Driving Equality in Long Distance Travel Earnings

An outdated directive, which gives an unfair advantage to the private, or ‘special’, bus line companies above the cross country bus owners’ associations, is being addressed in a bid for enhanced equality, reports Nardos Yoseph, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER. The ability of these ‘special’ companies to determine their departure points, destinations and prices, gave them an unfair advantage in the market. With a huge increase in the number of companies operating in this sector, moves are now being made to enable fairer competition.

Wedding Windfall

All over the world, weddings are big money spinners for those involved in the industry, and Ethiopia is no different. One key element of all weddings, and Ethiopian weddings, in particular, is music. With the end of the Orthodox Christian Lenten fast signalling a surge in festivities, the demand for DJs and sound systems is on the rise. In addition to the huge increase in work, price increments are also witnessed at this time. With a slow period soon to follow, DJs and sound men work as much as physically possible to help them through the rest of the year.

New Lease on Life Self-Improvement Thrives in Addis, Under  No Eyes

Life coaches, personal trainers, career advisers – are all common services in many countries, with their popularity firmly established within society. For Ethiopia, however, such an approach to psychologial stability and well-being is relatively new, reports SOLIANA ALEMAYEHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER. The sector does not come without controversy either, with many unregistered and uncertified individuals chancing their arm. This can be dangerous, according to some experts, though others firmly testify to the great benefits that can be garnered.

Axumite Sisters’ Made in Ethiopia Brand Enters Addis Market

Inspired by the negative connotations often attached to ‘Made in Ethiopia’ products overseas, these entrepreneurial sisters are determined to change perceptions, with an unwavering focus on quality, reports NARDOS YOSEPH, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER. Though initially solely concentrating on leather products, due to its established high standards, the wider vision is to diversify as the company evolves. The new Axumite – ‘Made in Ethiopia’ – brand has been developed to act as an umbrella company for a variety of quality producers, with its first shop having recently opened it Piassa. Though there are many challenges ahead, the passionate sisters are determined to stay true to their objectives and breakthrough in this challenging market.

Horns March to Addis, as Holiday Approaches

With the Ethiopian Easter fast approaching, the various cattle markets in Addis Abeba are becoming busier and busier. The current drought being experienced in parts of the country has had an impact on both the cost and availability of livestock, with traders paying large amounts on feed. As the remaining market days diminish, both buyers and traders prepare to bargain on the price of this traditional festive treat, reports DAWIT ENDESHAW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Sweet Honey Faces Sour Demand

With Easter and the following peak wedding season on the horizon, the demand for both honey and butter increases exponentially. This sees the various outlets – including in Merkato, as well as door-to-door traders – vying for business. Sales have, however, so far been slow, and high prices are putting off some buyers, reports TESFA MOGESSIE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Banks’ High Cost of Making Money

Reports are in, shareholders have assembled and pocketed their dividends. It is now opportune time to look at the whole industry’s performance throughout last year. SOLIANA ALEMAYEHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER checks up on performance and efficiency of the industry that seems to exhibit all the clichés: first-come-first-served, the struggling middle class, and last but not least, last but not least.

Reeling It In: Cinemas Clamour for Their Stake in the Industry

The number of cinemas in Addis Abeba is growing faster than the number of movie goers, yet only one stands out for it consistent Box Office offerings. NARDOS YOSEPH, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, delves into the business aspects of this form of entertainment and the struggle to remain competitive.


Life as a street vendor may seem hard but it actually pays to be mobile, bringing the market to passers-by who may welcome the convenience. MISAK WORKNEH, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER takes to the street to explore the business of vending, its tribulations and solutions.

Addis Wakes Up to the Business Smell of Coffee

Waking up and smelling the coffee can be taken literally in Ethiopia, the land where it originated. MISAK WORKNEH, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, chats over a cup of Ethiopian coffee and finds that the cultural habit is also extremely good business.

Valentine’s Day: A Pricey Love Affair

Lifestyles are indeed changing and city stores are ablaze as couples spend in readiness for Valentine’s Day. SOLIANA ALEMAYHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, explores with providers of various gifts and services, the high price of romantic love

Car Wash Business Saves Youth from Street Life

Young men organised in car wash microenterprise initiatives around Addis seem to be doing well. MISGANAW GETACHEW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER talks with some of them. They are employed, living independently off the streets, and aspire to move into small business.

Graveyard to the Doha Development Round?

The rise of mega regional blocs threatens the relevance of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and this is not good news for poor countries like Ethiopia, argues TAMRAT G. GIORGIS, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER. However, the agreement reached for advanced economies to immediately end agricultural subsidies on agriculture – and in two years for developing countries – is “the most significant outcome.”

Cultural Institutions Give Way to Funeral Business

Collectively meeting the costs of funerals is the main rationale for the traditional Ethiopian Iddir. Modern funeral service providers have not replaced Iddirs but are supported by them in urban environments. MISGANAW GETACHEW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, explores the business side of saying farewell.

Holiday Bazaars Off to Slow Start

While more than the usual Christmas bazaars have been organised this year, some vendors are struggling to recoup their costs and patrons are not spending as expected. SOLIANA ALEMAYEHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER visits several bazaars, and hears some of the reasons offered by both sides.

M–Birr for Easy Access to Banking Services

Though M-Birr has not yet significantly impacted the unbanked, particularly in rural areas, SAMRAWIT LEMMA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER finds the combination of microfinance institutions, agent banking and mobile banking technology effective in bringing financial services to people, wherever they are.


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