Ethiopia is a developing country on the rise, with a population of more than 102 million people and a broad-based average growth of 10.3% a year (World Bank, 2018). Five months of political instability have resulted in Ethiopia’s first Prime Minister since 1991 who is not part of Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has introduced steps to engage Ethiopia in widespread economic reform. According to a report by Credit Risk Solutions, in collaboration with Credendo, Ahmed is a champion of the private sector in the country and plans to privatise several previously state led companies such as Ethiopian Airlines. Ahmed has also achieved significant diplomatic goals, the most important being the negotiation of an improved relationship with neighbouring country Eritrea, which could lead to an easier access to sea ports in the future. Foreign investment in Ethiopia remains strongest in the mining sector with contracts primarily being delivered by foreign agents. The changes in the Ethiopian economy are significant and follow the move towards economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Closer links with Western Europe are also on Ethiopia’s agenda. This is signposted by the recent opening of a direct Ethiopian Airlines route from Manchester Airport to Addis Ababa. The flight will connect Manchester businesses to opportunities in Ethiopia with the aim to boost trade, investment and tourism for both the North West and Ethiopia. Evidently, Ethiopia is opening itself up for business with the rest of the world and the North West could be a key player in its success.