Underneath the Water Scarcity Reality

Water is becoming scarce in most areas of Ethiopia. And the situation is affecting many aspects of life, from cooking to livestock rearing. But there seems to be no policy coherence to address this essential need. Incongruity is what has become typical to the power circle.

Limits to Ethiopian Sport Journalism

Ethiopian sport journalism witnesses multiple problems. But lack of professionalism stands out taller. It is common to watch, hear and read journalists analysing events on the basis of impressions, feelings and emotions. It seems that objectivity is a misnomer.

Journey to a Hydro-dollar Nation

It has been five years since the foundation stone of the GERD was laid. The project has reached over 50pc. With the project going with the current speed, it would not take long before Ethiopia becomes a hydro-dollar nation.

Closer Walk to Terrorism

Terrorism has become a popular agenda. Security alerts around the world were in their historic high after the Paris attack, in November, 2015. With last week’s attack in Brussels, the mood of panic has furthered. For an Ethiopian, who is used to living in harmony with neighbours, witnessing terrorism has a different meaning.


An apology heals, but only when it comes at the right time. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, apologised for what happened in Oromia. But his apology, which leaves much to be answered shows the difference between the bosses and the leaders in the Ethiopian political scene.

Adwa – Not Just a Victory

This year’s celebration of the 120th anniversary of the Battle of Adwa was colourful. The case was even special with Addis Abeba and Meqelle. From the speeches made at the event, one could see the way the ruling party governs. Relating the event to what is happening in Oromia, revealed political substance in the celebration.


Radio is a key element of societal discourse. Its wide outreach means that it is crucial even for development and democratic progress. But the case in Ethiopia is far from the intended. Ethical and professional shortfalls are prevalent in the Ethiopian radio scene. Listeners seem to have little leverage.


Careful reading of Ethiopian history shows a close relationship between commodity price and political stability. There is no more important commodity than oil in this nexus. History shows us that oil price has played a significant role in the whole play of the student movement of the 1960s. As the commodity’s price gets into another low cycle, it is better if policymakers give due attention to the political implications of their decisions.

Addis’ Overwhelming Contradictions

Life in Addis is full of contradictions. Residents living in the political and economic capital of Ethiopia, cannot avoid being overwhelmed by issues of varying weights. What takes the priority in one’s mind is defined by the closeness to the issue. A typical week in Addis involves being taken away by national issues such as drought, and preferential issues, such as football. Last week was a typical time to see this trend.

A Celebration Under Disguise

The national broadcaster is celebrating its Golden Jubilee. But its state is not a manifestation of the wider media sphere in the country. The Ethiopian media sphere is identified with direct and indirect suppression: journalists live an uncertain life. Had the press been free, though, the nation and its citizens could have benefited a lot.

Numbers That Mean Nothing

Numbers could mean a lot when they are used in their right place. But they mean nothing in the wrong places. The case with popular economic growth figures in Ethiopia largely goes with the latter. Much as it is overused, the 11pc GDP growth figure, for instance, has lost its meaning. The case gets even worse when one analyses the numbers in the political scene, including the 100pc election victory by EPRDF.

An Irony of History

African leaders are convening in Addis Abeba for their annual summit. As they go about their annual tributes, however, the leaders seem to have forgotten the price paid to realise the African Union. It is puzzling to see leaders convening to strengthen unity failing to pay due tribute to the death of Africans, in Africa, by Africans.

Informal Economy Here to Stay

The informal sector contributes a lot to the economy. Yet, it hardly receives policy attention. Inattention by the media to the informal sector also plays its role in the overall sidelining of the sector. Regardless, the sector is here to stay as it is a natural extension of the real economy.

In Pursuit of Democracy

The Integrated Master Plan between Addis Abeba and Special Zones of Oromia has been a cause for public disappointment and protest. Reports show that about 140 people lost their lives due to the protests. Yet, the Master Plan is just one of the drivers of the protests. Much of the protest has to do with the lack of good governance that seems to have become a typical trait in Ethiopia.

The Future of Banking

Banking is changing fast. It has taken itself out of its traditional fit of branching. Mobile handsets held by millions of Ethiopians have now evolved to be branches in their own right. It however is doubtful whether Ethiopian banks recognise the changed face of their businesses. Many of them are still investing in constructing huge edifices with a budgetary outlays of millions of Birr.

The Drought Factor

Drought is affecting Ethiopia with over 10 million people facing the risk of food insecurity. One important aspect of the drought is water scarcity and media reports have shown that the severity of the problem is growing with each day. Although the problem is worsened by the current drought, water shortage has long been with us. Even Addis Abeba, is not yet self-sufficient when it comes to water supply. And this relates to governance.


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