Ethiopian Business Review

The number of Ethiopian tax payers who have given their finger prints to the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) as of the first week of march 2013. ERCA has registered 127,574 finger prints through online and offline methods in the second quarter of the 2012/13 fiscal year. The biometric card production has also reached 1,447,021.

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This figure shows the overall economic performance of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and Ethiopia. From a high base of close to 14pct real GDP growth in 2004, Ethiopia achieved a growth rate of nearly double the region. Ethiopia’s model of massive public sector investment is attributed for the consecutive double digit  growth. The country’s economic indicators seems to replicate the 1960’s and 70’s situation of Asian tigers; at the start of their economic takeoff. This broad based growth is set to continue in the foreseeable future according to the World Bank.

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The foreign direct investment  (FDI) in Ethiopia, in 2011/12, was hugely dominated by two countries. Perhaps, contrary to what many people might think, Turkey and India took 58.75 per cent of the total FDI capital registered in the last fiscal year. If we see the data of only the top 10 total capital, the two countries’ contribution increases to more than 81 per cent. In terms of job opportunities, 62 Indian projects which created employment opportunities for 46,131 people (over 28 per cent of the total jobs FDI brought in the year) leads the group, while Turkish investors with 22 projects created 12,004 people is the  second. Investment from neighbouring Sudan which created 11,645 jobs was the third.
Though the Ethiopian Investment Agency should be credited for facilitating the Turkish and Indian investment to grow, the need to diversify sources of FDI is equally important. Huge dependency on few countries will create its own problem at the end. What if these few countries are hit by an unexpected economic meltdown?

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