The Business End
ETHIOPIA’S ECONOMY HAS
undergone marked changes over the decades, the communist Derg regime introducing nationalisation of all industries when it came to power in 1974.
Some liberalisation progress has been made since the 1990s, but the contentious question of land ownership remains and has hindered the development of commercial agriculture. However, the country’s farming land remains its most promising resource despite the damaging impact of soil erosion, deforestation and overgrazing.
Although agriculture contributes around half of Ethiopia’s GDP, the services sector is not far behind, generating approximately 40 percent of the nation’s income.
A sizable proportion of this is derived from tourism, an industry which turned over $1.4 billion in the second half of 2018 according to the country’s Ministry of Culture. This is down on the $2.7 billion target, but nevertheless Ethiopia managed to welcome more than 380,000 tourists during the period in question.
Among the initiatives brought in by the government to boost tourist arrivals include a more liberal visa regime, with the issuance of e-visas seen as a catalyst for more visitors.
Indeed, Ethiopia’s Travel & Tourism economy grew by 48.6 percent through the whole of 2018, the largest of any country in the world, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s annual review of the economic impact and social importance of the sector.
FACTS & FIGURES
Capital: Addis Ababa
Area: 1,063,652 km²
Population (2018): 96,769,000
GDP (2017): $77.3 billion
Time zone: East Africa Time
Dialling code: +251
Internet TLD: .et