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Online sales grows by 150 percent

Ethiopian Airlines has invested more than USD 40 million in the past five years on latest ICT technologies to boost online sales.

The airline made the investment to acquire and develop data center, systems and softwares.  The airline digital department has internally developed a mobile application that enabled customers to book a flight, pay and check in using their mobile phones.  Miretab Teklaye, director integrated marketing communication, told The Reporter that Ethiopian has set ICT as the four pillars of the Vision 2025. Fleet, human resource, Network and systems are the four pillars of Vision 2025, the airlines 15 year growth road map.  “We are in the digital era and we are providing our customers seamless operational services using latest communication technologies,” Miretab said. Ethiopian launched the mobile up in 2018 and today has close to one million users. On line sales represents 25 percent of the total sales volume. “Our online sales have grown to 25 percent and plan to increase this figure to 50 percent by 2022,” Miretab said.

“Ethiopian Airlines corporate strategy is to be cost leader by providing global standard service. To be a cost leader one of the drivers is operational excellence that we offer using communication technology,” his added. In Ethiopia the local online sales has reached 40 percent. The mobile APP offers local languages including Amharic, Ormoiffa and Tigrigna. It also offers local payment options. In Ethiopia the airline offers 12 payment options by collaborating with local banks and CBE Birr, M Cash and Hello cash. In Africa Ethiopian offer 35 payment options including Mpesa, Air Tel, MTN and ECO Bank. In China it uses Ali Pay and We Chat. It also provides local payment options in Brazil. “We use localized features. We are providing operational excellence using IT technologies.” The Mobile APP offers 11 foreign languages including English, Italian, French and Portuguese.

The airline digital team is now developing a mobile APP named Feel Addis that enables lay over passengers who stay a night in Addis Ababa to secure their transit visa, hotel voucher and go through the airport. “The lay over passengers can use the APP to see around Addis Ababa. It helps them experience the night life and go out for shopping. We also have a Chat Bot on telegram and messenger called Lucy,” Miretab said.  

“Our every process uses technology-best breed technologies. All the value chain- booking payment, ticketing, checking and immigration process, boarding end to end experience is digitised. We are providing personalised service standard service for all our customers. We are reachable from any part of the world at any time,” he added. According to Miretab, though the airline has the website for many years the growth on desktop is static while the mobile APP utilization is growing fast. “So we are investing a lot to diversify our channels.”

In 2019 Ethiopian made an online sales transaction in Ethiopia worth 12 billion birr out of which is 2.7 billion birr of sales was made through the mobile APP. According to Miretab, the online sales are growing by 130-150 every year.    


A draft real estate development and marketing proclamation will ban foreign investors from selling unfinished property. The draft proclamation that is expected to be tabled to the parliament this year has also put assurances developers give for buyers.

The country does not have a real estate proclamation and at the same time the sector has been vulnerable for cheating and several abuses including significant delay and price hike than the original deal.

Due to lack of formal regulation and preconditions the sector is stated as a risky business deal between developers and clients, while in the past few years some actors who preferred to undertake the construction before selling, comparatively transfer the property in a better time frame and has changed the attitude on the sector.

According to the draft proclamation that Capital secured, local developers are allowed to sell houses with zero construction stage. However it has indicated that the non-Ethiopian investors should finalize the project before sells. The draft proclamation article 8 sub article 2 indicated that the developer should have land deed and construction permit, before starting a registration of clients and collects down payment.

The proclamation article 6 sub article 3 stated that foreign real estate developer will only be registered if it allocates more than USD 20 million in capital and could construct 10,000 houses and of the stated houses 40 percent will be allocated to low income people.

Moreover the foreign real estate developer will get a license if it would cover the foreign currency required for the import of products under the construction period and would not transfer out 60 percent of its profit for 10 years. The draft proclamation has also given a third option for foreign developers to be registered in the sector. It stated that the developer will be registered if it substitutes import materials.

According to article 6 sub article 2 of the proclamation, even though the developer is not Ethiopian but would not transfer its profit from the development to another country will be considered as Ethiopian developer. Developers that would construct more than 50 houses should be registered under the real estate proclamation.

The draft proclamation also indicated that the land allocation for real estate development in cities shall be managed under the lease law. It has also added that plots shall be given on allotment if the developer constructs 10,000 houses in Addis Ababa, develop more than 2,000 houses around a town that have industrial park, or other cities with demands more than 1,000 houses.

It added that special tender will be applicable if the developer develops from 1,000 to 10,000 houses in Addis Ababa, from 500 to 2,000 in industry park areas, and 50 to 1,000 houses in other towns. The proclamation has also forced developers to give assurance for their developments.

Article nine of the proclamation stated that the developer should give assurance and get permit from relevant government office to sell houses. On the draft proclamation only local investors or others that are considered as local investors are allowed to sell houses before the. According to article 9 sub articles 1 local developer should get permission from relevant government body to start sell on unconstructed estates. The relevant body will hold the land deed and other documents until the houses are transferred for clients, according to sub article 2 of the same article.

Sub article 3 has also added that the relevant government body will follow the management of money that is collected from home buyers by the real estate developer, while further regulation will be ratified regarding the release of the money that is deposited on the bank account by buyers. The real estate development proclamation has been under discussion some few years ago but the ratification process did not happen so far. According to the information that Capital obtained from Ministry of Urban Development and Construction the draft proclamation is expected to be approved by the parliament this year.


Once a champion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) attracting to the tune of USD 4.2 billion, Ethiopia’s FDI has slowed to USD 2.5 billion, landing at the lowest amount recorded since 2016, The Reporter has learnt.

According to the Investment Trend Monitor, a report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) launched this week, FDI flows to Ethiopia slowed down to USD 2.5 billion last year from USD 3.2 billion in 2018. In contrast to Ethiopia’s case, East African countries show a growing trend and the region have scored a further growth jump to USD 8.8 billion.

“Flows to Ethiopia, Africa’s fastest growing economy, slowed down by a quarter to USD 2.5 billion. China was the largest investor in Ethiopia in 2019, accounting for 60 percent of newly approved FDI projects,” the report noted.

Back in 2017, Ethiopia has engrossed nearly half of what the East Africa region has received; out of the entire USD 7.6 billion in FDI; with Ethiopia able to absorb USD 3.6 billion. That amount, however, was down by 10 percent from the 2016 figures. Nevertheless, this has made the nation to be atop peers in Africa, only bested by Egypt as the largest recipient in Africa. Back then, Ethiopia was named among the five leading host countries with Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco and Ghana.

However, for three consecutive years, the inflow has declined and currently has reached closer to the bottom of 2016, where the listed inflow was hanging around USD 2.2 billion. In fact, the FDI movement has seen a global decline and UNCTAD reports that 2019 has experienced a flat flow of FDI. However, FDI flows to Africa showed an estimated USD 49 billion, a rise of three percent against the dogged global economic uncertainties.

The report highlighted how Egypt has retained its top position and remains to be the largest FDI recipient in Africa with a five percent increase in inflows to USD 8.5 billion. Like Ethiopia, and Morocco has experienced a sharp decline to USD 2 billion from USD 3.6 billion in 2018.

Source: - https://www.thereporterethiopia.com/article/fdi-inflow-drops-usd-25-bln


Adwa will see the introduction of a new hotel franchise setting foot in Africa with Ethiopia as its first destination. Chinese company, Sunmei International, is opening a five star hotel – Rizti Hotel – in Adwa, Tigray region. The expansion into the African market is not a new venture for the company, Sunmei launched into the continent in 2018 with hopes of opening two major hotel brands – IVY and Rizti – in Africa, with Ethiopia as the first location for both; these brands were created specifically for the African market.

Sunmei International is a joint venture subsidiary of Chinese company, Sunmei Group, with over 10 years in the hospitality business and 5000 hotels in Europe and Asia, the majority of which are in China. This is Sunmei Group’s first step in reaching their goal of building Africa’s largest hotel chain. “Adwa is the first of many locations in Ethiopia that Sunmei hopes to franchise in. The company is currently looking into opening a Rizti franchise in Mekelle, Hawassa and Bahir Dar,” said Eden Tadesse, Sunmei Brand and Marketing Manager. Plans for the hotel are underway, with Sunmei planning to have Rizti sit on 7,000 square meters in Adwa with 203 rooms.

“Our company handles everything related to hotels, design, construction, renovation, decoration, and consultancy and marketing materials, all from China,” said Jack Sun, Sunmei Business Development Manager. A subsidiary of the Sunmei Hotel Group, Rizti Hotel is a 5-6 star hotel; it affiliates art and culture into the travelling experience and aims to provide a sanctuary for global travelers.

The Rizti hotel in Adwa is set to open in a short period of time, Eden announced. The first IVY hotel is also currently under construction, with plans of opening in the next 6 months in Area 22, Addis Ababa. IVY Hotels hold a 3-4 star rating and are designed to be an economic chain hotel with a target market of “business economy”.

The company closely monitors their hotels to make sure they uphold the set standard “If they meet our standard we just do light renovation and decoration, there will be franchise fees they have to pay,” Eden explained. The franchise company is ranked 16th in the world and 5th in Asia. Sunmei Group is looking to expand both IVY and Rizti hotels in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya in the near future.


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