Ethiopia: Great Potential

I took this post from Ventures Africa, for the sake of emphasizing the potentials in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia has the highest spending on infrastructure as a percentage of GDP in Africa. The government is dedicated to delivering high quality infrastructure to the country as the impetus for investment in the country’s other business sectors, particularly manufacturing/industrial and agriculture. For a country with 90 million people and relatively un-urbanized compared to its peers, improved transport — specifically roads and rails — is critical to moving goods to disperse populations.

The country’s leadership currently envisions an energy surplus following the completion of its latest dam project. But this should not lead investors to think the investment opportunities are limited for the power sector. Power purchased at the borders with Djibouti and Somalia can go north of US$0.75 per kWh depending on the time of the year. Thus the country’s vast land mass — ripe with energy opportunities from geothermal to gas to wind — offers boundless potential for growth.

Power generation could solely justify Ethiopia’s ranking in the top 5. But it would be a failure to ignore the demand for increased investment in power distribution. Any opening to foreign investment in the telecommunication sector will offer investors access to a country desperate for improved telecom infrastructure. Creative operators are already considering opportunities in water and sewage treatment which will become a graver concern to the country’s population as it approaches and surpasses 100 million persons.

It is not about the potential return with Ethiopia, in the eyes of those investors currently looking at the country, but rather all about timing (as to when a sector is more liberalized or the project gets approved). Whether today or in a year, the country will remain very attractive for infrastructure investment.

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