Ethiopia steals the limelight from Kenya and attracts foreign investments worth $7.266 billion in just one year as Kenya and Tanzania lose lustre

Uhuru Kenyatta with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed  in Ethiopia
  • This is the conclusion of a new report released by financial consulting firm EY which details foreign investments inflows. 
  • The EY Attractiveness Survey 2019 released this week shows Ethiopia attracted foreign investments worth Sh726.6 billion ($7.266 billion) last year compared to Kenya’s inflows which stood at Sh207.6 billion ($2.076 billion) in the same period.
  • Among the international investors who are rushing to pitch their tent in Addis Ababa are American multinational corporation, Coca Cola and South Korean motor company, Hyundai Motor Co.

Ethiopia is more attractive to foreign investors compared to Kenya and Tanzania combined.

This is the conclusion of a new report released by financial consulting firm EY which details foreign investments inflows. 

The EY Attractiveness Survey 2019 released this week shows Ethiopia attracted foreign investments worth Sh726.6 billion ($7.266 billion) last year compared to Kenya’s inflows which stood at Sh207.6 billion ($2.076 billion) in the same period.

Tanzania on the other hand managed to attract foreign investments worth Sh103.8 billion ($1.038 billion).

Why Investors can’t get enough of Ethiopia

Since coming into office last year in April, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has implemented several reforms across the political, economic, diplomatic and social spheres.

For his efforts, the reformist Prime Minister was recognized by the renowned Foreign Policy magazine as one of the Global Thinkers that emerged over the past 12 months.

Ethiopia is attracting higher foreign inflows compared to its regional peers thanks to an “efficient” business environment and the lure of a huge untapped domestic market, opine Experts.

“Ethiopia has affordable electricity supply and is served by an efficient airline,” said Mr Francis Kamau, a tax partner at audit and consultancy EY East Africa.

“It also has a huge domestic market with guaranteed access to external markets through its well served Special Economic Zones.”

Among the international investors who are rushing to pitch their tent in Addis Ababa are American multinational corporation, Coca Cola and South Korean motor company, Hyundai Motor Co.

Coca Cola is in the process of setting up the largest plant for coca cola drink in Ethiopia at a cost of two billion birr or $ 70 million (Sh7 billion). In June this year the company broke ground on the new plant that will be the biggest bottler in Ethiopia.

The plant which will be located at the town of Sebeta, some 25 kilometers from Addis Ababa is set to be finalized early next year.

Early this year, Hyundai officially opened its first car assembly plant with a capacity to produce 10,000 vehicles in eight different models per year at the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

End result

As a result of the massive foreign inflow, Ethiopia managed to create 16,000 new jobs from 29 projects, says the report. 

Kenya only managed to create 6,000 jobs from 64 unnamed projects last year. Kenya’s FDI attraction is mainly fueled by its status as the region’s financial centre, and a hub for many multinationals doing business in the region.

In Tanzania 3,000 jobs were created from 19 projects.

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