COUNTRIES BRIEFS Newsletter ISSN 1563-4108
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Ethiopia's privatization agency - THE REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA - BRIEFS

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Unique among African countries, The ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule, except for the short term - 1936-1941- Italian occupation period.

In 1974 a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SALASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) and established a state based on the ideology of Marxism.

Ethiopia is located in Eastern Africa, in the so-called "Horn of Africa" west of Somalia

Its total area: 1,127,127 sq. km (land: 1,119,683 sq. km water: 7,444 sq. km)

Neighboring countries are: Djibouti over 337 km; Eritrea over 912 km; Kenya over 830 km; Somalia over 1,626 km; Sudan over 1,606 km

Population: 64,117,452 Population (2000); 66,557,553 (July 2003 est.) Population growth rate: 2.76% (2000); 1.96% (2003 est.)

Independence: oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world - at least 2,000 years

National holiday: National Day May 28 1991 (defeat of Menguistu Haile Mariam regime)

Constitution: ratified December 1994; effective August 22, 1995

Natural resources: small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower (Elevation extremes: lowest point: Denakil -125 m highest point: Ras Dashen Terara 4,620 m)

Agriculture productions: cereals, pulses, coffee, oilseed, sugarcane, potatoes; hides, cattle, sheep, goats (Land use: arable land: 12% permanent crops: 1% permanent pastures: 40% forests and woodland: 25% Irrigated land: 1,900 sq. km (1999 est.)

Natural hazards: geologically active Great Rift Valley susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; frequent droughts

Industrial productions: food processing, beverages, textiles, chemicals, metals processing, cement

For nearly four decades, from mid 1955's to 1993, Ethiopia's successive governments - under the monarchy regime or the republican ones - spent huge amounts of scarce financial resources to try to preserve the integrity of the nation.

They purchased weapons, war planes etc. to equip an overstaffed army. They strove hard to keep the actual independent Republic of Eritrea under Ethiopia governing rules. Between June 1998 and December 2000, a borders' war with Eritrea - disrupted further an economy already in very bad shape.

On December 12, 2000, the war with Eritrea officially ended. A peace accord was signed in Algiers - under the sponsorship of Algeria's Bouteflika, Togo's Eyadema and United Nations' Secretary General Koffi Annan.

The peace accord is still holding on this may 2004. However, a lot remains to be done to restore confidence amongst the respective rulers of both countries. A UN mission to Eritrea and Ethiopia (UNMEE) is in charge of monitoring the frontiers and the peace accord. Click here for the latest news about relationships between UNMEE and the governements of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Drought occurrence in Ethiopia follows a regular pattern: every two years there is a drought. This is a well known fact since more than a century. Yet, till nowadays, nothing had been done by Ethiopian rulers to devise a strategic plan to counterbalance the devastating environmental effects and human degradation consequences of these recurrent droughts.

Unless Ethiopian rulers find a way to devise a strategic plan to solve and manage the long lasting drought dilemma, there is no hope for a sustained economic development for Ethiopia. Year upon year they will be obliged to live on international charity (up to 65% of national budget) to feed the populations.

The establishment of such a strategic plan is an absolute necessity as agriculture accounts for half of GNP, 90% of exports, and 80% of total employment.

Once the drought problem efficiently tackled and solved the country can look ahead for a prosperous era. With a population base of nearly 70 million people, it will be possible then to establish a strong agribusiness sector to drive upwards the economy.

There are business opportunities in all sectors: basic infrastructure - roads, hospital etc.; agriculture - irrigation system; fertilizer production; crops transformation; food processing etc.

Click here for Ethiopia's Privatization Agency.
Click here for a "Strategic economic scheme for an African country"


1- D&B Export Guide to Ethiopia
Digital Delivery in PDF by D&B
2- The Paradox of Africa's Poverty
The Role of Indigenous Knowledge
The Case of Ethiopia / by Tirfe Mammo
3- Ethiopia
Tradition of Creativity
by Raymond A. Sylverman
4- Adventures of the Bone Trade
The Race to Discover Human Ancestors In Ethiopia / by Jon E. Kalb
5- Peasant Revolution In Ethiopia
The Tigray People Liberation Front
by John Young
6- African Ark
People and Ancient Cultures of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa / by Caroll Beckwith
7- Churches of Ethiopia
The Monastry of Narga Sellase
by Stanislas Chejnacki
8- Blue Nile
Ethiopian River of Magic and Mystery / by Virginia Morell
9- Saving the Lost Tribe
Rescue and Redemption of the Ethiopian Jews / by Asher Naim
10- The Ethiopians - A History
by Richard Pankhurst
11- More News On Ethiopia
by Yahoo! Update

Click to contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum



GNP: US$ 13.066 billion (2000); 16.860 billion (2002 est.))
GNP-real growth rate: 0% (1999) 2% (2000); 5.5% (2002 est.)
GNP-per capita: US$ 203 (2000); 255 (2002)

Click here for the difference between GNP and Parity Purchasing

GNP-composition by sector

  1. agriculture: 52%

  2. industry: 11%
  3. services: 37%

Exports: US$ 460 million (f.o.b. 2000); 433 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Commodities: commodities: coffee, gold, leather products, oilseeds
Imports: US$ 1.25 billion (f.o.b.2000); 433 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Commodities: food and live animals, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, machinery, motor vehicles (2000)

Remark: Imports and exports statistics are not up-to-date; it is impossible to get real figures with regards arms / military equipment importation.




A passport and a valid Ethiopian visa are required to enter or transit Ethiopia; as is evidence of a yellow fever vaccination.

Laptop computers must be declared upon arrival and departure. Tape recorders require special customs permits. For further inquiries / information should be obtained thorough the nearest Ethiopian embassy or consulate.

Embassy of Ethiopia #210-151
Slater Street Ottawa,
Ontario, K1P 5H3
Tel : +(1) 613 235-6637
Fax: +(1) 613 235-4638

E-mail : Click here
Website: Click here
Embassy of Ethiopia
2134 Kalorama Road NW, Suite 1000,
Washington DC 20008
Tel: (202) 234-2281
Fax: (202) 483-8407

E-mail: Click here
Website: Click here
Embassy of Ethiopia

Avenue de Tervuren, 231
B1500 Brussels

Tel: +(32) 2 771 3294
Fax: +(32) 2 771 4914

Click here to review funding available to rebuild power generation system


Ethiopian Airlines,
the national air carrier - rated amongst the best in the world for its service and regularity - have regular schedules linking Ethiopia's international airport of Addis Ababa with, East, West and South Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Form Addis Ababa there are good connections to America and the Far East.

The national airline also offers domestic services to the major towns in Ethiopia.
Other airlines serving Ethiopia: Kenya Airways; Air Djibouti; Egyptair; Alitalia; Lufthansa; Saudia Aeroflot;Yemenia

Being a landlocked country, Ethiopia needs the vital railways track linking Addis-Ababa with the Red Sea Port of Djibouti: The Ethiopian segment of the track totals 681 km of narrow 1.000-m gauge

In April 1998, Djibouti and Ethiopia announced plans to revitalize the century-old railroad; since May 1998 Ethiopia has undertaken considerable maintenance and improvement works to secure the traffic and repair the lines

Ethiopia has a Merchant marine dating back to the time when Eritrea was part of Ethiopia territory. It: totals: 12 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 84,915 GRT/112,634 DWT ships by type: cargo 7, container 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll-on/roll-off 3 (1999 est.)s


Ministry of Trade and Industry
P. O. Box 2559, Addis Ababa
Tel: +(251) 1 518200
Fax: +(251) 1 514288
Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce
P. O. Box 517, Addis Ababa
Tel: +(251) 1 518240
Fax: +(251) 1 517699

Website: Click here
Ethiopian Investment Authority
P. O. Box 2313, Addis Ababa
Tel: +(251) 1 510033
Fax: +(251) 1 514396
Ministry of Economic Development / Cooperation
P. O. Box 2428, Addis Ababa,
Tel: +(251) 1 519684
Fax: +(251) 1 517988
Ethiopian Private Industries Association
P. O. Box 8739,
Addis Ababa,
Tel: +(251) 1 512384
Fax: +(251) 1 552633
Click here to review funding available to rebuild power generation system

Below are listed some hotels in Addis Ababa the Capital-City. For selection of hotels outside Addis Ababa click here

Hotel Ghion
P.O. 1643 Addis Ababa
Tel: +(251) 1 513222
Fax: +(251) 1 510278
Sheraton Hotel
P.O. 6002 Addis Ababa
Tel: +(251) 1 517138
Fax: +(251) 1 514029

Imperial Hotel
P.O. 2966 Addis Ababa
Tel: +(251) 1 181190
Fax: +(251) 1 614493

Hotel Central Shewa
P.O. 21352 Addis Ababa
Tel: +(251) 1 611454
Fax: +(251) 1 610063

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