The article on the poor quality of service in Addis is right on. (Inside Ethiopia’s service providing sector, Dec. 2012). As an expat recently arrived here I went to a local restaurant. After waiting for 15 minutes while the service staff ignored me I left. Finally I figured out what to do. When you go into a restaurant go immediately to the counter where they keep the menus. Pick up a menu, decide what you want and find a waitperson. Tell that person what you want and where you will sit. Go sit down and about 15-20 minutes later your food will arrive. Not all in one piece, but little by little and may be without a napkin or eating utensil. Finally when it comes time to leave there will not be a check. Go to the cashier and tell her what you ordered. Be sure to pay the exact amount as change might not be available.
Thank you for bringing the issue of industrial malfunction in today’s Ethiopia to your esteemed readers (Face to face with institutional injustice, Nov. 2012). However, you have argued that the special attention Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has given to the animal husbandry and meat export business, if your sources are to be trusted, has two shortcomings. I agree with the first, but your second argument is somehow short of details and lacks a good argumentative stand. Nearly a decade ago the late PM Meles Zenawi gave the horticulture/floriculture sector all that this country has as a nation: a fertile land, a generous access to government money, tax break and what have you. The result is an industry that is now one of the three biggest foreign currency earners to the nation. Having been aware of the sector’s immense contribution, the government of Ethiopia has recently made available close to 50, 000 hct of land in various parts of the country for the sector.
I found your lead article of the October edition of your magazine rather interesting. (Hopes ignited die last than shattered soon, Oct. 2012). Following the death of your late PM, Meles Zenawi, your country is undergoing through an exciting period. My expat colleagues and I were very relieved to witness that unlike the doomsday reporting by the media and think-thank organizations such as the International Crisis Group (ICG), the first phase of transition went as smooth as anyone wishes it to be. Your country has a lot going for it. Although it was unfortunate to lose its leader at such a critical period, however sad that may be, party officials who are in charge of running the country must put their differences aside and work hard for the betterment of the country and its people at large. News about the alleged split within the party comes as bad news to the business sector as stability is the only winning point the country has to attract foreign direct investment, no matter how small.