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Doing Business in East Africa



Ethiopia has the second largest population in Africa with over 96 million people. Over the last decade the Ethiopian economy has had an average growth of over 10%, making it the 12th fastest growing economy in the world in 2012. This strong growth was largely due to expansion of services and agriculture sectors. Ethiopia’s government is currently trying to diversify into manufacturing, textiles and energy generation in order to decrease the country’s dependency on agriculture. In addition, various government policies have been successful in decreasing the inflation rates to single digits. The Ethiopian government also has set high goals for 2015 including: 11-14.9% economic growth rate, an increased road and railroad network, and a power generation capacity increased by 400%.

Ethiopia is viewed as having significantly less corruption than many of its neighbors. But it has one of the least free economies in the region and several sectors, including telecommunications, transportation, and finance, remain under state control. Ethiopia’s economy relies heavily on agriculture, which is subject to frequent droughts and poor cultivation processes. Other challenges for businesses include an inexperienced judicial system, limited access to capital, high unemployment rates, as well as a largely illiterate and semi-skilled workforce.

For more details on Doing Business in Ethiopia, read the Ethiopia Country Commercial Guide, at this link: Country Commercial Guide

Key Opportunities

Renewable Energy

Road Construction




Construction Equipment

Equity Investments

Real Estate

Agricultural Machinery


Engineering Services


Capital: Addis Ababa

Population: 96.6 million

GDP (2013 est.): USD 47.34 billion

GDP per capita (2013 est.): USD 541

U.S. Exports to Ethiopia (2013): USD 688.5 million

Ethiopia Exports to U.S. (2013): USD 193.6 million

Contact Us

Cheryl Monticello
Commercial Officer
Embassy of the United States Addis Ababa
P.O.Box 1014
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251 (0) 11130-6588
Phone: +251 (0) 11124-2420
Email: MonticelloCD@state.gov
Website: http://ethiopia.usembassy.gov

Francis Peters
ommercial Counselor
U.S. Commercial Service
U.S. Embassy, Nairobi
Tel: +254 (20) 363-6424
Fax: +254 (20) 363-6065
E-mail: Francis.Peters@trade.gov
Website: www.export.gov/kenya

Et Flag
Ethiopian Map