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Commerce + Capital

Mining for Change

Ethiopia to greatly expand minerals sector in years ahead.

SETH NICKERSON / UPPERMOST

Already setting the gold standard for economic development in Africa, Ethiopia now looks to be adding a new type of gilt to its metaphorical crown: actual gold, as well as a host of other mineral resources. 

According to a published statement by Ethiopia’s Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Motuma Mekassa, the country has narrowed in on the mining sector as a major development priority moving forward. For though rich in minerals — from gold and gemstones to platinum, coal and soda ash — Ethiopia has historically relied on its agricultural sector; currently, agriculture accounts for 46 percent of gross domestic product, 80 percent of employment and 85 percent of export revenues. By 2025, however, the country hopes to increase the mining sector’s contribution to GDP from the current 1.5 percent to 10 percent.

“Ethiopia is virtually untapped,” noted Minister Motuma in his statement, adding that “diverse and vast mineral resources offer huge potential opportunities for exploration and development.”

This push for exploration is all part of a greater effort to shift Ethiopia’s economy toward an industrial one, with minerals serving as a major backbone of that future. And yet, because the country is indeed relatively untapped and inexperienced in this realm, noted Minister Motuma, the need for foreign investment and partnership is especially great. The government is accordingly working to create a “conducive environment to invest in the sector,” he added before extending a broad invitation to those interested in sharing in the abundance. 

For more details about Ethiopia’s Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas, visit mom.gov.et.