Why Ethiopia Is The Biggest Recipient Of Turkish Investment In Africa

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Written by Kevin Mwanza

Ethiopia has received nearly half of all direct investment from Turkey has ever made in Africa, the European nation’s ambassador to the East African nation has said.

Fatih Ulusoy, a newly appointed Turkish envoy to Ethiopia, said the horn of Africa nation had so far attracted $2.5 billion of the total 6 billion Turkey has invested on the continent.

Ethiopia is also the fourth largest trade partner to Turkey. According to 2013 data, trade between the two countries reached $420 million from $27 million in 2000.

“Flag carries of the two countries, Ethiopian Airlines and Turkish Airways, fly daily to Istanbul and Addis Ababa thus facilitating their trade relations,” EthioSport quoted Ulusoy telling reporters at an event in Addis Ababa.

Some of the infrastructure project Turkey has invested in the country include the $1.5 billion Gibe III dam that is expected to generate nearly 2,000 megawatts of electricity and a $300 million loan it plans to invest in the Awash-Woldiya railway project.

Turkish investors in Ethiopia are engaged in textile, construction and energy sector where Turkish companies are installing electricity transmission and supplying transformers.

Many others are also on a process to invest in power generation, food processing and the manufacturing sector.

The Ethiopian government attribute this good investment relations with Turkey to its friendly business environment, available local market — both for labour and finished products — as  well as conducive state policy on foreign investment.

The Sudan Tribune estimates that Turkish companies, which are set to get their own industrial zone, have created over 33,000 jobs for Ethiopians.

Ethiopia is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies with an average annual growth of over 10 percent.

The country has embarked massive infrastructure projects including power plants that would make a significant stride in terms of its ambitious plan to become a middle income country in 2025.

“Ethiopia and Turkey have enjoyed a long-lasting relation in that Addis Ababa hosted the oldest Turkish embassy in Sub-Saharan Africa,” the ambassador said.

“Our embassy and the government in Addis Ababa are aggressively lobbying Turkish companies to come to Ethiopia and this combined with the current Turkish investment in Ethiopia is creating a push, pull effect to enhance the already blossoming trade between the two nations.”

According to an earlier AFKInsider report,  Turkey has more than tripled its African embassies since 2009, with its largest embassy in the world being in Somalia.

Bilateral trade between Turkey and sub-Saharan Africa countries has increased tenfold since 2000, according to their Foreign Ministry.

Trade between Turkey and all of Africa was worth $23.4 billion in 2014.