Ethiopia has long been considered the “Capital of Africa”—the only country on the continent to avoid colonization and permanent host to the headquarters of the African Union. It also boasts Africa’s second largest population of 90 million consumers.
In 1991, Ethiopia emerged from a decade of corroding Marxist rule and began a remarkable process of economic, social, and political reclamation. Today, Ethiopia has emerged as one of the continent’s most exciting new markets, boasting the fastest growing non-energy-based economy in Africa, growing at an average annual rate of 11 percent GDP in recent years.
Schulze Global believes Ethiopia is a strong and stable country, with a young and robust private sector led by a government that supports private entrepreneurship and is committed to fostering economic growth. Schulze Global also sees Ethiopia as an emerging economic capital for the region, eventually leading the way in industrial growth, international trade, and global integration for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. Schulze Global’s optimism is supported by the IMF’s projection of Ethiopia as the 3rd fastest growing economy in from 2011 through 2015, trailing only China and India. With continued market reforms, global integration, and pro-business reforms, Ethiopia is positioned for many more years of rapid growth.
As a member of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific States trade bloc, and beneficiary of the European Union’s “Everything But Arms” preferential trade regime, Ethiopia’s exports have quota and tariff-free access to the European Union, as well as similar benefits to the United States under the provisions of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
Ethiopia boasts an array of opportunities untapped by foreign capital. Agriculture comprises one of the most established domestic industries, and Ethiopia is Africa’s leading exporter of coffee. Significant opportunity for commercial agriculture exists, thanks to the diversity of Ethiopia’s soil and vast landmass as well as the prospect for recapturing more of the value chain onshore.
Service related sectors have enjoyed significant growth in recent years and are expected to see more dramatic development in the years to come, thanks to Ethiopia’s expanding middle class and decreasing poverty levels. In addition, heavy industry, mining, and construction are expanding at a rapid rate. The manufacturing sector is also quickly gaining traction, with Ethiopia’s low-cost labor and low-cost energy as the motivating factors.