Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 12 July 2017

    

There is a tendency in duplicating a working model of some entity - be it an individual, organization, country - by other similar entities. Ethiopian Airlines has been successful for much of its existence using a 'corporate' or 'organizational' culture that has been regarded as global standard. So, can its success be duplicated by other public enterprises of the country; and also, can its working model serve as a building block for sculpting a national corporate/organizational identity?

In this intense era of globalization, coupled with unprecedented technological advancement, having an organizational or corporate culture within our public enterprises is no longer optional to sustain the intense competition that comes as a result to these variables and go toe-to-toe with the time.

Corporate culture In an effort to avoid pitfalls that comes with deeply focusing on definition given that the concept 'Corporate culture' is one of the most overused and thus complicated term, let us settle for acknowledging that it is one of the most important instrument for the success of an organization.

Given its link to culture, it can generate either good or bad outcome for a company whilst also being able to generate motivation, loyalty and responsibility or sense of purpose for organizational values all the same time.

“Corporate” or “organizational culture” is quite complex, says Ashenafi Abera, a Senior Management Consultant at Ethiopian Management Institute. “There are a number of problems and disagreements associated with conceptualization of organizational culture. However, most definitions recognize the importance of shared norms and value that guide the behavior of the participant’s of the organization.” He adds that organizations, like human beings, have their own personalities, and institutional culture is the personalities of organizations with their own set of values.

The concept also indicates the coalesced attitudes, values and behaviors of an organization's management and employees, whilst maintaining a close tie to their respective organization's goals, strategies, structure and approaches to business activities.

Significance of Corporate culture

Following a decade of consistent economic growth, Ethiopia has entered an almost uncharted territory that has brought its own unfamiliar characteristics along with it. One of those elements is the growth of public enterprises, which given the economic importance they have and their place within the grander scheme of Ethiopia's aspiration of entering middle income status, makes them important for the country.

Obviously, making them more effective and up to the times while making sure they stay in sync with the country’s growth is important. This is where ‘corporate’ or ‘organizational' culture can play role.

The role 'organizational culture' has in influencing organizational effectiveness has been echoed and re-echoed at length in many management studies, with success stories of organizations in the developed world being cited to make that case.

With regards to the state of ‘corporate/organizational culture’ in Ethiopia, Ashenafi says that it requires research using 'Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI)' to identify its current state. However, one can deduce that there is a low level corporate culture in Ethiopia while our public enterprises and companies can use some impetus to further augment their effectiveness.

Lessons from Ethiopian

Ethiopian Airlines is lauded by many for its success, for having a world class management style, and add to that a growing brand;. the company is usually mentioned as a benchmark for the country and the continent.

It is deemed a successful enterprise on the basis that it has been profitable for almost the entire time of its existence, for the fact that its customer base is growing from time to time and for having a growing brand and reputation across the continent and global sphere. Even in recent days, the revered 'The Economist' has published a piece on the Airlines where it showered praise on it citing its continuous improvement and competitiveness in the global market even when the aviation industry was having a bad year. Different studies pointed out several factors for the exhibited success of the airline.

On her AAU Thesis paper entitled 'Why Ethiopian Airlines Becomes Successful and what are the Lessons for other Public Companies?' Selamawit Gebregziabher grant the success and profitability of the Airlines to having a culture of continuous improvement, paramount productivity growth, higher market share, among others.

She adds that several factors have contributed for the success of the airline: its working standard, overall system, dedication of workforce, safety trend, state of the art technology, autonomous management, its market strategy, visionary leadership etc

After doing an econometric analysis, she reveals that the major determinant for the success of Ethiopian Airlines are physical capital accumulation and human capital creation, which is the combination of the earlier qualitative determinants with both physical and human capital that has played a significant role for its success.

Ashenafi for his part believes the success of the airline lies in its quality management. He adds that it is not a single factor that makes Ethiopian Airlines a successful enterprise, but rather a combination of several factors, be it its managerial decisions like emphasis on human resource and capacity development, or technical decision like continuous modernization of its fleet and route expansion.

Furthermore, Ashenafi points out the Airline's organizational culture as the key ingredient for its key success, where its market culture is the dominant culture that stirs the organization towards to being more result-oriented and its leaders to being highly competitive. While acknowledging competitive pricing and market leadership as important ingredients, he shared his thought that “Ethiopian Airlines is an organization that focuses on external positioning with a need for stability and control.”

There are other factors that Ashenafi added like the hard work and dedication of its manpower, external partnership, the credibility of its training facility, the utilization of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at organizational level playing a major role for the success of the institutional business.

When talking about how to duplicate this success of an Ethiopian organization at corporate level and how other public enterprises failed to follow the Airline's successful management model elsewhere in its public sector, Ashenafi puts the big part of the blame on lack of leadership commitment and shortage of well-trained manpower. “The main reason for their failure to achieve sustained improvements seems to be because some organizations merely pretended to reform by changing how they looked rather than how they delivered actual services,” he adds.

On her thesis, Selamawit concludes that there are many lessons that public enterprises can earn from the success and experience of Ethiopian Airlines: application of best practice & working standard, overall system development, business specific training, market strategy, human resource development, among others. “Public enterprises should develop working standard and overall system that fits their line of business which then enables them to control factor of production,” she underscored.

She also added that on the part of the government there should be some leeway given to publicly owned enterprises to function autonomously as it might be one factor that might lead to success while the government makes sure that public interest will be meet at the same time.

“However, in order for the government to leave the enterprises independently, they should work hard so that they can persuade the government to leave them free and have an autonomous management.”

They should build their capabilities through public sector capacity building programs so that they can be competitive domestically and internationally given that is the only way they can enhance their performance.

Most importantly, 'organizational culture' can bring a sense of ownership and belongingness within employees and leaders, which would contribute in improving the performance and effectiveness of such enterprises, and stay in proximity with how big companies operate in this age of globalization.

Sculpting national 'corporate' or 'organizational' brand/identity

When speaking of corporate or organizational culture, it is inevitable to upgrade the perspective to national or country level since corporate culture is all about crossing cultures and borders and there will be questions regarding the place organizational culture takes within a whole national culture of a given country. How does corporate practices like communication, protocol of business activities, and decision making play out within a specific country's national cultural values.

In regards to this, the assumption is that corporate/organizational culture is influenced by the home-base or surrounding societal and national culture, where “it is possible to identify differences in organizational behavior among organization in different countries by looking at the characteristics of the societal culture in which the organizations are 'nested'.”

Europeans see performance appraisals as a forward-looking whilst Americans see it as looking-back, and while countries like China/Japan/Korea would never appraise their managers or anyone at a higher level than them, while this may not be the case in other countries.

“Does the corporate culture of Nestlé differ from that of Hershey’s? And if so, is there something inherently Swiss about Nestlé and inherently American about Hershey’s?”, asks Dr. Geert Hofstede, who has done research on the links between corporate practices and national cultural values. He wrote extensively on what he assessed to be the link between societal/national values and 'organizational' culture, where he categorized a matrix based on the variables: collectivist/ individualist societies; masculine/feminine societies, small power distance/large power distance societies and weak or strong uncertainty avoidance societies

Coming to Ethiopia's case, can an already successfully working 'organizational' or 'corporate' culture like that of Ethiopian Airlines be used as benchmark for an Ethiopian national organizational culture? Yes, it can be.

The organization operates at global level and standard whilst maintaining its root and local culture. More than that, the Airline has received recognition and accolade for its Ethiopian flavored African hospitality in its customer service so much so the company was chosen as Service Quality Institute's 'Worldwide Customer Service Leader'. This is a good example of the Airline meshing local culture with global corporate standard to elevate its competitiveness and quality of service in the global market.

In this day and age, companies (and countries as well) will have to learn and master to walk through the very hard line between standardizing their services to the global age and maintaining local responsiveness, and the Airline has an identity that meshes these components very well. It is a model that can at the very least serve as a benchmark for other public enterprises, and as a building block in terms of sculpting Ethiopia's national organizational identity.

 

By ROBEL YOHANNES

 

Published in Development

 

More than 100,000 students are expected to graduate this year from higher education institutes. A number of public universities have already graduated their students from various faculties. Most of the graduates are from science and technology universities and faculties in line with the 30/70 ration between social sciences and the fields of natural and physical sciences.

All of the graduates have prepared research papers or projects as a requirement for their graduation in line with the academic regulations in the institutes. It is wrong to assume that these research papers are meant only to be taken as a “partial fulfillment for a degree.”

The point is, researches by students from institutes of higher learning are not supposed to be conducted for the mere reason of research. Rather, their significance should be weighed in terms of transferring knowledge, and addressing social, economic, political challenges at grass root level.

Research documents are not meant for prolonged shelf life or just for the purpose of statistics. The findings of researches need to be used for shaping and revising government polices and strategies when the need arises.

Every year the government is expending a huge amount of finance on hiring foreign consultants to conduct studies on various development programme`s of the country. To what extent graduates of public and private universities are taking part in such consultancy services (as a means of knowledge transfer) is still a question.

To this end, universities should create a conducive environment for current and prospective graduates to conduct problem solving researches that would benefit the country in all aspects. In this regard, it is crucial to work towards producing highly qualified graduate consultants.

The current graduation season is a nodal point between being a student and getting into the real life of taking responsibilities and a journey towards the accomplishment of one's mission and vision. The challenges of college days will be replaced by other challenges with new dimensions.

The realization of the country's development objectives entirely lies on its younger generation. It is also a time that personal missions and visions are taken into consideration for the overall mission and vision of the nation.

Graduation should also serve as an instrument to an improved livelihood and quality of life. College days are periods of a dress rehearsal for yet another higher level of achievements. New graduates are expected to come up with new ideas and views that could boost the development efforts of the nation whose hope lies on its younger generation. On the other hand, graduating in a specific field does not in any manner mean ceasing to learn and also unlearn.

After graduation, our young graduate to the practical school of life. And this metamorphosis should involve disposing of counterproductive ideas and views that would do a disservice to one's development and the development of the country. Among other things, new graduates need to join a developmental-democratic-minded workforce that detests and fights nepotism, dependency, rent-seeking and shortcut to undeserved benefits.

Graduation is not only about numbers. It is also about quality of service that the youth should offer to their country. For instance, the newly inaugurated industrial parks are in need of qualified manpower that could manage all the sectors in the parks.

Besides that, the country is still short of qualified doctors, engineers, social workers, lawyers that can contribute to its development, which is currently growing in a faster momentum. This could not come out of the blue, but from the exerted efforts of all.

The unemployment rate in Ethiopia is still at a higher level and the government is already conducting multifaceted programmes that targets the youth. In this regard, the current graduates should be part of the process and in seeking alternatives in creating new employment opportunities for themselves and for the rest of the youth.

Indeed, the government may provide substantial vacancies for employment both at the federal and in the regions but cannot accommodate all graduates. New graduates need to think of several options both as their short and long term visions to secure sustained livelihood.

Ethiopia is growing in a much faster pace with the basic ground work well underway for promoting the manufacturing sector. This, unquestionably, requires highly skilled manpower.

Some public universities have entered into agreement with local manufacturing industries a couple of years ago. This strategy was designed in view of establishing a reciprocal relationship between institutions and industries to provide practical technical entrepreneurship for graduating students. As a result, it gives opportunity for prospective graduates to have combined professional skills, theoretical and practical knowledge.

There are a number of missing links between demands in the manufacturing sector and the quality of manpower required. The extent to which the public and private universities are working towards filling the missing links in producing skilled professionals is determinant for the effective and timely fulfillment of the nation’s vision of becoming a middle income country by 2025.

The government has put in place a viable strategy for ascertaining quality education in the country. However, there is more to be done to ensure quality education in educational institutions. Irrefutably, a lot of efforts are being made to bring about quality education in the institutions, including higher level institutions. However, this cannot be accomplished across that board in a single instance.

Reports from the Ministry of Education indicated that 11 public universities will start to enrol new students in the next academic year. This shows the commitments that the government has in reaching out to the nation’s young generation with university education closer to the different zones in the various regions of the country.

Graduates are to be congratulated for completing a chapter in their lives but certainly more is in store for them.

 

BY SOLOMON DIBABA

 

 

Published in Editorial-View-Point
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 21:03

Key decision from the 29th AU Summit

 

Addis Ababa recently hosted the 29th African Union Summit where various decision were adopted. The two days long summit took place at a time where the Continent is faced with challenges amid a rising reputation.

Despite its improving and promising image, still issues of peace and security and signs of poor political and democratic governance continue to be sources of concern for the Continent. The situations in South Sudan, Somalia, Libya, the Central African Republic, the tense relation between Djibouti and Eritrea, and the political situation in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi are some manifestations of this concern. Social and political crisis also remain the major source of concern in the region whilst conflicts and migration are also dragging back the development of the Continent.

Held under the theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in Youth”, the 29th AU Summit recognized the necessity of economic and social development to ensure a prosperous and sustainable future for Africa whilst the significant sustainability of growth in the continent is assumed to continue to improve with a strong spirit and creative dynamism in the times to come ahead.

Currently, the AU is embarking on the extremely ambitious Agenda 2063 side by side to UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. These agendas are key to addressing various issues facing Africa. The challenges of eradicating poverty and achieving inclusive sustainable growth has spurred Africa to pursue rapid and sustainable development and transformation as the only option to transform the Continent.

In addition to the aspired development agenda, building continent-wide democracy is also crucial. As part of the effort made so far on this regard, there is a democratic progress and political transition in Somalia and Gambia as an outcome of the solidarity displayed by the people and countries of the Continent.

At the 34th ordinary session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) of African Union (AU), which was held in the run-up to the 29th AU Summit, reforming the Union's overall structure took centre-stage, with creating an equitable and predictable source of financing for AU being the main agenda. And African leaders attending the summit took further steps toward owning a financially independent African Union (AU).

Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr. Moussa Faki Mahamat on the occasion spoke about the concrete measures taken by Member States in the implementation of the proposal 'Financing of the Union', which directs all African Union member States to implement a 0.2 per cent levy on eligible imports to finance the Union. Some countries have already started implementing the initiative. This initiative is expected to reduce AU's dependency on external funds for its budget.

In addition to the 'Financing of the Union' proposal, various other proposals were adopted at this same summit, which aim at facilitating the realization of 'Agenda 2063' and the 'Africa we want' principles enshrined on the continent's future vision.

The summit discussed and endorsed the implementation of a Master Road map to Silence Guns in Africa by 2020, in a bid to achieve tangible changes in relation to peace and security. As it can be recalled, African Union Heads of State and Government pledged to end all conflicts in Africa by the year 2020 during OAU/AU 50th anniversary. This continental aspiration forms the bedrock of the work of the African Union Peace and Security Council. The 29th summit also discussed the current instability among Djibouti-Eritrea border and considered peacekeeping deployment in the area.

Furthermore, the African Union Commission Department of Trade and Industry is targeting to deliver the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by December this year as the negotiations between Member States are moving in the right direction. The CFTA negotiation was launched in June 2015 at the AU as a key flagship of Agenda 2063 aiming at creating a single and integrated market for Africa inline with the objective of establishing an African Economic Community. The scope of the negotiations cover the liberalization of trade in good and service, competition as well as investment and intellectual property rights. The initiative is expected to transform Africa into major global investment hub by creating a large and harmonized market.

One other notable outcome from the 29th AU Summit was the decision by the Union to erect memorial statues to Emperor Haileselassie and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. This is to properly recognize the aforementioned leaders’ commitment in forming and reforming the OAU/AU and supporting their fellow Africans during hard times. It is also an appreciation for how these leaders advocated Africa’s interests at international arenas and various other Continental forums. This shows how Ethiopia's commitment to the Union is strong and firm regardless of its regime change.

The other decisions passed by the 29th AU Summit to intensify its efforts of reforming the Union and help realize some of the Continent’s pending agendas include youth benefit and economic integration; forming youth corps at continental level and facilitating cultural exchange; and establishing protocol to issue African passports to citizens.

Only a collective approach to implement these decisions will lay the foundation for the realization of the ideals and aspirations of the Continent's future Pan-African vision and the goals enshrined on AU 'Agenda 2063'.

 

 

Published in Editorial-View-Point
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 20:17

Nation strives to protect Cyber-crime

Nation is building reliable cyber security capacity to prevent any attack that it may encounter, said Information Network Security Agency (INSA).

It is building reliable cyber security capacity and systems for various institutions to enable them develop self-assessing capacity and active cyber defense mechanisms.

Sam Keiru is a Cyber Security Specialist for the United Nations of Africa told The Ethiopian Herald that technology is offering people a chance to improve their quality of lives. However, tech related crimes have become a major global threat.

Cyber crime has become one of the greatest threats of the age. So that protecting from very common cyberspace attacks is advisable through shutting all the possible doors and establishing effective security, he said.

An effective cyber security should have simple, open and automated security components. He said adding, “There needs to have prior consideration as 92 percent of the global data center traffic will come from the cloud (Cyber world or space) such as from Skype’s, e-mail, viber, mobile and other digital technological products.”

The specialist recommended that nations should build proper infrastructure to stay vigilant and safe as hackers set up infrastructure to attack their targets.

Senior Cyber Security Expert and Lecturer in the area Dr. Ahmed Hussen on his part said the government, to secure nation from the emerging cyber attacks, has enacted Cyber Crime law.

Ethiopia is late on implementing digital technology which is very crucial for development as it reduces costs through offering efficient and quality services. “However, we need to have a strong regulatory framework,” the expert added.

To this effect he commented “The government should work with intellectuals, academicians and private stakeholders on creating awareness to institutions and the public at large as digitalization is changing the way ofpeople's life even at an individual level.”

Cyber, ifnot managed properly, it causes colossal damages as seen in many countries. “As hackers' target financial and political institutions, as well as infrastructure dismantling activities, their economic cost is massive,” he stated.

“We are novices in terms ofembracing digital structure and other domains such as electronic governance (e-governance).” Many sectors such as the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and other sectors, however, are undergoing a lot ofdevelopments on that regard he said adding that “Ifwe get hacked and data breached, I doubt ifwe have the required skills, procedures and capacities to withstand it.”

The scope ofcyber attack is global as there is no border in the space and the consequence is incalculable. “Therefore, we have to think about security regulations and laws and protection rights before things going out ofhand,” he underscored.

As to him, even though there are threats in the area, in this interconnected world, there is no other alternative other than deploying the technology. in a trusted and reliable way, to withstand emerging attacks, he capitalized.

SpecialAdvisor to ChiefDirector ofINSA Mohamed Endris also explained that high tech investments are important tools to realize various development programs ofthe nation. that it is advantageous to implement the technologies at the earliest.

“The need to promote cyber security strategies, set up legal frameworks, strengthen Public-Private Partnerships cooperation, and develop national capabilities is no longer optional,” the Advisor further elaborated.

In this regard, the government ofEthiopia has given due focus to take the leadership initiative to build strong capacity on the area.

“With the focus to accelerating the required human capital development and fill the gaps of qualified workforce, Cyber Talent Development Institution has become operational.” as he stated.

Moreover, he said Addis Ababa and Mekelle Universities are now offering PhD programs on the subject. “We are building capacity in key infrastructure areas to protect future cyber attacks.”

According to the information from INSA, thousands ofattack trials are made to Ethiopia in every single day. And over the last nine months of the Ethiopian fiscal year alone the national Cyber Defense Force has handled 353 major attacks.

The trials were targeted in the areas ofmega infrastructure projects, websites, denial ofservice and illegal entry to various sectors and others which may probably otherwise have severe consequences.

It was learnt that the legal frameworks such as Telecom Fraud Offence Proclamation, Computer Crime Proclamation, National Spatial Information Technology Policy, Critical Mas Cyber Security Standard, National Information Security Policy have been introduced as part of the legal perspectives.

 

BY YARED GEBREMEDEN

Published in National-News

Swedish Global Clothing Manufacturing Company H&M looks ahead to enter the growing manufacturing sector in Ethiopia, the outgoing Swedish Ambassador Jan Sadek told the local media yesterday.

Following his farewell talks with President Dr. Mulatu Teshome, the Ambassador said Sweden seeks to increase its economic ties with Ethiopia.

He said: a lot of Swedish companies are interested to come to Ethiopia. The global clothing manufacturer, H&M has keen interest to enter the Ethiopian textile industry.

This hopefully will be important in terms of raising hard currency, catalyzing the industrial development of Ethiopia and in creating massive jobs, he underlined.

He further stated that Erickson is proud to be here in Ethiopia in the telecom sector.

Ethiopia has the best quality coffee whereas Sweden is the second biggest coffee importer in the world. Ethiopia's flowers have also large demands in Swedish market. These opportunities further enhance the two countries economic cooperation, according to the Ambassador.

The bilateral relations between the two countries started in the mid-19th century when Swedish Missionaries had come to Ethiopia and expand education and clinics.

Since that time, over 6000 schools have been built in Ethiopia by Swedish initiatives, Ambassador Sadek noted.

The fact that the late athletics legend Abebe Bekila trained by Swedish experts demonstrates the strong historical ties of the two countries, the Ambassador said.

Ethiopia and Sweden have many global issues to hold-on actively including the climate change, migration and global peace and security affairs, Ambassador Sadek mentioned.

“As both Ethiopia and Sweden are currently non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council ( UNSC), it is the right time to act jointly in the global arena to promoting climate smart economy, peace and stability,” he added.

National Palace Protocol Affairs Head Ashebir Getnet noted that the relationship between Ethiopia and Sweden goes back to the 1950s when Sweden experts start to expand education, health and agricultural research.

Currently, the bilateral relationship is hiking to investment and common global concerns, he added.

Swedish government has approved a development cooperation to Ethiopia worth for a billion Krone spanned from 2016-2020, according to Ashebir.

 

BY HAFTU GEBREZGABIHER

Published in National-News

A US - based KKR has invested 200 million USD in floriculture

 

Ethiopia's relation with North American and European countries that has been largely characterized by assistance has transformed to business and development over the past few years, Ethiopian Investment Commission said.

Out of the total 25 billion Birr FDI came from Asian, European and North American countries between mid 2012 and mid 2017, the share of North American and European countries was close to 10 billion Birr, about 40 per cent of the total investment, according to data.

Over the past 10 years Chinese and Indian investment had the lion's share in Ethiopia. Now the situation is changed and flow of North American and European investment has become nearly equivalent to those came from Asia, Mekonnen Hailu, Public Relation Director with the Investment Commission told The Ethiopian Herald.

The year 2012 was the starting point for North American and European to significantly grow investment in Ethiopia and the trend has continued in the subsequent years.

During mid 2012 to mid 2017, some 46 North American investment projects with the combined capital of over 1.9 billion Birr were operational and created job opportunities for over 5,743 citizens in permanent and temporary basis.

North American investment reached the highest stage in 2014 in which 14 projects with 1.2 billion Birr aggregate capital were set to work and created 1,135 jobs.

In the past six years, some 150 European investment projects with the combined capital of 7.9 billion Birr became operational and created 8,336 permanent and temporary jobs.

Meanwhile, European investment hit the highest level in 2012, when 27 projects with a sum total capital of 3.2 billion Birr were fully functional and employed 1,825.

The Director stated that Ethiopia’s fastest economic growth over the past decade changes its relation with the North American and European countries from aid and donation to business and economic partnership.

He said: "The right macroeconomic policies and reforms Ethiopia has put in place over years coupled with the peace and political stability sustained in the country have transformed the relationship from that has been characterized with assistance in to that of trade and investment.’’

Mekonnen noted that efforts of Ethiopian missions in North America and Europe to promote the country’s investment opportunities and encourage investors to involve in its economy is also the contributing factor for the transformation.

The economic analyst Dr. Fikru Deksisa agreed on Mekonnen’s idea. He said the involvement of US flagship companies such as Reykjavik, DuPont and General Electric in Ethiopia’s economy showcased the transformation.

Stating a US company called KKR has invested 200 million USD in cut flower business, Dr. Fikru said the engagement of such big corporates is beneficial for Ethiopia in attracting others to come.

The economic analyst noted that North American investment would have special benefit for Ethiopia’s economy due to its enormous financial and technological potentials.

He said: “North American investment is different from other countries' investment in its reach knowledge and technology package. It introduces us with new way of doing things and will have an immense role in knowledge and technology transfer for Ethiopia.’’

Concerning European investment, Mekonnen said the Continent’s giant companies have been attracted by Ethiopia’s sustainable economic growth, availability of land and abundant labor.

He said: “More investment is coming to Ethiopia by seeing the performance of European companies that are already investing here like Bosch, the German engineering and electronics firm and Diageo, a British company involved in the brewery business as well as Sweden-based Ericsson in the telecom industry. Many European business delegations have also paid frequent visits.’’

Information obtained from Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that during the past few years many European companies came to Ethiopia with significant group of business delegations and undertaken networking with Ethiopian business counterparts.

Due to steady efforts ofall stakeholders to attract investment, the country that has no business with Western world for decades has appeared in the map of North America’s and European investment destinations, Mekonnen said.

Ethiopia’s economic partnership with the western world has not been reached at the desired level compared with the age-long diplomatic and people-to-people ties, according to Dr. Fikru. Mekonnen said the government has built specialized industrial parks across the country that would play a pivotal role in easing the bureaucracy and infrastructural setbacks investors have been encountering.

“The parks would also reduce the ups and downs investors have been facing in the operation phase by providing them with land, sheds and infrastructural facilities and introducing a single electronic window service,’’ the Director added.

Dr. Fikru underscored that Ethiopia’s missions in North American and European countries should extend their efforts to conduct promotional activities and held business forums to attract investors in some priority areas such as energy development, agribusiness, IT and aviation.

He said: ‘’The government is expected to facilitate conditions and designing attractive incentive packages for foreign investors and encourage them to have a meaningful involvement in Ethiopia’s economy.

The incumbent has also furthering its engagement with various stakeholders to enable Ethiopia benefit from the West’s huge financial and technological capabilities, Dr. Fikru recommended.

 

BY BILAL DERSO

 

 

 

 

Published in National-News

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