Ethiopian Business Review

The GDP of Ethiopia in 2012, which will make the country the ninth largest economy in Africa,  above Kenya and Ghana according to the World Bank. (South Africa is the biggest economy in terms of GDP followed by Nigeria and Egypt.)

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Infrastructure projects are key elements for a development of a nation. Ethiopia has been undertaking massive infrastructure projects, most notably in the road sector and huge amount of investment is dedicated for the sector. 

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Since the establishment of the Bank of Abyssinia (a one million shilling venture between the Ethiopian government and the Central Bank of Egypt, which was owned by the British government) in 1905, provision of modern financial services have seen ups and downs in the country. After the liberalization of the financial sector in the early 90s, the sector has shown better performance. Especially, in the last six years the sector seems to be in a massive expansion phase. From June 2008 to June 2013, the number of bank branches has more than tripled while the number of banks operating in the economy has increased by around 73Pct. Yet this number cannot show the whole picture. Still the country is among the most unbanked nations in the world. A single branch serves more than 50 thousand citizens, capitalization and diversified, technologically advanced, new products are still insignificant, often directed and dictated by the National Bank. The percentage of the population that uses modern financial products is still in single digits.

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