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Ethiopia making remarkable progress in these three sectors

For many decades, Ethiopia was known by civil war and famine. But in the last decade Ethiopia is repeatedly praised by World Bank, IMF and other global institutions for its fast-growing economy.
World Bank’s latest edition of Global Economic Prospects has named Ethiopia ‘the fastest-growing economy in 2017. And also Ethiopia has lately overtaken overtaken Kenya to become the largest economy in east Africa, according to International Monetary Fund.

Ethiopia’s growth looks like China-style boom, which is mainly backed by government spending on infrastructure. Ethiopian growth is supported by significant foreign investment, mostly from China, India Turkey. China is working with Ethiopia in massive construction projects including dams, roads and railways. Ethiopia is undergoing an ambitious development master plan that is called Growth and Transformation Plan. The plans considers Asian Tigers development and industrialisation.

Ethiopia’s overall economic progress is remarkable. But the progress in the following three sectors has registered an outstanding performance.

3. Rail Transport Construction in Ethiopia

Ethiopia has lately operated the first metro (light rail transit ) in Sub-Saharan Africa that covers 31.6 KMs which also have the capacity of transporting 200,000 passengers daily. Ethiopia has also almost completed the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway which is a heavy rail system that extends from Sebeta (Ethiopia) to Djibouti-post covering 656 KMs.
This East African nation is building national railway network that connects the whole country.  Addis Ababa – Dewela – Durale, Mekele – Hara Gebeya /Weldiya, Addis Ababa – Ejaji – Bedele/Jimma and Weldiya – Semara – Elidar – Tadjourah lines are among the railway network that are under construction.
Ethiopia has planned to set up the First Railway Academy in Africa within its Phase II of the ambitious Ethiopian Transformation Plan.

2. Largest Airport in Africa

Ethiopian Airports Enterprise is undergoing and expansion of the existing Addis Ababa Bole International Airport with a budget of  $350 million. This project is scheduled to be completed in 2018 and hoped to help the airlines handle 21 million passengers per year (three times of the current passenger capacity).
Ethiopia has announced its plan to build a mega-airport capable of handling up to 120 million passengers a year which will cost $ 4 billion. The Ethiopian Airports Enterprise announced in October 2015 that the mega-airport will be built within a radius of 100 kilometers of Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian airlines announced “Vision 2025”, a 15-year development strategy, in 2010. According to “Vision 2025” Ethiopian Airlines plans to increase its fleet to 120, the number of destinations to 90, carrying more than 18 million passengers and 720,000 tonnes of cargo, with 17,000 employees. ″Vision 2025″ also considers a fourfold expansion of the capacity building for trainees in the airline’s aviation academy. With Vision 2025 Ethiopian Airlines aims to become the largest and leading carrier in Africa by 2025 providing different aviation services.

1. Electric power and renewable energy projects in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is undergoing massive electricity and renewable energy projects that are mainly hydro-power but also in wind and geothermal energies.

Ethiopia has lately opened Adama and Ashegoda wind farm with its 153 MW capacity (the largest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa) and 120 MW of electricity respectively.

Ethiopia has already started construction of a geothermal electric power generating capacity of 1,000 MW per year in the Rift Valley in two phases. The first phase that is under construction will produce 500 MW per year and scheduled to be completed in 2018 and the second phase will generate another 500 MW per year and planned to be completed in 2021.

Gilgel  Gibe III which has  the total generating capacity of 1870 MW will be operational within 2016.  Gilgel Gibe IV and V hydroelectric power dams which has combined generation capacity of 2050MW are planned to be built with this five-year national transformation plan.


Ethiopia is also building another ambitious hydropower dam that is the biggest Africa and one of the largest in the world, , Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam GERD, with a budget of $4.8 billion and planned to be completed before 2020. The grand Ethiopian renaissance dam is under construction on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia and more than 50% completed as of March 2016. This dam will have This dam will have the capacity of generating 6,000 MW power.

Ethiopia plans to boost the country’s total generation from the current 4,200MW to 17,300MW by 2020 which is at the completion of its ’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II). The long term goal of Ethiopia’s power generation is to reach a generation capacity of 37,000MW by 2037.

(By Haftom Berhe, haftomberhe@gmail.com)

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