6 – 13 May 2019, Addis Ababa – Ethiopia
Int’l Expo for Food, Beverage, Agriculture, Energy Drinks, Can Food, Irrigation, water systems & Purification, Raw Materials, Kitchen & Hotel Equipment, Dairy products, Catering, FMCG products & machinery
With a population of approximately 120 million and an annual population growth rate of about 4.50 percent, Ethiopia is the third most populous country in Africa, after Nigeria and Egypt. Land area is 1.14 million square kilometers (423,828 square miles). With a per capita income in 2002 of roughly $90, however, Ethiopia ranks among the poorest countries in the world. Despite its poverty, Ethiopia has been among the top ten markets in sub-Saharan Africa over the last several years, due primarily to airplane exports. U.S. exports to Ethiopia in 2002 were $60 million.
The agricultural sector, consisting mostly of small holdings, accounts for about 45 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, 85 percent of total employment, and more than 80 percent of merchandise exports
As a land-locked country, Ethiopia relies on the port of Djibouti for nearly all of its trade, although it is exploring the use of alternative seaports in Sudan, Kenya, and Somaliland. Ethiopia’s primary exports are coffee, chat, hides and skins, sesame seeds, pulses, live animals, honey and beeswax, spices, natural gum, fruits and vegetables. Coffee is by far the most important export commodity, constituting between 40-50 percent of exports by value. The country’s main imports include motor vehicles, petroleum products, civil and military aircraft, spare parts, construction equipment, medical and pharmaceutical products, agricultural and industrial chemicals, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, irrigation equipment, and food grains. The major manufacturing sub-sectors in Ethiopia are food processing, beverages, textiles, clothing, and leather goods.
Since the early 1990s, Ethiopia has pursued a market-oriented economic development strategy and focused on agricultural development as the catalyst for economic growth. It has eliminated discriminatory tax, credit, and foreign trade treatment of the private sector and tried to simplify bureaucratic regulations and procedures. Ethiopia’s reform program has achieved some success in stabilizing the economy and aiding the transition to a free market system. From 1998-2002, the country achieved an annual average economic growth rate of about 4.2% and annual inflation rate averaged – 0.4%. In FY 2003, GDP is expected to fall by 3.8% with agricultural output falling by 12.2% due to the drought.
Government budget deficit before donor grants was about 14% of GDP in FY 2001/02. External sources, particularly external borrowing and counterpart funds financed about 89% of the deficit. The Ethiopian Government approved a budget of $2.24 billion for FY2003/04, of which $919 million is for recurrent expenditures, $628 million for capital expenditures and $698 million for subsidy to the regions. Some 64% or $1.43 billion of the budget is expected to be secured from domestic sources ($1.27 billion from internal revenues and $160 million from domestic borrowing) and the remaining $810 million from foreign loans and grants (the exchange rate is Birr 8.61 to $1.00 as of September 2003).
The new peace agreement with Eritrea has improved Ethiopia’s relations with the international financial institutions and other donors. In May 2003, the World Bank approved a $1.5 billion loan for undertaking various development projects to be implemented under the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), while the African Development Bank granted Ethiopia $200 million for the same purpose. The funds would be used during 2003 – 2005 for food security, rural development, capacity building, infrastructure development activities and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Similarly, the EU has allocated over 500 million Euros (about $570 million) towards the development of infrastructure, food security and capacity building projects between 2002 and 2007.
Foreign investors find Ethiopia a difficult environment in which to operate. Many sectors, particularly in services and trade, are off-limits to foreigners. The government retains rigid control over the utilities sector and prohibits foreign participation in banking and insurance. Land cannot be purchased or sold, but can be leased. Government procedures and paperwork are usually complicated and time-consuming. The commercial code is antiquated and the under-staffed judicial system is inadequate. The transportation and telecommunications systems, especially internet service, are fair to poor. Despite a relatively well-educated labor force, there are shortages in highly skilled professions and proficiency in the English language is not universal.
In the short to medium term, Ethiopia’s economic performance will depend on its ability to continuously improve the business environment for the private sector, further liberalize the economy – particularly in the financial and telecommunications sectors, attract foreign investments, speed-up the privatization process, streamline the bureaucracy and maintain political stability. Other factors such as favorable weather conditions and external market situations will also play an important role over the coming years.
Facts & Figures
President: Mulatu Teshome
Prime Minister: Abiy Ahmed (2018)
Land area: 426,400 mi²
Population: 120 Million
Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Addis Ababa
Monetary unit: Birr
Ethiopia is in east-central Africa, bordered on the west by the Sudan, the east by Somalia and Djibouti, the south by Kenya, and the northeast by Eritrea. It has several high mountains, the highest of which is Ras Dashan at 15,158 ft (4,620 m). The Blue Nile, or Abbai, rises in the northwest and flows in a great semicircle before entering the Sudan. Its chief reservoir, Lake Tana, lies in the northwest.
Archeologists have found the oldest known human ancestors in Ethiopia, including Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba (c. 5.8�5.2 million years old) and Australopithecus anamensis (c. 4.2 million years old). Originally called Abyssinia, Ethiopia is sub-Saharan Africa’s oldest state, and its Solomonic dynasty claims descent from King Menelik I, traditionally believed to have been the son of the queen of Sheba and King Solomon. The current nation is a consolidation of smaller kingdoms that owed feudal allegiance to the Ethiopian emperor.
Hamitic peoples migrated to Ethiopia from Asia Minor in prehistoric times. Semitic traders from Arabia penetrated the region in the 7th century B.C. Its Red Sea ports were important to the Roman and Byzantine Empires. Coptic Christianity was brought to the region in A.D. 341, and a variant of it became Ethiopia’s state religion. Ancient Ethiopia reached its peak in the 5th century, then was isolated by the rise of Islam and weakened by feudal wars.
Modern Ethiopia emerged under Emperor Menelik II, who established its independence by routing an Italian invasion in 1896. He expanded Ethiopia by conquest. Disorders that followed Menelik’s death brought his daughter to the throne in 1917, with his cousin, Tafari Makonnen, as regent and heir apparent. When the empress died in 1930, Tafari was crowned Emperor Haile Selassie I.
Haile Selassie, called the �Lion of Judah,� outlawed slavery and tried to centralize his scattered realm, in which 70 languages were spoken. In 1931, he created a constitution, revised in 1955, that called for a parliament with an appointed senate, an elected chamber of deputies, and a system of courts. But basic power remained with the emperor.
Fascist Italy invaded Ethiopia on Oct. 3, 1935, forcing Haile Selassie into exile in May 1936. Ethiopia was annexed to Eritrea, then an Italian colony, and to Italian Somaliland, forming Italian East Africa. In 1941, British troops routed the Italians, and Haile Selassie returned to Addis Ababa. In 1952, Eritrea was incorporated into Ethiopia.
More Facts & Figures
National name: Ityop’iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik
Current government officials
Languages: Amharic, Tigrigna, Orominga, Guaragigna, Somali, Arabic, English, over 70 others
Ethnicity/race: Oromo 40%, Amhara and Tigrean 32%, Sidamo 9%, Shankella 6%, Somali 6%, Afar 4%, Gurage 2%, other 1%
National Holiday: Independence Day, May 28
Religions: Islam 45%�50%, Ethiopian Orthodox 35%�40%, animist 12%, other 3%�8%
Literacy rate: 43% (2003 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $62.19 billion; per capita $800. Real growth rate: 11.4%. Inflation: 17%. Unemployment: n.a. Arable land: 10%. Agriculture: cereals, pulses, coffee, oilseed, cotton, sugarcane, potatoes, qat, cut flowers; hides, cattle, sheep, goats; fish. Labor force: 27.27 million (1999); agriculture and animal husbandry 80%, government and services 12%, industry and construction 8% (1985). Industries: food processing, beverages, textiles, leather, chemicals, metals processing, cement. Natural resources: small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower. Exports: $1.2 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.): coffee, qat, gold, leather products, live animals, oilseeds. Imports: $4.54 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.): food and live animals, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, machinery, motor vehicles, cereals, textiles. Major trading partners: Djibouti, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, U.S., UK, Italy, India, China (2006).
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 725,000 (2006); mobile cellular: 866,700 (2006). Radio broadcast stations: AM 8, FM 0, shortwave 1 (2001). Television broadcast stations: 1 plus 24 repeaters (2002). Internet hosts: 89 (2007). Internet users: 164,000 (2005).
Transportation: Railways: total: 699 km (Ethiopian segment of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railroad) (2006). Highways: total: 36,469 km ; paved: 6,980 km; unpaved: 29,489 km (2004). Ports and harbors: Ethiopia is landlocked and has used ports of Assab and Massawa in Eritrea and port of Djibouti. Airports: 84 (2007).
International disputes: Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by the 2002 Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission’s (EEBC) delimitation decision, but despite international intervention, mutual animosities, accusations and armed posturing prevail, preventing demarcation; Ethiopia refuses to withdraw to the delimited boundary until technical errors made by the EEBC that ignored ‘human geography’ are addressed, including the award of Badme, the focus of the 1998-2000 war; Eritrea insists that the EEBC decision be implemented immediately without modifications; Ethiopia has only an administrative line and no international border with the Oromo region of southern Somalia where it maintains alliances with local clans in opposition to the unrecognized Somali Interim Government in Mogadishu; ‘Somaliland’ secessionists provide port facilities and trade ties to landlocked Ethiopia; the UNHCR expects most of the remaining 23,000 Somali refugees in Ethiopia to be repatriated in 2005; efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Sudan have been delayed by civil war. Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia and routed Islamist Courts from Mogadishu in January 2007.
Ethiopia can claim some of the highest and most stunning places on the African continent, such as the jaggedly carved Simien Mountains, and some of the lowest, such as the Danakil Depression, with its sulphur fumaroles and lunar-like landscape. It is also one of Africa’s greatest cultural destinations with no fewer than eight UNESCO World Heritage sites including the mystical rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.
Ethiopia is the only country in Africa never to have been fully colonised (with the exception of a five-year occupation by Mussolini’s Italy) and so retains a unique culture, has its own script and language (Amharic) and maintains a strong sense of national identity. Years of totalitarian abuse at the hands of the Derg socialist military regime (1974-1991), drought, famine and continuing border disputes with Eritrea have taken their toll, but Ethiopia survives as an ancient and fascinating destination.
When to go
The great news is sunshine is virtually guaranteed. There is a rainy season between the middle of June and the end of September, but for the rest of the year clear skies reign – temperatures never generally rising above the late twenties. Only on the lowland edges of western, eastern and southern Ethiopia can temperatures creep above 30�C.