How to Live Smart in Addis Ababa!


In the western world information has a big role in everyday livelihood of a person or business. People are connected beyond reality, in a world where information gets from one part to another in an instant. Economically advanced countries take a broader advantage of the digital medium to source, buy and sell products and services online.

People in Addis, be it local or international, are craving for information too. And the local information centres, if you find any, will not help you because they don’t have anything. Next option is the social-media’s or the internet, that too won’t help, believe me I tried.

But now it seems like Addis is going through some sort of a change regarding information, things are getting momentum and the main goal is to connect the city in a new way.

            ‘As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best Information.’ BENJAMIN DISRAELI

You might ask, So what does this all have to do with the title of this article?

Introducing KimshaCard, One of the momentums in Addis Ababa I mentioned. Now Addis Ababa has its own discount card. It’s been almost a month since it’s been launched and with more than 100 service providers it promises a minimum of 10% discount for its users.



I sat down with the owner and founder of KimshaCard Frezer Abey. An Entrepreneur from United Kingdom, London. Running an advertising and promotion plc. Here in Addis.

Frezer: In the current hard-hitting market, where it has become essential to go through tough market competition, as you know well, advertising is playing an important role enabling businesses to get a significant market share for their products and services.  Addis Ababa is truly booming, and our goal is to connect the city in a new way.

Ethiopia’s recent economic performance has continued to be strong overall, though with some rising domestic and external vulnerabilities. However, inflation has been on the rise, with domestic food prices pushing it above 10%. External vulnerabilities have also increased as exports of goods and services slowed significantly, while imports continued growing fast. (IMF Report September 21, 2015)

Addis Ababa is expensive, compared to other major cities in the world, but some products/services are expensive by any standard. You won’t get much information about this. Its not accurate and it does not have much to work on, but here is a pie-chart to show you general cost of living in Addis Ababa.


Photo of a credit card placed on a tray to pay for a restaurant bill. The card is a mock up designed and printed by myself, all the details including logos and hologram are generic.
Photo of a credit card placed on a tray to pay for a restaurant bill. The card is a mock up designed and printed by myself, all the details including logos and hologram are generic.


Frezer: We want to be the hub for information regarding Addis Ababa and in the future Ethiopia, be it for the local consumer or the international, visiting us here. What we have created is a platform for people to locate, interact (with discount) and give their own comments or reviews on any service/product. This will take time, of cores, but it will build an environment for anyone to get whatever he/she needs form plenty choices of services and products.



Okay so, would KimshaCard help on a daily basis? Yes, there is not much information about what Addis Ababa’s could offer to the people of the city let alone international customers, we need to know where things (services/ Products) are. KimshaCard is a discount card, you pay to be a member, With a 3 month, 6 month and annual package deal. And the cards cost 300-400 birr, for now. Members will exclusively get discounts at service providers like Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, Café etc.

Daily I spend at list 50 birr for lunch average and add a coffee, a soft drink or a beer on it, that gets the total about 70 birr per day, that is about 1820 birr monthly and multiply that by 12 to get my yearly lunch expense. If I have a KimshaCard, we can take the minimum discount they have that is 10%, I will save around 200 birr per month, and that is just lunch! Well I think it would save me a lot of money!

How dose the cared work??

Frezer: Simply put they just show up and present their card at the service providers. As I mentioned before members buy the card, the card is going to have the owners Name and it will work at any of our service providers with in its expiry date. To locate and get information about any Hotels, Restaurants, Café’s, Bars etc. members can use our web-page,, or social-media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram by searching for @KimshaCard or they can use our application on their mobile devices.

My conclusion, with this platform, people will have plenty to choose from and save thus living in Addis the smart way.

What’s the future for KimshaCard??

Frezer:The future is bright, Addis Ababa and in the bigger picture Ethiopia has a lot to give and we want to give chance for people, be it the owners of these services or products or the users (local or international) who don’t get much information about the city. The business has a lot of room to grow and it will.