Ethiopia - The largest economy in East and Central Africa

Ethiopia is tackling political reforms.
Ethiopia has a new young head of government who is expected to carry out political reforms and further economic recovery. Ethiopia is already one of the few real investment destinations in Africa and can score with industrial parks and cheap electricity. Ethiopia also brings people out of poverty like no other East African country.

Ethiopia shines with its economic policy: Industry and the services sector are making progress.
According to forecasts by the British Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the Ethiopian fiscal year 2017/18 (July 8 to July 7) is expected to reach 7.6 percent and real GDP growth between 7.8 and 10.0 percent for 2019 to 2023. This is a success, since on average only half of this figure is likely to be achieved in sub-Saharan Africa, and Ethiopia is the undisputed leader in East Africa anyway. The service sector is developing at least as well as industry, benefiting from the demand of a population of over 100 million, which has been almost completely undersupplied, and from prospering tourism.

Ethiopia will benefit from rising international food prices.
In the coming years, Ethiopia, as an agricultural exporter, will benefit above all from rising international food prices. An expansion of the road network and the development of marketing structures make increasing exports possible. The Ethiopian government's efforts to commercialise traditional subsistence agriculture are already paying off. Even more dynamic is the industry, which can benefit from the improved power supply and new industrial parks with which Ethiopia wants to become Africa's leading industrial manufacturer. 
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Economic data

  • One of the fastest growing economies in the world
  • Largest economy in East and Central Africa
  • 6 to 10% economic growth between 2004 and 2020
  • Forecast of real GDP growth between 7.8 and 10.0% between 2019 and 2023 (EIU) 


  • 109 million (World Bank for 2018)
  • 27th largest country in the world
  • 2nd most populous nation in Africa and the 12th most populous country in the world
  • Most populous landlocked country in the world
  • Ethiopia is a multilingual nation
  • Some of the oldest evidence for anatomically modern humans has been found in Ethiopia, which is widely considered the region from which Homo sapiens first set out for the Middle East and points beyond 


  • Ethiopia wants to achieve middle-income status by 2025
  • Ethiopia is a land of natural contrasts, with its vast fertile West, jungles, and numerous rivers, the world‘s hottest settlement of Dallol in its north, Africa‘s largest continuous mountain. ranges and the largest cave in Africa at Sof Omar
  • Ethiopia has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa
  • Ethiopia‘s ancient Ge‘ez script, also known as Ethiopic, is one of the oldest alphabets still in use in the world
  • A slight majority of the population adheres to Christianity (mainly the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Pentay), while around a third follows Islam (primarily the Sunni denomination) 

General opportunities

  • Rain-fed agriculture (accounting for almost 50% of GDP) remains Ethiopia’s main source of employment and export earnings
  • Ethiopia is one of the founding members of the UN, the Group of 24 (G-24), the Non-Aligned Movement, G-77 and the Organisation of African Unity, with Addis Ababa serving as the headquarters of the African Union, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the UNECA, African Aviation Training HQ, the African Standby Force and much of global NGOs focused on Africa 

Opportunities in the agrofood industry

  • Ethiopia is the origin of the coffee bean. With an annual production exceeding 380,000 t,  the country is the largest coffee producer in Africa and the 5th largest in the world
  • Ten sugar cane factories are at the planning stage. Once they start their production, Ethiopia should develop into one of the ten biggest exporters of sugar cane in the world

GDP (Billion US $)

GDP (change in %, real)