Ethiopia’s cement industry is booming*

Summary: Although Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, it is currently experiencing a two-digit economic growth. An essential factor in this economic upswing is the construction sector, a fact that also greatly benefits the country’s cement industry. In Ethiopia the available capacities are far too small to meet the increasing demand for cement. More than 1/3 of the present cement consumption is therefore imported, which has driven cement prices up to very high levels. Against this background, a gigantic expansion of cement production capacity is currently taking place. The question is: how much cement will the country actually need in the coming years?

1 Introduction

With its 82 million inhabitants, Ethiopia has the second largest population in Africa after Nigeria. In recent years, the country has achieved an astonishing two-digit annual economic growth. In spite of the worldwide economic crisis, it still experienced a growth of 9.9  % in 2009, after 11.2  % and 11.8  % in the preceding years. This places Ethiopia at the forefront of economic growth in Africa and also gives it a leading ranking in an international context. However, it must not be forgotten that its per-capita income of about US$ 350 makes Ethiopia one of the poorest...

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