The Ethiopian Economy

According to the World Bank, the Ethiopian economy saw strong growth between the years 2003/04 and 2013/14. Average growth was 10.8% per year. However, it is still one of the poorest countries in the world. Per capita income is just $550, a far cry from Canada’s per capita income of more than $50,000.

Photo: Rod Waddington

Ethiopia’s income per capita is 1% that of Canada’s.

Agriculture is the basis of the economy. Almost half of the Ethiopian GDP comes from agriculture and this industry employs the highest percentage of people. There is some fishing, mining, and forestry but these are small contributors to the economy. The manufacturing sector is small but is slowly growing. Most manufacturing is food / beverage processing. Textiles and leather are also produced. While the country doesn’t have a lot of tourism, visitors to the country do have a positive impact on the economy.

Ethiopian exports include animals and meat, leather and leather goods, coffee, oilseeds, pulses, produce, flowers, and textiles. Tea, spices, and stones and minerals are also exported in varying quantities. Coffee is by far the largest export, making the country vulnerable in times of drought.

In Ethiopia, economic growth has reduced poverty and helped the country deal with some of the challenges that come along with poverty, but that is only for some people and in some parts of the country. There is still much to be done and many people desperately need our help just to survive.

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