Agriculture is the main stay of Ethiopia’s economy providing employment to 85% of the population. It contributes about 45% of the GDP and 62% of total export. Ethiopia has the soil and climate for the production of a variety of food crops. About 146 types of crops are grown. The major ones are cereals, pulses and oil seed.
Coffee, cotton, tobacco, sugar, tea, spices, flowers, fruits, and vegetables are the main commercial cash crops grown in Ethiopia.
The livestock population of Ethiopia is one of the largest in the world comprising of 35 million cattle, 11.4 million sheep, 10 million goats and 38 million poultry.
The potential annual fresh water fish production is estimated at about 45,000 tons, of which only 20% are exploited at present.
Potential activities for investors in commercial forestry include the production and marketing of gum and incense; large-scale plantation for timber; the establishment of integrated forest based industries and the establishment of rubber plantations. Ethiopia is the largest honey producing country in Africa and the fourth largest beeswax producing country in the world. There are around 10 million bee colonies and over 800 honey source plants in the country.
Agro-ProcessingThis includes processing and preserving of meat products; integrated production, processing and preserving of fish and fish products; processing and preserving of fruits and vegetables; integrated production and processing of dairy products; manufacture of sugar, brewery and bottling of mineral water, etc.
The manufacturing sector accounts for about 7% of GDP and 5.3% of employment. It covers about 145 state owned and 643 private manufacturing industries of all sizes.
The industrial policy, based on the Agricultural Development Led Industrialization (ADLI) Strategy, aims for the gradual structural transformation of the economy from agricultural to industrial development, using the country’s human and natural resources.
Manufacturing opportunities for prospective investors exist in food and beverages, leather and leather products, textiles and garment, chemicals and paper, building materials and metallurgy, etc.
Ethiopia offers excellent opportunities for mineral prospecting and development. Ethiopia’s green stone belts offer one of the finest areas for gold mineralization anywhere in the world and already more than 500 metric tons of gold deposits have been identified by Government exploration efforts. In addition to gold, Ethiopia is blessed with good deposits of tantalum, platinum, nickel, potash, and soda ash.
Included in the construction and industrial minerals are marble, granite, limestone, clay, gypsum, gemstone, iron ore, coal, copper, silica, diatomite, bentonite, etc. With regard to fossil energy resources, there are significant opportunities for oil and natural gas in the four major sedimentary basins, namely the Ogaden, the Gambella, the Blue Nile and the southern Rift Valley.
Ethiopia has a unique historical and cultural heritage, magnificent scenery, a surprisingly cool climate, rich flora and fauna, important archaeological sites and hospitable people, which put it among the leading tourist destinations in Africa. The northern tourist circuit known as the “Historic Route” comprises the most important tourist sites in Ethiopia. The main attractions include: the ancient city of Axum, the medieval city of Lalibela, Al Negashi Mosque at Wukro, the medieval city of Gondar, and the island monasteries of Lake Tana. Other tourist attractions include: the walled city of Harar, a wide variety of wildlife and bird species (both endemic and common), and the magnificent Tis Issat Fall on the Blue Nile (Abay) River are some of the interesting sites.