Ethiopia’s national carrier is flying high -- literally and profit-wise. Ethiopian Airlines' annual profit is up by 10 percent compared to last year. This is in stark contrast to other African carriers -- such as South African Airways and Nigeria's Arik Air -- which are battling to stay in the skies. CGTN's Girum Chala takes a look at the secret to success of the continent's largest airline.
Business & Money
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Ethiopia plans to privatize part of its road network through public-private partnerships. The finance minister says the government will look to corporates to help fund its ambitious infrastructure development projects. Ethiopia plans to double its road network by 2020. Currently, the country has over 113,000 kilometres of paved roads. Parliament has approved a $13.9 billion budget, most of which will be allocated to infrastructure development. The planned privatization of the road network is the latest step Ethiopia is taking to open up and modernize the economy. Earlier this year, the country offered foreign firms stakes in the government-operated Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise.
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A few Ethiopians have built multi-million and billion dollar empires in industries as diverse as agriculture, food, construction, energy and distribution and earned multi-million dollar fortunes to boot. Their names don’t ring with the African public, and you’ve probably never heard about them before, but they are very successful — and very wealthy. Meet 5 Ethiopian entrepreneurs, who own businesses with annual revenues of $50 million or more.
Source: Agricultural Commodities
Belayneh Kindie Import And Export (BKIEA), the eponymous company Belayneh founded and runs, is the largest agricultural commodities trading company in Ethiopia. He founded the company in 2005 to primarily export oil seeds and subsequently expanded into other commodities such as sesame seeds and nuts. Its commodities trading business has revenues of a little over $60 million in 2016. The company also has a thriving transportation business that boasts a fleet of more than 100 dry & fuel cargo trucks. BKIEA also owns hotels in Ethiopia and a port handling service company.
Ashenafi is the chairman and co-owner of Ambo Mineral Water, Ethiopia’s bestselling naturally-carbonated bottled mineral water, along with beverage giant SABMiller. He is also the founder and CEO of oil exploration firm SouthWest Energy, one the largest oil and gas acreage holders in East Africa. SouthWest has a leading acreage position in the Jijiga Basin, Ethiopia’s largest proven hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basin, covering an area of approximately 350,000 km2 and in the eastern region of Ethiopia bordering Somaliland.
Buzuayehu T. Bizenu
Bizenu is the chairman and controlling shareholder of East African Holding, a leading industrial conglomerate in Ethiopia that operates in a variety of sectors such as manufacturing of Fast Moving Consumer Goods, tea processing, printing and packaging, transport, real estate, cement production and coal mining.
Ato Ketema Kebede
Kebede is the founder of KK PLC, an Ethiopian company that manufactures blankets primarily to export across Africa and North America. The company also owns an acrylic yarn dyeing plant, and is also engaged in the import and distribution of heavy-duty machineries and equipment for mining, construction, road making and quarrying. The company is also one of the largest exporters of Ethiopian coffee, cereals and spices.
Akiko Seyoum Ambaye
Akiko Ambaye, one of Ethiopia’s most prominent female business leaders, is the founder of Orchid Business Group (OBG), an Ethiopian construction company engaged in road construction, the supply of construction materials, rental services of construction machinery and haulage.
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Ethiopia, the world’s fifth largest coffee producer and home of arabica, has overhauled the way it markets the commodity in a bid to increase export earnings and clamp down on a thriving domestic black market.
Experts say the reforms, which centre on improving traceability of beans and stimulating higher quality production, could transform the global speciality coffee market because of the expected increased supply from one of the world’s premier producers.
Arkebe Oqubay, the government minister overseeing the reform, said he hopes the changes, which are modelled on Colombia’s experience, will see Ethiopia’s annual coffee exports soar from their current $1bn.
“We could easily earn five times what we’re earning if we do it in the right way,” he told the Financial Times. “Our aim is to improve traceability and encourage farmers to increase productivity and expand coffee farms.”
Under the old arrangements, which were introduced in 2008, the vast majority of coffee was transported to the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, mixed and then auctioned. This resulted in it losing much of its value because its origin was untraceable, a key requirement in the speciality industry.
Read more at FT
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Ethiopia's cross country rail way connecting the heart of the country to the port of Djibouti has begun delivering official transport service for both passengers and cargo. The close to 700 kilometers railway was inaugurated in January and was so far undertaking trial trips. CGTN's Girum chala has more..