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  • Talking the business of fashion with Ethiopian designer

    Ethiopian craftsmanship is maybe best showed by the nation’s conventional garments that consolidates cotton fabrics with segments of hand-weaved multi-shaded examples. Amid exceptional occasions, for example, weddings, visitors decorate “Habesha” attire as they are alluded to.

    Be that as it may, they are lavish for the vast majority, with a percentage of the priciest pieces of clothing selling for 15,000 Birr (US$730). Furthermore, urban youth who need to stay aware of worldwide style slants likewise pick not to wear conventional dress on standard days.

    Design business visionary Egla Yetnayet Negussie, nonetheless, wants to settle on Habesha garments an ordinary decision. She runs ES Collections, a style business concentrating on joining Ethiopia’s rich social legacy with advanced outlines.

    “My objective clients are the hardest to catch – it is youngsters. On the off chance that you stroll around Addis Ababa you will see garments stores all around. I attempt to emerge by mixing the current in vogue plans with Habesha outlines,” clarifies Negussie.

    An energy for style

    Negussie constantly needed to do style, yet her guardians did not bolster the thought on the grounds that it was not a vast industry in Ethiopia at the time she selected for school. So she majored in advertising in the US. Keeping in mind in school she discovered chances to sharpen her plan aptitudes amid free workshops and courses.

    When she moved back to Ethiopia six years prior, Negussie worked for a film generation organization yet soon quit to concentrate on design.

    “I loved form all the more so began making garments and offering on the web. I got a chance to plan celebrity lane outfits for a film recompenses occasion in Ethiopia and got positive reactions. From that point I started showing myself web portraying and I simply continued onward.”

    ES Collections targets generally the world class and upper-white collar class who “acknowledge hand-made items” notwithstanding the sticker that accompanies it. The organization runs an outlet in Addis Ababa, furthermore stocks its merchandise in stores in the US.

    In any case, changing individuals’ demeanors toward customary garments in Ethiopia has not been simple, says Negussie.

    “I like attempting new stuff and getting my imagination alive my outlines. In any case, offering new thoughts is hard in light of the fact that most clients are more open to purchasing something they have seen some time recently.

    “They are not eager to believe the fashioner’s imagination so it’s difficult to present new stuff and benefit out of it. It needs a great deal of devotion.”

    She notes imagination is additionally a major foe right now in light of the fact that individuals have a tendency to duplicate plans and repeat them at lower costs. Yet, the difficulties confronted in Ethiopia are justified regardless of the increases, says Negussie.

    “Doing this business in America is unbelievable. The business for style outline is immense and my space there would be little. Yet, here in Ethiopia I can really develop my business. In the US I would work to profit to pay my bills – and that is it. Here I began from the base, however I have a chance to make it to the top and carry on with an existence that is past paying my bills.”

    Troubles returning home

    Negussie says she was roused to return home by circumstances opening up in the nation. She additionally would not like to be similar to some of Africa’s diaspora who continue looking at “going home sometime in the not so distant future”.

    On the other hand, fitting into the workplace in Ethiopia was difficult.

    “I exited here when I was in secondary school so I began my grown-up life in the US. I became acclimated to the American way of life. I attended a university there, learnt how to drive there, landed my first paid position there and everything else that you do as a grown-up. When I returned it felt like an abnormal area at first,” she reviews.

    Negussie says her greatest battle was adjusting to the idea of time in Ethiopia. In the US she once got let go for being five minutes late to labor for two continuous days. So she aced keeping due dates. She trusts absence of appreciation for due dates could be an obstruction to the achievement of Ethiopian design in the worldwide business sector.

    “In the western world they have a considerable measure of admiration for hand-made items. I used to purchase carefully assembled scarves for $40 every while the normal scarves would offer for $5. However, so as to take our ability to the universal business, we need to buckle down and we need to regard time.”

     source: shaybuna


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  • Ethiopia ranks high in foreign investment attraction

    Ethiopia ranks high in foreign investment attraction 


    South Africa based investment bank graded the top 10 African countries with "dynamic" performance in attracting foreign direct investment.

    According to the report by Rand Merchant Bank, the first ranking South Africa led Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria, Rwanda and Tanzania.

    The survey analyzed variables such as market size or Gross Domestic Product (GDP), economic growth (GDP growth forecasts over the next five years), and an operating environment index to gauge performance.

    "Rwanda and Ethiopia are the most unexpected countries in the top 10, but both deserve their elevated status. 
    Rwanda's rating reflects the excellent reforms of the past decade and Ethiopia's reflects its sheer size and phenomenal growth rates," said the report.
    Source: Globaltimes


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    Injera-1.jpgSANTIAGO URQUIJO

    The spongy, sourdough-like flatbread made from the iron-rich teff grain, called injera, is a national dish in Ethiopia. When eating, small pieces ofthe injera are torn off and used to grasp the stews served upon it.

    I’m not quite hooked on the stuff, but sometimes I’ve got to have it. On any given day in my diaspora life, I’ll be stunned into compliance and stop at an Ethiopian store to buy mixed-flour injera prepared in Canada, or splurge for the real deal: a sealed bag of pure teff injera, imported from Ethiopia.

    Unsealed, it frees a waft of subtle aroma, transporting me instantly to my grandmother’s kitchen. When she lifts the lid of her mitad, a billowing cloud of nutty steam envelops us before revealing a perfectly round sheet of spongy, thin injera. Blinking with its thousand “eyes,” the sour bread begs to be peeled off the scalding clay, cooled on a wicker sefed woven to size, and then draped over a wide-mouthedmesob basket.

    Nowadays, grandma’s kitchen is a registered business named after her and one of her daughters, who manages day-to-day operations. Equipped with four mitad, Yimegnushal & Yeshi Injera sells the desired floppy, feather-light sheets to area residents and small merchants. Larger bakeries ship injera by the thousands to members of the diaspora, for whom making pure teff injera remains a losing battle — a situation not helped by the fact that, due to rising international demand, the teff grain (injera’s only ingredient besides water) is banned from leaving the country.

    Injera-2.jpgERIC LAFFORGUE

    Teff was exclusive to its native Ethiopian Highlands for millennia, thanks to geographic and cultural isolation. According to folklore from the Aksum region, where teff has been cultivated since between 4,000 and 1,000 B.C., the ancient Ethiopians’ king and god was a dragon whose descendants ruled for centuries, exacting terrible tributes, until a northerner named Gebgebo trapped the ruling dragon and split its head with an axe. On the spot where the blood spilled, the first teff plant grew.

    That teff wasn’t named after the dragon-slayer is probably due to its size. Referring to the smallest grain in the world, early farmers must have said “teffa” (“it is lost,” in Amharic) so often that the word became synonymous with the grain. Of the 350 species of lovegrass — the plant genus to which teff belongs — only teff is cultivated for food, using an old method of scattering handfuls of seed over moist loose soil. Six months later, after the backbreaking harvest work of stalk drying, threshing by man and beast, and manual winnowing is complete, the grain is ground whole for transforming into injera.

    Injera-3.jpgPHIL DE JONG JR / JGM


    At Yimegnushal & Yeshi’s, every day is injera day. Tall blue barrels containing injera batter at different stages testify to the subtle, days-long alchemy of fermenting and diluting a basic mixture of teff flour and water to foamy readiness for baking. Each morning, preheated mitads (clay-topped griddles) await, polished with a dusting of ground cabbage seed to prevent sticking.

    So high is the current demand for injera that the teff yield from more than 6 million farmers barely meets local, much less diaspora, needs — and certainly not that of the new global market, following the discovery of teff’s gluten-free, ancient-grain status. To prevent domestic shortage and inflated prices from so much of the nutrient-rich grain leaving the country, the government in 2006 put a stop to exports of raw teff grain, at least until production can catch up.*

    Foreign interest in teff dates to the 1800s, but mass cultivation abroad began in the 1980s in Idaho with Wayne Carlson, a former Peace Corps volunteer to Ethiopia. His company, Maskal Teff, is the oldest among farms in at least 25 states across the United States. Smaller teff farms also exist in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Australia to supply teff to health-conscious foodies, the gluten intolerant, and injera addicts worldwide.

    Despite this, the grain remains an “orphan crop” — one that is under-researched and underfunded due to its regional rather than global importance — according to Ayele Gebreamlak Ayetenfisu, the director of the Teff and Rice Value Chain at Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency. Since 2011, the ATA been tasked with raising the sector’s productivity to meet local demand and then compete globally.

    Injera-4.jpgRYAN KILPATRICK

    Growth controlled by teff’s ancestral custodians prevents loss of genetic varieties of the grain, and the royalties from capitalizing on such, to foreign interests. One focus area of the ATA is transitioning farmers, the original teff production experts, to row planting: a more methodical, economical joining of seed and land than traditional scattering. Sample results having shown a voluminous, robust crop, and expanded rollout is planned. Eventually, says Ayele, Ethiopia can produce a surplus for its own international brand of teff-based products.

    In Ethiopia’s current market, however, teff is so expensive that the traditional grading system — magna (white), sergegna (mixed) and key (brown), of which magna used to be the most expensive — has been modified to include a new fourth grade, liyu magna(very white), in the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange.

    Yet the injera business remains hot. Gone are the days when counting injera was taboo and buying from outside considered shameful. Urbanites buy by the piece for reasons ranging from tiny condos, a culture of convenience, or the inability to afford bulk teff. Universities, hotels and resorts contract out the work. Part-time bakers can gross 20,000 birr monthly (nearly US$1,000), while big players like Mama Fresh sell at prepaid dollar prices to the lucrative Ethiopian diaspora market where, thanks to Ethiopian Airlines’ numerous daily direct flights, fresh injera reaches the same day it leaves the mitad.

    In Toronto, Ethiopian shop owner Desta sells many brands of mixed-flour injera — teff cut with buckwheat, barley, wheat or fenugreek — that are delivered to his store by independent distributors, alongside pure teff injera imported weekly from his Addis supplier.

    Nunu, owner of the eponymous restaurant in Toronto, offers Desta’s pure teff injera to customers as an extra-cost substitution to her in-house mixed-flour injera. She remembers when the mystery of making pure teff injera in the West was suffered communally among early immigrants, who made do with self-rising flour, using frying pans or early-model U.S.-made mitads with faulty wiring.

    “We would end up with something that was injera only in name. But now, we have injera,” she says, having arrived at a workable recipe and the Wass Mitad, 15 years in the making by Washington, D.C.–based engineer Wassie Mulugeta. And yet, the quest for pure teff injera made in the West continues. Nunu’s husband, Chris, recently consulted gluten experts in academia about why it is so impossible to duplicate, to no avail.


    Years ago, Desta imported pure teff injera only for a few older, diabetic Ethiopian immigrants. Today, he brings 2,000 pieces weekly, but customers haven’t all caught on. “People have become addicted to the mixed-flour injera because it has sugar and salt,” he says. “It is hard to go back to that pure sour taste. The older people age 40 and up will eat nothing but the original, but the kids won’t touch it.”

    For Nunu, like most, it’s a bit of both. She savors the taste of pure teff injera but gets heartburn if she eats it constantly. Another common complaint, says distributor Adisalem of Tenama Injera, is that it is thin as lace, hardly filling. Asefa of Zemen Injera is troubled by how easily teff injera spoils and is discarded due to improper refrigeration.

    Distributors have it hard. Kalkidan Bekele, a 17-year veteran laments, “The business is very moody. Even the weather can make the day’s batch unfit to distribute.” And while many urbanites in Ethiopia have become perfectly at ease with buying their injera from stores, diaspora customers distrust too-perfect commercial mixed-flour injera. Because of how hard it is to get such a result, folks suspect the use of secret ingredients by commercial bakers — including, as Washington, D.C., rumor once had it, even pharmaceuticals.

    The majority of diaspora eat homemade injera, using closely-guarded recipes achieved after years of trial and error. Even then, though, results fluctuate due to altitude, water, baking surface, teff variety and secondary flour. Many have long accepted that there has to be some mystery factor yet to be identified, because the injera hardly ever comes out the same way twice.


    But for those who love it, no effort is too much. Going without simply cannot be done. “Like asking Indians to give up rice,” says Desta, whose customers come from even the Yukon to stock up. A resident of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area, who drives 30 miles for injera, says, “When I am really hungry and am desperate for food, it is the first type of food that pops into my mind.” Another adds, “I once craved firfir (injera scrambled with stew) early in the morning but didn’t have injera at home. I drove around for an hour trying to find an Ethiopian grocery store that opened earlier than 9 a.m. I didn’t find one, so I waited outside of one until it opened.”

    Whenever my own injera mood strikes, I find myself wishing I had paid attention on childhood injera days, and I resolve to memorize everything that goes on in grandma’s kitchen next time I’m in Ethiopia. But she won’t hear of it, saying, “Why exhaust yourself attempting the impossible and unnecessary?” After all, in the grand injera chain of being, everyone has a role — and mine is eating.

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  • Third Time’s the Charm: Kuriftu’s New Adama Getaway

    Boston Kuriftu recently opened its 3rd resort in Adama in April. This resort is intended to change the family weekend hangout spot lacking in the town. The Eminence attended the opening ceremony and witnessed what it had to offer.

    They call Adama (Nazareth) the beauty in the rift valley. Adama gets the name from its low land natural landscape and an urban taste that separates it from other towns that make up Ethiopia. In addition, Adama is known to be a popular weekend destination for tourist as well as a common place to hold various conferences and meetings, making the town a prevalent tourist attraction. This has led to a growing interest from investors who are eager to advance Adama in the hospitality sector and expand its hotels and recreation centers.
    Regardless of the major investments taking place in Adama, one major critique is that since a lot of major meetings and conferences take place in the town, many of the hotels and recreational centers being built focus solely on business conference tourism. It is clear that though the sector is booming, there are few alternative places where families can spend their weekends and meet their vacation and travel needs.
    That is what owner and CEO of Boston Partners PLC, Tadiyos Getachew, noticed during his stay in Adama. This motivated him to give the town what he thought was lacking, a major family tourist attraction where families can find something to enjoy during their stay.

    Tadiyos is an entrepreneur who was a former hairdresser in Boston, Masachusetts. He owned multiple beauty salons in the city, leading him to become an expert in the business. In 2002, he came back to Ethiopia and started Boston Day Spa in Addis Ababa. The first office was located in Bole. Since he lived in Boston for 19 years, he wanted to incorporate the vibe of the city to his company. Kuriftu is now joining the multiple Boston lodges and spas that Getachew has in cities across Ethiopia like Debre Zeit and Bahirdar. Tadiyos came up with the idea of creating the new Kuriftu lodge so he could add something new and different to Adama. Though Adama has been a popular tourist site for years, he wanted to give it a spice of family flavor suitable for conducting events like weddings, honeymoons and family vacations. He believes that building this type of lodge will give Adama a chance to attract more travelers and families from nearby cities and other parts of the country.

    Getachew took on this project of creating a family weekend lodge by renovating Maya Hotel, one of the town’s international hotels, and turning it into Kuriftu. Getachew signed a 15-year rental agreement with the previous owners of the Hotel and began implementing his development plans in June 2014. According to Tadiyos the renovation project of Kuriftuwas divided into three phases of remodeling. The phases of his remodeling plans include giving the resort a more local taste and adding different accommodations for the enjoyment of tourists like children’s playground, professional spa, poolside luxury cabanas, an international standard bar and a complete restructuring of the rooms.

    After six month of working on the project with a budget of 15 million ETB, the first phase of renovation was completed and Kuriftu of Nazareth Adama threw its opening party this past April.
    With the building of the new expressway from Addis Ababa to Adama, travelers from the capital city are able to move at a speed of 120 km/hour and arrive at Adama within 40 minutes. Adama has a hot and humid climate that may feel strange to someone traveling from Addis Ababa, but it makes the location ideal for a summer-like vacation stay. At the opening celebration of Kuriftu, the Marketing manager of the resort, Michael Tesfaye, welcomed everyone with a warm smile and great hospitality. The bell boys took the guests’ luggage and directed them to the reception desk to retrieve their room keys.
    The rooms were spacious with bright lighting from large glass double doors that led to the room’s balcony. The room included amenities like a small refrigerator stocked with cold water, a flat screen television, comfortable bed, and a shower with hot running water. Michael explained that there is still remodeling that needs to be done to the rooms, which will occur in phase two of the renovation project and that around a quarter of the rooms were restructured in the first phase of the lodge’s alterations. Regardless, the rooms were impressive and comfortable when The Eminence visited.

    If you have seen the previous hotel, then the changes Getachew has made in creating Kuriftu Lodge are very apparent.When entering the outdoor pool area, the view you experience is reminiscent of a classy resort you see abroad in a western country. The tables in the The tables in the outdoor lounge were set up under large and magnificent trees full of red and orange blossoms, which served as great shade that invited cool and breezy air. The outdoor pool was glistening and along the side of the swimming area were cabanas artistically sculpted of wood and covered with white linen drapes so guests can enjoy shade from the heat penetrating from the Adama sun. Underneath the cabanas were wooden benches covered with soft white mattresses and decorated with pillows made up of bright pinks, greens, and reds. By the left side of the pool was a dining hall that had cultural touches like a large roof made out of dried grass, which also worked to minimize the heat from the hot weather.


    On the other side of the pool was a stretch bar and huge wine selection that took up the entire wall. There were chairs along the bar that extends to the other end of the pool area. The infusion of cultural items served as a nice touch with chairs made of leather and wood that were intentionally selected to resemble traditional Ethiopian furniture pieces.

    The food selection at Kuriftu offers a wide variety that ranges from local to foreign dishes. Even though the dishes tasted delicious, the breakfast tables were setup under the big trees around the pool, leading to leaves and sticks from above falling on to plates and trays of food. Regardless, there was also quick service and the smile the waiters provided made guests feel welcomed.
    Michael shared the renovation plans and the new things Boston added in its remodeling. He explained there are 96 rooms available in the lodge and in the first phase of the project 22 of them are fully restructured. These changes include Boston adding cultural taste and class to the rooms. He said they have not yet set fixed prices to the rooms, but they are committed to making them affordable to foreign travelers as well as locals.

    Next, he presented the resting areas of the lodge. The area’s look was relaxing and designed for a family looking to enjoy a day of resting and chatting. There was not much change to the indoor dining area, which Michael later explained is part of the second phase of the renovation project. Michael also mentioned that Kuriftu included a large parking area so guests and customers would not have to worry about parking.
    As a whole Kuriftu Adama is a pleasant place for a family as well as other groups looking to enjoy themselves. It is great that these alternative family hangout spots are growing in the country. It also is a great way to bring revenue to the country through expanding the development of the tourism and hospitality sector.

    Source :http://theeminencemagazine.com/

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  • Haile becomes Total Ambassador

    The veteran and world-acclaimed runner Haile Gebreselassie has signed a three years partnership contract to maintain Total’s brand awareness in Ethiopia. “For me it is an honor to become the ambassador of total because Total is very well known and is always dedicated, associated with best quality and performance,’’ Haile praised Total’s brand at the signing ceremony. The former Total Ethiopia Managing Director Marc de Lataillade is also
    replaced by Lassina Toure.

    source : Capital

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