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Ethiopia: the mining sector is growing at a record rate and is attracting new investors

12 January 2021


Export statistics in the Ethiopian mining sector have reached record numbers in recent months, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Further development of mining, its modernization, efficient use of minerals, search for export opportunities and support of domestic demand is a priority of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum of Ethiopia and the government. As part of the currently being prepared ten-year economic plan, the government aims to attract new partners and investors, to whom it offers advantageous conditions. Opportunities therefore also exist for Czech companies.


According to current information from the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, the profits from mineral exports for the first half of the current financial year reached USD 340 million, which is almost 7 times more than for the entire fiscal year 2018/2019 (USD 49 million) and almost 1.5 times more than last financial year ($ 207 million). According to Ethiopian statistics, it exported 4,112 kg of gold, 26.9 tonnes of tantalum, 1,625 kg of unprocessed and 37.8 kg of processed opal and 2,123 kg of other precious stones during the period considered. Important export commodities also include sapphires, limestone, various types of salt and pumice. In the mining sector, almost 50 thousand were created in the last 6 months. new jobs and minerals worth over 1.7 billion Ethiopian birr (approximately $ 42.5 million) have been delivered to the local market.



Restrictions on cross-border trade caused by government action as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the federal government's efforts to curb illegal trade, along with enhanced infrastructure, have led to improved official statistics. Gold accounts for more than 80% of the value of Ethiopian mineral exports, and small miners who dominate the sector are forced to use official trade channels due to circumstances. The increase in currency reserves is also good news for the Ethiopian National Bank, as the country has long struggled with a shortage of hard currency.


Further development of the mining sector is one of the government's priorities in the forthcoming ten-year economic plan. One of the goals is to increase income from mineral exports to the level of USD 17 billion in 2030. Favorable tax packages and special customs conditions for the import of machinery, etc. are prepared for investors. The government is also trying to support the mining sector through intensified cooperation with academia. Under a new agreement between the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum and Addis Ababa University (AAU), the university will offer short-term training and a study program focused on the mineral resources available in Ethiopia. In addition, a new Ethio-Center of Miner Development (ECMD) at the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT) was established under the auspices of the Ministry.