At between 4-5 litres a year, Ethiopia’s beer per capita consumption is one of the lowest in the region. Yet its market has doubled over the last five years thanks to its growing population, urbanisation and rising incomes. All this is proving to be an irresistible draw for global brewers – with Heineken the latest to announce plans to build a new $156m brewery in the country. Continue reading »
The link between one of the world’s most powerful corporate leaders and a small bank in Ethiopia might not be immediately obvious. In this case, it’s an IBM server, which powers Awash International Bank. But soon it could be a lot more if Ginni Rometty (pictured) has anything to do with it.
Rometty, IBM’s chief executive, is spending a week in Africa with her top 15 executives. It’s the first time so many of them have been in one place outside New York. It’s also the first time IBM has convened its chief executives from all over the continent. Continue reading »
Ethiopia appears to be doing something right. One of the world’s five fastest growing economies in 2010, it’s expected to reach 7 per cent growth this year and next and the government hopes for double digit growth in the medium term.
But this is not a natural resources bonanza. The economy is still largely dependent on agriculture, but has seen much of its growth from a boost in services. Yet foreign investment is limited, and the country has not benefitted from the non-cash payments revolution that has boosted other countries in the region such as Kenya. No wonder, then, that companies such as Visa are making encouraging noises. Continue reading »
Sifting through data on payments for goods and services to garner information about consumer buying habits is a well-established marketing tool in the west.
In sub-Saharan Africa the practice is still in its infancy due to a lack of sources of information, but that’s changing fast. With the rise of mobile payment transactions, a host of information is becoming available on consumer habits. In Ethiopia, for example, one company has already begun culling and collating data. Continue reading »
Flower growers, among Ethiopia’s key export revenue earners, are confident that the death of prime minister Meles Zenawi, won’t push the govenment from its commitments to supporting agribusiness.
Hailemariam Desalegn, acting prime minister during Meles’ absence, is set to be sworn in as Ethiopia’s leader until 2015 in an apparent effort to smooth the transition, and is expected to carry on where Meles left off with supportive conditions for investors in agriculture, Ethiopia’s most important industry.
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The Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi, whose death was announced on Tuesday following prolonged ill health, won’t be mourned by the dissidents that he repressed or their supporters.
But he will be missed by those who value his role in creating political stability and in promoting growth in an impoverished country.
While Ethiopia remains one of the world’s poorest countries (ranked 174 out of 187 on the UN’s Human Development Index) real growth in GDP has averaged 11 per cent over the past 6 years, well above the sub-Saharan Africa average. Continue reading »
The World Bank has approved loans worth $684m for the Eastern Electricity Highway Project, which aims to transport Ethiopian power to Kenya and beyond.
The project is part of a $1.3bn plan to open up an eastern African power network, but has attracted controversy due to social and environmental worries over the knock on effects of hydro-power in Ethiopia. Continue reading »
What will 1,500 Turks be doing this year in the desolate space between Weldiya and Awash in Ethiopia? The answer is “building a railroad” following an announcement on Thursday by Turkish construction company Yapi Merkezi.
The contract is part of ambitious plans by the Ethiopian government to build a 5,000 km railway network – and a sign that Chinese companies increasingly face competition from other EM companies in the battle for Africa’s infrastructure. Continue reading »
When it comes to commodity exchanges, African countries are hoping it’s second time lucky. The continent’s first forays into the arena – mostly in the 1990s – weren’t much of a triumph. But several countries are now trying to fare better as they work to establish or revive their marketplaces.
The driving force behind renewed interest? The unexpected – and fairly significant – success of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange. Continue reading »
Private equity in east Africa is punching below is weight. The region attracted nearly a third of the 66 private equity deals done in sub-Saharan Africa in 2011 – but their value was just $188m out of a total $3bn, or 6 per cent. Deals worth six times as much were done in west Africa. Continue reading »
African beer is big business and every brewer you can name is looking to gain a foothold in its fast-growing markets. Diageo, which already sells more Guinness in Nigeria than it does in Ireland, this Tuesday confirmed it has once again upped its presence on the continent by buying Ethiopian state-owned brewer Meta Abo for $225m. Continue reading »