AFRICANGLOBE – The Ethiopian economy has made significant headway in such sectors as infrastructure, energy and agriculture. The East African country hopes to get away from its poverty-stricken image.
When it comes to developing markets in Africa, Ethiopia is a primary competitor. Ethiopia’s economy has grown at an annual 11 percent, which is over double the rate of other nations in Africa. Ethiopia’s expansion efforts attracted investors for long-term business, creating job opportunities for many locals.
Ethiopia Connects To The World
The government relies on loans from the World Bank, China and India to grow the economy. Ethiopia is looking to build a greater bridge to Asia as well. For instance, Ethiopian Airlines, which holds Africa’s largest fleet, offers non-stop flights to such Chinese cities as Shanghai and Beijing on a daily basis. Ethiopia also competes with Kenya Airways for transit from Asia to Africa. A massive airport construction project is underway that will accommodate 100 million travelers a year, and the new airport is being constructed outside of the capital, replacing the old one that has been surrounded by residential areas.
The new airport will also allow Ethiopian Airlines to conduct further business and increase transit capacity for the nation. The focus on international transit is a sign of Ethiopia’s long-term planning, hoping to build from current successes. In addition, officials have fostered road construction projects in parts of the capital, including a $475 million venture designed to upgrade the nation’s rail system to satisfy public transportation demand.
Ethiopia has a long way to go when it comes to getting away from its impoverished past. This perception originally stemmed from the 1980s, when the country underwent a severe famine that garnered support for international aid. However, Ethiopia currently sustains its own food supply, and the government has contributed around 14.7 percent of the country’s spending budget to the agriculture sector for the past decade.
According to Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency, the nation boosted cereal production 45 percent from 2006 to 2014. In addition to becoming self-reliant, Ethiopia commenced a $4.2 billion hydroelectric dam that will generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity, which would not only be Africa’s biggest hydroelectric generator but would allow the nation to export energy throughout the region.
In addition, Ethiopians overcame their differences with Egypt, which almost went to war with Ethiopia in 2011 if the dam disrupted water flow from the Nile River. However, new Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to an agreement that allows Egypt to retain certain energy rights to the dam. With Ethiopia forging closer ties to neighboring countries, combined with the aspiration to foster greater access to Asian markets, Ethiopians have a strong chance of reaching new economic heights.