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  • Why your next shoes could be made in Ethiopia - CNN

    When footwear brand Enzi opened its first store in Addis Ababa the words "Made in Ethiopia" were not associated with luxury.

    Today the high-end shoe brand is on a mission to change the perception that good quality products are not made in Africa.

    Jawad Braye and Azariah Mengistu co-founded Enzi in 2011 with just $30,000, after realizing that Ethiopia had a rich supply of leather and an emerging manufacturing industry.

    Today, the company ships to markets in Europe, Asia and the U.S. 

    Quality first 

    "What differentiates us as a brand is how well made the shoes are," Mengistu tells CNN. "Every single millimeter counts, every stitch is important." 
    Enzi has ensured such high quality standards by setting up its own production line -- rather than relying on an existing one -- where employees understand the emphasis on perfection. 
    With shoe prices at around $125 a pair, Enzi shoes could be Ethiopia's next big start-up. 
    Source: CNN 
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  • DBL Group to set up $100m garment factory in Tigray, Ethiopia

    DBL Group, a leading apparel exporter, is investing $100 million to set up a garment factory in Ethiopia, encouraged by duty benefits for exports from the African nation to US markets, a top official of the company said yesterday.

    “The new factory will go into production in February next year. We expect to employ 3,500 workers. Of them, 150 will be employed as executives -- all from Bangladesh,” the official said.

    The integrated textile and garment factory to be built in the Tigray region of Ethiopia will add immense value to the Ethiopian economy and strengthen exports, according to news agency Bernama.

    Read more at thedailystar

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  • The battle for a $1 million watch once belonged to Emperor Haile Selassie

    The 18-karat gold Patek belonging to Selassie was supposed to go on auction in November at Christie’s in the Swiss city but was pulled at the last minute because of what the auction house said was a “dispute of title.” Christie’s didn’t say at the time who the watch’s owner is and won’t now, citing its policy not to name clients if they want to remain private.

    Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie during an interview in the Grand Palace, Addis Ababa in 1974. Selassie's descendents claim that a $1 million Patek Phillipe watch was stolen from him.  (Associated Press / Associated Press)

    Selassie’s family say that “eminent African personality” is Ibrahim Abboud, former president of Sudan, and his family put the watch up for sale with Christie’s. The Selassie heirs reject claims that the watch was given to Abboud as a gesture of thanks for helping the Ethiopian reclaim his throne after a failed 1960 coup.

    Nicolas Didisheim, a Geneva lawyer for the Abboud family, said he represents the “legitimate owner of the watch, which has been in the family for decades and was given to my client’s family by the emperor.”

    Selassie’s family said the fact the watch’s provenance stayed unknown all this time is suspicious.

    More at

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  • Ethiopia: is Africa's 'lion' ready to jump?

    Following its economic success, Ethiopia has been dubbed the "African Lion." But the current drought and a downturn in growth have taken their toll. A recent conference in Munich aimed at attracting investors.

    Yinager Dessie Belay, Ethiopia's Minister of Planning and head of his country's business delegation to Germany, did not waste time in his lobbying efforts. "Ethiopia has many things that you need to look into," the Minster told his German interlocutors. "A conducive business environment, political stability, sound economic policies, macroeconomic stability, abundant natural resources, a trainable workforce, low-cost energy and, above all, a sizable and captive market."

    His words were echoed by Zemedneh Negatu, Managing Director of Ernst & Young and an Ethiopian government advisor. "The biggest economy in Africa is Nigeria; South Africa got dethroned two years ago by Nigeria. Third is Angola, and guess that who is number four: Ethiopia," Negatu told the audience. 

    Ethiopia boasts Sub-Saharan Africa's first light rail system, inaugurated last year

    For the past five years, Ethiopia, Africa's second-most populous country and one of the West's most strategic partners in the continent, has indeed been enjoying rapid growth. Germany enjoys a strong trading relationship with the East African nation, ranking the fifth largest buyer of Ethiopian goods, behind Somalia, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and China. According to official figures, the total value of Ethiopian exports to Germany, mainly coffee and textiles, is set to increase to 185 million euros ($209 million) in 2016. On the other hand, German exports to Ethiopia are worth much more, amounting to 238 million euros ($268 million). 

    However, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its recent outlook, said overall growth in Ethiopia was projected to slump to 4.5 percent, down from 10.2 percent the previous year. One of the contributing factors is said to be the drought that has gripped the country. Figures compiled by the Ethiopian government and its humanitarian partners suggest that more than ten million Ethiopian are now critically short of food.


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