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The Colour Convention


Leaders of the Revolutionary Democrats may sound allergic to the prospect of what they often describe as “colour revolution” in Ethiopia, fuelled by “international neo-liberal forces.” Yet, their convention last week was nothing but colourful. In a way, it had a surprise in store after delegates installed a non-combatant leader of the party from the south as their party’s deputy chairman, replacing Addisu Legesse (left), a veteran of the armed struggle. For the first time in the 20-year-history of the

Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the second most influential position of the party went from the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) to a party that was formed two years after the military government was ousted from power, the Southern Ethiopia Peoples’ Democratic Movement (SEPDM).


On Friday afternoon, Addisu was relieved of the position he has held since the departure of Tamrat Layne in the mid-1990s. It was an emotional farewell, as he stood in front of delegates and invited guests, and received a standing ovation. Azeb Mesfin, elected to the politbureau of the Tigray People’s Libration Front (TPLF) two weeks ago, seen in this picture, comforted him on their way out from the Geda Hall, in Adama. PLEASE SEE THE FULL STORY


Tax Authorities Investigate Nyala Motors, Ex-Management over Khat Farm in Wondo Genet

Nyala Motors SC and former managers of the company, who are already facing charges of massive tax evasion from prosecutors of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA), are being investigated for yet another tax owed to the government in relation to a covert khat farm operating in Wondo Genet, 267km south of the capital.


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Fallen from Grace, Brehane Adelo Vows Comeback

Brehane Adelo, secretary of the Council of Ministers, a powerful and influential position in the federal government, has vowed to make a political comeback, after his party in the South ejected him from the executive committee last week.


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Gov’t Assures Market over Currency Fluctuation

Alarmed by steep increases in prices in the domestic market, following the recent devaluation of the Birr against the dollar, senior officials in the government have begun reassuring market forces that there will not be further state intervention in the currency market for months to come.


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Walya Bus Given 22 Days to Vacate Future Oromia Pres. Office Site

The construction of the presidential office of the Oromia Regional State and six other buildings that was awarded to Afro Tsion Construction Company in July 2010, for 274.8 million Br, in Kebele 01, Nefas Silk Lafto District, is to start on October 11, 2010, after having been delayed.


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Four-state Water Project Awaiting EU Approval

The winner of a second tender floated for the drilling of water wells in 15 towns and for the construction of clean water facilities for 500,000 people in four regional states at a cost of around 47 million dollars by the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) in partnership with the European Union (EU) Delegation is awaiting approval from the latter.


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Steeling Ethiopia’s Metal Industry

Sissay Tesfaye, 44, is the owner of Best Plastic Factory and Walia Steel Industry Plc, which he established 12 and four years ago, respectively. He is also president of the Ethiopian Association of Basic Metals and Engineering Industries (EABMEI). On August 28, 2010, he attended the meeting between Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and manufacturers.


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Third Time Proves Charm in Abyssinia's CORE Banking Search

Bank of Abyssinia (BoA) has joined the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) in selecting Temenos Group AG for its centralised, online, real-time electronic (CORE) banking solutions on Wednesday, September 15, 2010.


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Cooperative Bank Increases Profits Tenfold

The Cooperative Bank of Oromia (CBO) registered an unprecedented gross profit of 36.7 million Br (unaudited) in the 2009/10 fiscal year, up from 3.6 million Br in the preceding one.


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Dev’t Bank Negotiates to Sell Flower Farm

The Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) is to sell Menahem Tizazu Flower Farm through negotiations after it had failed to attract bidders that met the price it had set for the farm in four previous auctions.


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Capital’s Cattle Market Tries to Handle Double Holiday

Normally during big holidays, the cattle markets are overwhelmed and prices soar; but this week, a doubleheader will end Ramadan and the Ethiopian New Year coincidentally. Even with the elevated prices, there are so many people involved in the process of bringing a bull to market that they sometimes sell at a loss, writes ...


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“Live and Let Live” Boggs Down Ruling Party

For the first time in their nearly 30-year history, leaders of the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) allowed the private media complete and unrestricted access to their discourse at the organisation’s ninth convention, and the process of electing their leaders, held in Bahir Dar, for four days from September 4, 2010. TAMRAT G. GIORGIS, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, followed them through thick and thin.


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Variety Fair Pulls Shoppers, Curious, Bored

The Exhibition Centre and Market Development Enterprise at Meskel Square in Addis Abeba has increasingly become a popular place to find good deals, business, and entertainment. With the current promoters, the place is packed, especially after working hours when the weather is good, writes ZEKARIAS HADDUSH, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.


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For yet another year, Fortune has compiled a list of entrepreneurs and top level managers who have earned their name and place in the Ethiopian business community. Again, as in the tradition of the past three years, these executives have been selected for their availability and positive response, although being the head of a company with a significant place in the market and their responsibilities for hundreds, if not thousands, of employees, have been given a lot of weight. These are some of the “noble moguls” of Ethiopian society, for their achievements in their respective careers, as well as their generosity to others. The 60 second interviews, beginning on PAGE 38, reveal a lighter, yet, intimate side.




Food Supplies Dearer as Holidays Near

As is customary with every holiday, the prices of food items that are popular for use in holiday feasts have increased. Shoppers, who went to the markets almost a week in advance to avoid the anticipated price increases caused by high demand, were surprised that their effort was to no avail as prices had already increased. Chicken and other ingredients used to make doro wot (chicken stew), a holiday staple in most households, showed a marked increase in price. The smallest margin of increase was visible in Merkato and Atekilt Tera, while it was larger at other markets like Shola and Saris, which sellers attributed to transportation costs. The holiday shopping also indicated a change in people’s shopping habits as more move away from the tradition of slaughtering sheep and chickens at home. Instead, they have begun buying already slaughtered sheep from the Addis Abeba Abattoir’s Enterprise and skinned chicken from supermarkets. PLEASE SEE THE FULL STORY

Driving Steep Beef Prices Higher

The high prices fetched by oxen such as this one, both at cattle markets and butcheries, tell a complex story of costs incurred and revenues earned by a range of people, from the breeder to the consumer who pays up to 90 Br for a kilogramme of beef. The drivers who guide the animals, on foot, on a long journey to the market or the truck owners whose vehicles transport them from farther regional towns, the brokers, the herders, the tax collectors, and other small businesses who offer services to the people directly involved in the cattle trade, all contribute to the high cost of carnivorous delight.

Bank Presidents Coining It IN

The financial sector in Ethiopia, comprising a total of 15 banks, is the highest performing sector,  showing record high profits every year, in a time of boom and bust. As such, Fortune takes a look at some of the chiefs at the helm of these banks, whose profiles reveal the presidents to be among the highest paid people in the country. PLEASE SEE THE PROFILES








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