Giant Christmas Trees Sparkle Up Addis


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.


Promising in Performance, Big in Aspirations

Esubalew Yitayew (Yeshi), few of an exception among Ethiopians in taking up his mother’s name to honour her, is one of the famous performers currently topping the lists of many Ethiopian music lovers. Winning the hearts of the audience with a single song dubbed ‘Mare Mare’ [literally translated as Honey], released two years ago, the 25-year old singer and songwriter recently released an album ‘Tiritaye’ [my heartbeat], selling 30,000 copies. He began singing when he was a little boy, a grade five student. Esubalew, who has over four million views for his first video on YouTube, sat down with FASIKA TADESSE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, for an impromptu talk.


Quiet Christmas Expo, Fiery Entrance, Rental Fees

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.


New Bus Sheds Proliferate Addis

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.


Artists Shine at Art of Ethiopia

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.


Praising Record Feat, Lagarde Emphatic Calling for Reforms

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, is to arrive in Addis Abeba today, to start what is a historic visit by the Fund’s most senior official since its founding after the Second World War. She will be talking to Ethiopian authorities, including Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, on issues of macroeconomic stability and monetary policy matters. In her exclusive interview with (Addis) Fortune, Lagarde praised Ethiopia’s economic performance of the past few years as “strong” with “positive Prospects”. However, she would like to see Ethiopian authorities exercise restraints in “public spending” while urged them – rather emphatically – to control borrowing from overseas to finance public projects and strengthen export competitiveness.


Violent Dispute Among Workers Leaves Ziway in Panic

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.


Pillows Get Comfy in Informal Market

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.


From Farmers to Breweries: Bridging Gaps through Local Sourcing

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.


Labours’ Representative Weighs Up New Bill

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


Ads in the Making at Expressway

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.


Washing Machines, Household Staple

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


Flood, Death Knell for Addis Residents

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.


From Greek Mythology to Ethiopian Restaurant

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. 


Jobs, Fingertips Away

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.


Betting Houses, Football’s New Born Ventures

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.




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