Doing Business in Ethiopia

Business and Economic Overview

Ethiopia is a country that shares land borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, Somaliland and Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, South Sudan to the west and Sudan to the northwest.

Ethiopia ranks as the 26th largest country based on physical size and ranks number 12th as the most populated country with a population of 110,182,216.

The major languages spoken in Ethiopia are Amharic, Oromo, Tigrinya, Somali.

In October 2018, Sahle-Work Zewde was elected as the first female president of Ethiopia.

Also in 2018 Abiy Ahmed was chosen to be Prime Minister to lead the ruling Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition after the unexpected resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Since Abiy Ahmed has been elected as Prime Minister he has ended the 2-decade long war with Eritrea and has made plans to partially privatise key state-owned enterprises, including the Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, and the sole telecom provider, Ethio Telecom.

In the past Ethiopia has used the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) to suppress criticism from journalists and the opposition by detaining and prosecuting them.

When Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister he released many detained journalists and bloggers and for the first time in more than ten years. No media professional was in prison at the end of 2018. 

Now Ethiopia ranks 110th as of 2019 in the Reporters without borders, press freedom index due to the changes made by Abiy Ahmed.

Ethiopia ranks 137th on the Legatum Prosperity Index and 23rd on the Fragile state index. This shows that Ethiopia has a long way to go in terms of development however, there are high levels of corruption within Ethiopia. This has made it hard for businesses to prosper as they have to pay bribes and give gifts in order to get their work done.

The Ethiopian anti-corruption law is primarily contained in The Revised Federal Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission Establishment Proclamation and the Revised Anti-Corruption Law which criminalize major forms of corruption including active and passive bribery, bribing a foreign official, and money laundering however these laws are rarely enforced.

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