Lidetu Ayalew: Adjustment and Change Never Changed.

No one denies that he matters in the country’s contemporary politics. Emotions usually follow the very mention of his name. Lately, it is usually anger and a sense of betrayal…

Abraham Gebremedhin: Melodious Path From Needing to Giving

Born in the capital, around Gofa, next to Qera almost 40 years ago, Abraham Gebremedhin actually never thought he would become a singer. Although he rushed to school every morning…

Dereje Haile: Re branding himself for a second time

Anyone who has had access to ETV’s sole channel, can identify Dereje and Habteb – the pair that defined the essence of comedy in urban Ethiopia, as they followed in…

Fikadu Wari Gerbi: From Producing Talent to Unearthing it

“Music was always in my soul,” Fekadu, creator of Ambassel Records, informs Fortune. Before producing hits by Tilahun Gesesse and Mohammed Ahmed, 55-year-old Fekadu took electronic courses at Tegbare’ed. He…

Henok Temesgen: Jazzy Newyork To Hometown, Addis

  Before working with famous Ethiopian musicians like Aster Awoke, Bizunesh Bekele, Tilahun Gessesse, and Tewodros Kassahun, Henock Temesgen, 54 studied at Howard University and earned a degree in Civil…

Merara Gudina: Activism to Exile, Egypt to Education, Teaching to Politics

As most of the youth of his generation, Merera Gudina (PhD), now in his early 60’s, began his political activism back in 1970’s. He was active in the student movement…

Negaso Gidada: Overwhelmed By Past Reflections

He was the most important person twenty years ago, approving the landmark that signifies a chapter in the Country’s political history. Back from a very private life for almost twenty…

Sabir Argaw :A Soapy Slope from Rags to Riches

Standing in his opulent two-storey roof top office, where tall glass doors lead out to balconies that look down on to Piassa, one would not believe how humble the man…

Zadig Abraha: Young Man Growing in Office

He is is a leap. Holding high assignments in public offices, he was a new face with the new office responsible for coordinating and mobilising resources to Renaissance Dam. As…

Branding: Vision, Ideas, Products That Tell Stories

Farah Golant is now CEO of Girl Effect International, the entity behind Yegna, a programme deeply rooted in Ethiopian culture and designed to highlight and address the situation of girls.…

Do or Die of Political Liberalization

Alex de Waal (PhD) is new neither to book writing nor to the subjects he is interested in writing about. A product of a literary family – his mother was a writer on religion – he has written or edited 15 books, including his latest, titled, The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War, and the Business of Power.

AfDB’s Home Grown Approach to Financing Africa

Recently elected to the Presidency of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, in an exclusive interview with Fortune during the 26th Summit of African Union, shared the Bank’s “high five” priorities for African Development. They are energy, agriculture, industrialization, regional integration and improving the quality of life for Africans. SOLIANA ALEMAYEYU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, explores with Adesina, the AfDB’s vision and Ethiopia’s role in realising it on his watch. Adesina, the first Nigerian national to hold the post, previously served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for five years. Before that, he worked at the Rockefeller Foundation from 1988 onwards until he became the South African area representative to the foundation from 1999 to 2003. He received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ife in Nigeria, and a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the American Purdue University in 1988.

Interview: Dissecting Arkebe Oqubay’s Made in Africa

Arkebe Oqubay (PhD) is a believer in meticulous and perfectionist approach. During the course of his research for his doctoral thesis, Arkebe had an interview with a senior manager of…


Selim Jahan (PhD) is a popular face in the sphere of human development. As director of United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report (HDR) office, responsible for the flagship…


Riccardo Monti is president of the Italian Trade Promotion Agency, a government agency mandated to promote help the internationalization of Italian companies. With the major purpose of informing Italian companies about the investment climate in various countries across the world and helping them succeed, the Agency has over 65 offices around the world. These offices gather and compile information, disseminating it to Italian companies as relevant to their needs. On the occasion of the opening of an office in Addis Abeba, the President sat with GETACHEW T. ALEMU, FORTUNE OP-ED EDITOR, to discuss what the opening of the office means for the investment relationship between Italy and Ethiopia. Excerpts of that interview follow.


For Federica Mogherini, high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and vice-president of the European Commission, the time is opportune to redraw Europe’s relationship with Africa. The Italian politician, educated in Political Philosophy, believes that current migration saga could serve as a platform to bring change in the way business is done between the two regions. A member of the Italian Democratic Party and European Party of Socialists, Federica believes in inclusive solutions to the problems that plug EU-Africa relations. In this interview with VITA, Afronline and a group of African independent media, including Fortune, facilitated by JOSHUA MASSARENTI of VITA, the high representative talks about the priorities of Europe’s foreign policy.

Interview: The Singularly Focused Man

Ethiopia is to launch mega sized industrial parks in close to five locations for investment of 30 billion Br, on around 20 million square meters of land to be covered with factories, and service facilities. Hoping to boost its industrial capability particularly the share of manufacturing to the GDP to over 20pc, the government is set to attain structural transformation in the economy. Arkebe Oqubay (PhD), a brain behind this drive, discussed details of the coming into life of industrial parks with Fortune’s MANAGING EDITOR, Tamrat G. Giorgis.

A Dialogue Not of the Deaf

Ethiopia is Ambassador Greg Dorey’s second posting after his term in Hungary. In his own terms, he has been doing four jobs as he is the UK’s envoy to Ethiopia and Djibouti, as well as the African Union and UNECA. Fortune’s office was graced by the Ambassador’s presence for this exclusive interview by FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, SAMRAWIT TASSEW.

The Art of Cooperation: There Is Much More Than Meets the Eye

The Japan Africa Business Investment Forum, organised by IC Events and Nikkei Business Publications, in close partnership with Flawless Events, a local event management company, saw the participation of high-level Japanese and African businesspeople and policymakers, including Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and his special advisor, Arkebe Oqubay (PhD). One such person was Hiroshi Kato, vice president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Responsible for Africa, rural development, global partnership and research functions of JICA, Kato is one of the highly respected minds within JICA. His evolution within JICA took 37 years, and involved various levels and responsibilities, including planning and general affairs. Educated at the University of Tokyo and Harvard University, Kato is a typical development expert who looks beyond the obvious and makes comprehensive analyses. In this exclusive interview with GETACHEW T. ALEMU, FORTUNE’S OP-ED EDITOR, Kato shares his vision of Africa and how Japanese businesses perceive the continent. Excerpts:

Passions in Fashion Design

Fikirte Addis, creates cultural everyday wear. She started designing in high school, enjoying the freedom of creating and experimenting with different designs and fabrics. It evolved into a brand, Yefikir Design in 2009. Since then, Yefikir has participated in different fashion events in Addis Abeba, including Hub of Africa Fashion Week, in New York, Paris, Prague, Mauritius and other cites of fashion. As a designer and Psychologist she creates awareness in issues such as child labour by participating in various fundraising fashion shows. Her approach is therefore the epitome of social entrepreneurship in sustainable development.

In this exclusive interview with FORTUNE’S DEPUTY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SAMRAWIT TASSEW, Fikirte Addis helps to welcome the New Year by sharing her story and upcoming fashion exploits, while keeping the status of Ethiopia’s children and environment in mind.

AZEB WORKU: A Writer Who Dares to Push the Walls

Azeb Worku’s is a well-known performing arts personality that some may know better as her character in the Dana TV series. FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, LUCY KASSA had the opportunity to sit and engage with her on her work and her aspirations and the role of women in the arts and in society.

Rare Optimism, Positive Even Under Turmoil

Moriyuki Aida is a sharp-minded Japanese banker. As executive officer of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) in London, he stands at the margin of policy and finance. Educated at Keio University, Japan, and Cambridge University, United Kingdom, Aida has worked through the rank and file of the JBIC, in the Middle East and United States. It is easy to converse with Aida, who displays both the eloquence and analytical approach typical of a banker. In this exclusive interview with GETACHEW T. ALEMU, FORTUNE’S OP-ED EDITOR, conducted on the sidelines of the Japan Africa Business Investment Forum, held at Sheraton Addis from August 31 to September 2, 2015, Aida shared his views on global economic volatility and the perception risk Africa faces within global business circles.

Still Zeroing on Good Governance

With wide-ranging experience in the public service as well as in academia in the field of Law, Getachew Reda Kahsay, newly appointed central committee member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), seems well qualified to play his new leadership role. With the TPLF being a member party of the ruling coalition government, Getachew is now even better poised to influence national development decision making. FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, MIKIYAS TESFAYE secured this exclusive interview with Getachew, in the aftermath of covering the 10th Congress of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front. His views on substantial agenda of the Congress as well as on the internal and external developmental thrusts of the Front in the next five years are shared below.


This exclusive Fortune interview was conducted by FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, LUCY KASSA, at the end of the Diaspora meetings included in the celebration of the first National Diaspora Day in Addis Abeba. Interviewees were Tamrat Bekele, a pioneer Ethiopian returnee and investor, who is General Manager of International Clinical Laboratories (ICL); and Dereje Abebe an investor, and CEO of Terra Global, a company at the initial stage of establishing a local wind energy company.

THE ITALIAN WAY: It’s Not All About the Past

For Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy, Africa is a great opportunity. The veteran Italian politician who became Prime Minister on February 22, 2014, thinks that Italy is a victim of decades of negligence and ideological bias to the African continent. But he thinks that, in the next two decades, Africa will be at the origin of a great number of economic phenomena. This Head of State, who, at 40, is the youngest in Europe, boldly states that this is not just a slogan. In this exclusive interview conducted with the news website and a pool of African media partners, including Le Calame (Mauritania), Sud Quotidien (Senegal), Les Echos (Mali), Le Courrier (Niger), Mutations (Cameroun), L’Autre Quotidien (Benin), Le Confident (Central African Republic) and Fortune (Ethiopia), Prime Minister Renzi confirms his administration’s commitment to chart Italy’s approach with Africa anew. Excerpts:


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