The market

Ethiopia - The largest economy in East and Central Africa

More facts about Ethiopia at a glance

  • Ethiopia has the largest economy (by GDP) in East Africa and Central Africa
  • 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
  • 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 is a multilingual nation with around 80 ethnolinguistic groups, the three largest of which are the Tigray, Oromo and Amhara
  • 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 5h largest in the world
  • 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)

Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world

Source: IMF

Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, registering robust GDP growth of 6 to 10% between 2004 and 2015 (IMF).

Real GDP growth is likely to be around 8.5% in 2015-16, driven by public investment in road and power networks, which benefit both industry and agriculture. Long-term growth potential is enhanced by untapped reserves of coal, gold, oil and gas. FDI (2% of GDP in 2014) is set to continue growing, through investments in agriculture and manufacturing.

Rain-fed agriculture (accounting for almost 50% of GDP) remains Ethiopia’s main source of employment and export earnings.