Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has confirmed an invitation to speak at the event scheduled for October 28th and 29th, at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa.
Organised under the theme ‘Driving continued growth’ the summit will bring together more than 150 of the country’s leading policy-makers and business leaders with international executives active or interested in expanding in Ethiopia to explore opportunities and tackle challenges .
According to the organisers, the Ethiopia Summit will be taking place at the opportune time to explore what more can be done to help the country achieve its full potential.
In 2010, the government set out its first ambitious five year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) in a bid to foster broad-based development in a sustainable manner. It subsequently saw agricultural exports grow by 9% in the first three quarters of 2013/2014 and the manufacturing sector grow by 11.4% in the same period.
Ethiopia is now launching its second five year plan. Besides the Prime Minister other speakers and panellists will come from the government and industry.
Points of discussion will include: What are Ethiopia’s future growth prospects? Is the state-led development model sustainable? What are the challenges currently faced by the private sector? What opportunities exist for private equity firms looking to enter the Ethiopian market?
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, with a population of around 94 million, the government is aiming for middle income status within the next decade and real GDP growth forecast to average 7% a year in 2015 – 2019.
Ethiopia’s infrastructure spending, as a percentage of GDP, is the highest in Africa. Energy costs are also one of the lowest on the continent.
With new hydro dams coming online over the next few years, the government has promised cheap energy for its people and eventually make Ethiopia a potential energy exporter for the region. The 1800MW Gibe III project will be fully operational before the end of the year.
Higher labour costs in Asia have led many to predict a move by international manufacturers to Africa where costs are minimal and land available.
With a large population and subsequently sizeable labour force, Ethiopia has made it quite clear that it wants to be ready for that influx. The organisers say prospective investors will be able to come up close to the challenges ahead.oreign direct investment reached almost $1billion in 2013/2014, maintaining the momentum one of the African continent’s fastest growing economies.