Ethiopia is a key zone for growth within Sub Sahara Africa, said Charles Brewer, Managing Director of global logistics firm DHL, on a visit to Addis Ababa to meet customers of the company.
“For the past three years, the East African community has sustained high GDP growth, outpacing other Sub Sahara Africa countries and weathering the global recession. According to sources like the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the region is set to post an economic growth rate of 6.3 percent in 2013, up from 5.7 percent in 2012,” he said.
Ethiopia’s investment in infrastructure was cited as the main driver of business and investments into the country.
“The massive investment on infrastructure makes it easier to move goods within cities like Addis Ababa and conduct businesses across borders,” said Brewer.
According to DHL, Ethiopia is – alongside Kenya – the largest market for the company in East Africa.
According to a World Bank report, Ethiopia’s economy was the 12th fastest growing in the world.
“The Ethiopian business unit of DHL has seen phenomenal growth over the last quarter, posting positive volume figures and increasing its retail and account business. We have been very pleased with our progress over the last quarter; which is both a reflection of the country’s economic development, but also of our employees’ passion for the business and taking it forward,” said Essete Gebriel, Country Manager for DHL Express Ethiopia.
She also said the company wants to build on this progress to add further value to the economy and support Ethiopia in its development plans.
DHL says it is working with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to increase their connectivity and help them to understand paperwork, legislation and expertise needed to grow beyond Ethiopia’s borders and export.
“We know the challenges for these businesses, access to finance, resources and talent. We are trying to do our part, boosting imports and exports and therefore increasing their attractiveness to both East African and global businesses,” said Essete.