the glamour there is an ailing industry that suffers from many problems preventing it from flourishing, writes CHRISTIAN TESFAYE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
Unlike most of the world, Ethiopians celebrate Christmas, more commonly known as Genna, on January 7, following 40 days of fasting. Although a Western tradition, the beginning of the festive season is marked with adorning houses with Christmas trees. The city and its residents have welcomed these trees not only into their homes but also in commercial centres and hotels as a nod to the tradition and further as a means to attract customers, writes HAIMANOT ASHENAFI, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
Christmas is around the corner and to mark the beginning of the holidays the Exhibition Centre hosted its annual Christmas Expo. Alas, unlike previous years it received a cold opening. It was unable to excite visitors and emptied the Exhibitor’s pockets. Retailers complained of high rental fees while visitors lamented the high prices of products. What should have been an exciting shopping experience ended in disappointment for many, writes YIBELTAL GEBREGZHIABHER, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
Public transportation is oft criticised by many residents in the capital. The shortage is one pain, but lack of facilities such as bus shelters has also caused a nuisance for many who queue up under the harsh sun waiting to catch a taxi. The latter will not be a problem anymore as the Transportation Authority is now building bus sheds all over Addis Abeba to provide comfortable waiting spaces for its residents, report YIBELTAL GEBREGZIABHER and BINIAM TESFAYE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITERS.
For the past 10 years, Art of Ethiopia has served as a platform for talented local artists to showcase their works of art for the public and art lovers. Aside from supporting artists, the Exhibition is also affiliated with the Sheraton Endowment Charity. This year, the 4-day long event kicked off on December 6, 2017, at Sheraton Addis Hotel, with over 430 artworks ranging from paintings and carvings to sculptures put up for the visitors. CHRISTIAN TESFAYE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, gives a firsthand account.
Ethiopia wired itself with the rest of the world in 1997 with the introduction of the Internet. Slowly but steadily the number of Internet users in the country is increasing parallel to the advancements in online education. But in a country like Ethiopia, where the government monopolises telecom services with its exorbitant prices, educational institutions find it harrowing to provide online education platforms to the populace. Amidst this, some youth are taking up the challenge to break free from the conventional schooling methods, reports HAYMANOT ASHENAFI, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
Disputes between factory workers are frequent, but a recent incident in Ziway has left the town in a state of shock and insecurity. Things got out of control when one of the individuals involved in the disagreement lost his life, and his family sought revenge. The shockwaves of the violence have spread over the floriculture investments of the town where many workers did not turn up at work for over two weeks and production was ceased. The unrests just add to the ongoing violence in neighbouring towns of the Oromia and SNNP regional states, reports SAMSON BERHANE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
The key to a good night’s sleep is a pillow and it is not unusual to see vendors carrying pillows on the streets of Addis Abeba these days. This new niche in the informal market comes as a delight for residents as well as for the youth looking for a chance to better their lives. But, being a part of this market comes at a cost; hawkers grapple with the police just to sell their products, while health experts doubt the quality of the products which many fail to consider, reports YIBELTAL GEBREGZIABER, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
For Ethiopia, a largely agrarian country, a simple development in agriculture comes as a boon. With 20 beer brands and the ever-increasing consumption reaching 10lts per capita, the nation imported over 156,600tns of malt last year to quench this thirst. In a bid to reverse this trend and support smallholder farmers, some breweries are reaching out to local farmers linking them to the commercial supply chains by locally sourcing raw materials. These breweries are paving the way for the “truly Ethiopian beer”, reports BERHANE HAILEMARIAM, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
A growth in the number of the middle class has meant that businesses in Addis Abeba can risk huge investments and high prices. This has been exemplified by an increasing number of malls, supermarkets and fast-food outlets. The phenomenon is no different for restaurants, where Centre Point Addis revolving Restaurant, an expansion project by Intercontinental Addis Hotel, is one. Open only four hours a day, offering a buffet service, it has a trick up its sleeve- a panoramic view of the capital, writes CHRISTIAN TESFAYE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
A new labour bill introduced by the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs (MoLSA) revised 53 articles in the labour proclamation which was last amended in 2008. But the envisioned revisions have not been without their controversies, with the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU) deeming 18 of the amendments unfair to employees. CETU, headed by Kassahun Follo, in its general assembly, has warned that they would be forced to call a strike if these specific points remain unaddressed. The Union stresses that labour laws should equally favour the employee and employer, and the bill would not only hurt labourers but also hamper investment. SAMSON BERHANE, FORTUNE’S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, sat down with Kassahun to discuss the possible way forward
Besides cutting travel times significantly and offering scenic views of farmlands, Addis-Adama Expressway has more to display. As the competition among companies gets fierce, they try to seize any opportunity to publicise themselves. The recent boom in billboard and other forms of advertising has spread its wings over the expressway as well. If someone is wondering what to set their eyes on the next journey, they should be ready to be bedazzled with adverts and infomercials, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
To deal with the fast-paced routines, we have become heavily dependent on technology to carry out basic household chores. As urban dwellers including Addis Abebans try to multitask in both their personal and professional lives, many gadgets that were once considered a luxury have now become household staples. The city is witnessing a spike in the demand for washing machines as more urbanites are willing to invest in machines that best fit their needs, reports BERHANE HAILEMARIAM, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER
The capital has recently witnessed one of the worst floods that took the life of one and left hundreds homeless. Victims were moved to temporary shelters while others still struggle to find a suitable place to live in. Some blame the lack of sufficient measures to prepare and protect the citizens from such calamities, while others hold the poor road infrastructures responsible. Nevertheless, the state is taking action to tackle the problem and brace itself for future catastrophes, reports BERHANE HAILEMARIAM, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
Restaurants could generally be either cheap but unsatisfactory or satisfactory but expensive. Eros, on the other hand, offers the best of both worlds. It provides patrons and newbies alike with a heightened dining experience that does not weigh customer’s pockets too much. With an interior design that cost almost 13 million Br and cuisines few could find unoriginal, it is the latest classiest addition to Addis Abeba’s eateries, writes CHRISTIAN TESFAYE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
In the past, fresh graduates young men and women, flocked to Arat Kilo and La Gare areas in search of a job. These areas are known for their notice boards filled with various job posts and newspapers with vacancy announcements. Now, that trend is diverting to the digital system. Job seekers are using their devices and the Internet to search for jobs via text messages and websites. To serve them, the number of companies that engage in these services has reached 293 as of October 2017, reports FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
New businesses including betting where people predict soccer match results and place a wager on the outcome, enabling many to earn from thousands to hundreds of millions of dollars in a single game. As an emerging new trend, the Capital has seen the opening of 10 betting houses in the past one and half year alone, reports HAWI ABDISA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
The painting market is one of the fastest expanding segments owing to the growth in the construction industry. With the boom in the construction of residences, the quality of paints is also evolving in the country. As of now, there are over 88 paint factories in the country compared to just less than 10, two decades ago. This has created opportunities for many people who have an experience of putting a colourful touch on walls, whose business grows drastically as the holiday approaches, reports BERHANE HAILEMARIAM, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
Constructing billboards and other advertisements has not been permitted to the private sector since 2012. There is no new directive issued by the Addis Abeba City Administration yet. But, from February to June 2017, the construction of billboards permitted for five months owing to a letter from the Mayor’s office, paved way for billboard advertisers to erect more billboards than ever throughout the city’s main routes, reports BERHANE HAILEMARIAM, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
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A successful vocalist is a respected social figure with admirable talent and profession. Nevertheless, in pondering over their lives, it becomes evident that music really bakes no bread in Ethiopia. Asked of their lifetime earnings, veteran musicians would often say, “my riches are the people.” But in a new age, with new media and its unprecedented reach, the nation’s performers are making more money, reports ABIY SOLOMON, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
Times are constantly changing and each of our old, inconvenient ways of life along with them. Even the ways in which people used to do the most random things like hunting down a taxi have become modernised. Making them safer, quicker and more convenient than ever. And even though the world is no stranger to such a system by now, our country is just getting its first test through the recently flourishing taxi-hailing applications, reports HAWI ABDISA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
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