‘Election Vibe among SFD respondents’

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Many associate elections with violence that may even result in fatalities. Most of the SFD respondents expected problems with the 2021 election of Ethiopia, particularly taking into account the ongoing ethnic based conflicts, the rising tension of neighboring countries and the reported lack of security in some constituencies.

The small firms that participate in the Small Firm Diaries had great concern and worried that the election might create political instability and they were worried for the situation of their business. For instance, some feared their workshops might be damaged. Some of them expected that their customers might have fear of political instability and that this would lead to lower demand. In response to this, several of the SFD respondents reduced their raw material purchase, some of them decreased their production and some others tried to keep their inventories in a safe place.

To give the reader an impression of the expectations and measures that the small firms took, we describe next how three small firms who own carpentry shops prepared for and fared during and after the elections.

Respondent ET532[1] was scared that his customers’ demand might decrease so he reduced his raw material purchase by half during the election week. Indeed his fears came true. The amount of his sales during elections was much lower compared to his previous weekly sales.

Similarly, respondent ET737 was very scared of the election. She believed the election might lead to political instability and her workshop might even burn. To prepare for this, she stored her expensive equipment and some materials which might aggravate the fire in a safe place. She also closed her business premises for two consecutive days after the election. Her workshop was not set on fire, but the precautions were good to take.

ET677 expected his customers might decrease, which indeed happened: by the election his customers were highly reduced. Like other respondents, ET79 also expected political instability after the election. As a result, he closed his business for some days after the elections which further stalled his ability to sell. As a result, his inventories increased. Then he stopped producing for several days until his stocked inventories decreased to the normal level.


[1] Code is given for each respondent to protect their identity