The birr (Amharic: ብር) is the unit of currency in Ethiopia. Before 1976, dollar was the official English translation of birr. Today, it is officially birr in English as well. In 1931, the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I, formally requested that the international community use the name Ethiopia (as it had already been known internally for at least 1,600 years) instead of Abyssinia, and the issuing Bank of Abyssinia also became the Bank of Ethiopia. Thus, the pre-1931 currency could be considered the Abyssinian birr and the post-1931 currency the Ethiopian birr, although it was the same country and the same currency before and after. 186 billion birr were in circulation in 2008 ($14.7 billion or €9.97 billion).
METEC is Ethiopia's largest company -- a sprawling military-run industrial conglomerate that has for years wielded significant influence in the economy and drawn suspicion from some that it is a vehicle for patronage by governing elites.
Opinion - Ethiopia's lackluster achievement in information technology is rarely pointed out. When it comes to policy-making, investment and public opinion, much of the oxygen is devoted to manufacturing.
Opinion - While corruption, nepotism and instability are attributable to Ethiopia's underdevelopment, the inability of successive governments to harness the deeply ingrained conservatism of Ethiopians is a chief cause, writes Ambessaw Assegued.
Awash Insurance has recovered from its profit decline, registering 128.7 million Br in profits from last fiscal year, a 46pc profit increase. The company's dividend per share also rose to 230 Br from 205 Br.