BY DANIEL ALEMAYEHU
With no argument, the African continent is rich in natural resources. This is the main reason why European colonizers fled in every African corner in order to exploit these natural resources for the sake of their own interests.
As history tells, colonizers through their technology and knowledge had imposed their harsh rules and governed the subjected people similar to servitude. Due to the past miss rule by repressive colonizers, Africans are still suffering from lack of functioning institutions, absence of rule of law and the prevalence of dictatorship in some countries of the continent.
The rampant poverty also has its own root with the past arbitrarily governance. Though Africans attained their sovereignty some 60 years ago, their economic freedom is still put in question. In fact the dictatorial regimes existed till now in some countries contributes to the backwardness of the countries. Unlike other countries of course though Ethiopia with stood the colonial aggression similar to other countries it suffers from appalling poverty and political instability.
Nevertheless it is a role model for the rest of the countries to struggle for their freedom. In those years, Ethiopia has been doing its best to support the colonized African countries which were under the yoke of operation and exploitation. The struggle for freedom waged in Zimbabwe, Angola, and Mozambique and in South Africa against colonialism and apartheid without the support of Ethiopia would not have been full fill its objective.
It also took the lion share on the foundation of the continent’s organization, the African Union. For its contribution, the African states had decided to make the country the seat for the African Union. Ethiopia, with all the challenges that it came across, it with stood it and could able to achieve economic progress and to reduce poverty and up lift the living standard of citizens.
As it is mentioned above, African countries have enormous natural resources that change the lives of the people. Though there are pressures from various actors, Africans are struggling to cope up those pressures and work hard for change. Ethiopia could be an example for such hard work. Starting from the past three years, the country has been achieving multiple successes in different socio- economic dimensions. Even though there are conflicts and unrest in the country, it hasn’t remained passive rather the people and government with strong leadership work together and exert their maximum energy to alleviate poverty, tap its natural resources as the result, registered tangible progress.
Among the various resources mine is abundantly found in the country. But it is understood that the country hasn’t use its maximum potential in the sector. But since recent years, the mining industry is flourishing. According to the report from the local media, it is said that the country will be the next destination for foreign and local mining investors. The report attributed ‘mine’ web site, says that Ethiopia is rich in gold and the country is in the right track with good governance.
Another report from Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) which works on nations’ annual mine production, pointed out that it will be advantageous to invest in Ethiopian mines. The report further explains that from 2019- 2020, Ethiopia traded 2.23 tons gold in the world market and earned 126.3 million USD. From the exported mine trade, gold covers the bigger share with 93 percent.
The report further remarked that Ethiopia has untapped mineral deposits that can attract international mining companies to invest in the country. It also suggested that there is excessive gold deposit which is not exploited and supplied to foreign markets. Therefore to change the picture the country needs to open its doors to international mining investors.
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) also uncovers that Ethiopia has untouched more than 200 metric tons of gold in the raw form, more than 360 million metric tons of coal, 70 million tons of metal and other mineral deposits.
On the other hand, Ethiopian coffee has become famous in the world online market. Apart from the formal way of trading, the Ethiopian coffee hits better in the international online trade. Joint efforts from Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Ethiopian government, Ethiopian coffee products have been delivered in online platform. Alibaba, the largest Chinese E- commerce, put the Ethiopian coffee on online trade for the first time. Reports showed that within a second, 11,200 kilos of Ethiopian coffee was sold out.
It further indicates that UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive of the ECA, Secretary Vera Songwe said the success recorded by Ethiopian coffee is a milestone for the rest of African nations. It provides a roadmap in leveraging export potential for other ten African countries. The Secretary also mentioned that ECA is working to provide more export opportunities from Africa to China.
H.E Gebremeskel Chala, Minister of Trade and Regional Integration said, “This launch demonstrates the benefits that, not only Ethiopia, but Africa can reap in harnessing digitalization.”
Likewise, people especially Ethiopian Diasporas have showed their interest in investing in their motherland. A report from a local media indicates that, these Diasporas are eager to invest in Gambela Region in service and agriculture sectors. The region offered 826 thousand hectares of land for agriculture and investment purposes. It was learnt that the Gambla Region is rich in land and water resources.
In order to make the country a hub for investment, different government organizations and other responsible stakeholders have contributed played crucial role to make the dream come true.
One of the responsible institutes, Ethiopian Investment Commission has been introducing various platforms where Ethiopian Diasporas and other investors could invest in Ethiopia. The Commission has announced multiple collaborative works with other institutions. For instance, the Commission posted on its official Facebook account saying Minister of Trade H.E Gebremeskel Chala, Minister of Mine H.E Takele Uma and Commisoner Lelise Neme discussed on teaming up for comprehensive investment strategy in mining. It is said that “we have the ability to transform the living standard of our people through the growth- promoting policies and we continue to push to exploit these opportunities.”
The Ethiopian Investment Commission launched EIC Diaspora Investment Forum and Exhibition at Skylight Hotel from Jan. 12- 16, 2022. This forum has many activities such as presentations, panel discussion and exhibitions of potential investment opportunities.
It has also the objective of attracting Ethiopian and friends of Ethiopian Diasporas. It is also helps to create pat form for discussion on investment opportunities and incentives with the Diasporas. Lelise Neme, Ethiopian Investment Commissioner highlighted that the investment priority areas are manufacturing, agriculture, industrial parks development specializing in ICT, health and logistics sectors. Girma Seifu, Addis Abeba’s Investment Commissioner on his part said, “Our main target is enabling the diaspora to look at the untapped investment potentials of Ethiopia.”
The Commission has also introduced a better profit for the ones who invest in Ethiopia under hospitality sector. It is said that there will be a zero profit tax for new investors in nearly seven tourist attraction sites in the country.
Therefore, with untapped natural resources and attractive investment environment, Ethiopia will be one of the major investment sites in the coming years. The government of Ethiopia has done marvelous actions to attract investors by taking plenty steps towards promoting the investment opportunities and benefits when investment inflows to the country.
The February 2/2022