Ethiopia: Nation's Export Hurdles Remain Unsolved, Says Ministry of Trade and Industry

Addis Ababa — Ethiopia's export has been challenged hugely by lack of integration among stakeholders, international market price fall in agriculture products and contraband in minerals, according to Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The export performance has been in general dwindling in both GTP I (2009/10 - 20014/15) and the first three years of GTP II (2015/16-2019/20).

Trade and Industry Export Expansion Director-General, Assefa Mulugeta told ENA that the annual earning on average for the stated periods is below 3 billion USD.

"So, in general, our export performance is decreasing," he said.

In addition to the big challenges stated above, inadequate input supply, post-harvest loss, outdated technology, ineffective service delivery, capacity limitation, value addition, and lack of diversification also are among the main problems, the director-general added.

Assefa believes that focusing on value addition, manufacturing and agro-processing are crucial for any country that aspires to bring export-led growth.

However, he noted that the inadequate outcomes following the implementations of strategies and tactics show the shortcomings on the part of the government.

Therefore, expanding industrial development particularly integrated agro-processing and manufacturing as well as enhancing private sector involvement are essential for effective results.

Furthermore, the director-general stated that the "logistics system is inefficient and sometimes expensive. This includes transport, electric and information communication problems."

Using alternative means of transportation and ports as well as developing commercialization are also urgent, Assefa said, adding that product diversification and value addition in construction materials and manufacturing should further be strengthened to realize the goal.

Ethiopia mainly exports gold, coffee, live animals, oilseeds, flowers and khat.

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