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Ethiopia: Tigrai State - a Rewarding Investment Destination

Ethiopia: Tigrai State - a Rewarding Investment Destination

photo by:Borkena

Ethiopia has ample opportunities for investment. The growing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) influx to the country is said to be among the highest in Africa.

This, as many agreed, is due to the fact that the nation has put in place investment friendly policies and structural reforms in the economy, coupled with sustained peace and security and comparative advantages for investment.

These days, it is not uncommon to see anchor investors across the globe flow to Ethiopia and do businesses in various parts of the country. Among these investment destinations which are endowed with natural resources, Tigrai State is the one.

Tigrai State
Tigrai State is located in the Northern part of Ethiopia. The adjacencies of the State are: Sudan to the West, Afar State to the East, Eritrea to the North and Amhara State to the South. The total area coverage of the State is 54,593 square kilometre, of which, 13,516.33 square kilometre is arable land, as documents indicate.

According to the State Trade, Industry and Urban Development, Investment Promotion Core Process Bureau, the State has three major thermal zones; Dega (Highland), Woyna Dega (Temperate) and Kolla (Lowland).

The agroecology of the State can be classified as hot, moderately hot, cold and moderately cold which enables the State to grow varied types of crops, vegetables and fruits which makes the State more suitable for doing business.

In Mekelle various infrastructure which smoothen the progress of investment activities have been undertaken.

The Mekelle Dry Port, which is under construction, is one of the favourable opportunities for investors. The port is currently offering full dry port services, both uni-modal and multi-modal services in its temporary terminal. All the same, once the construction activity of the dry port is fully completed, bonded warehouses are expected to be built.

Similarly, Mekelle-Awash Railway which connects the State with Djibouti -Addis Ababa Railway is also expected to facilitate the import-export activities of the State when it is finalized and becomes fully operational,Not only the Railways, but the four airports namely, Humera, Shire, Axum and Mekelle airports, have considerable roles in Tigrai's economy. Particularly, the standardized Airport, 'The Mekelle Alula Aba Nega International Airport', is benefiting customers through providing cargo service to perishable items of foreign markets.

Road construction is the other development activity which is carried out within the State. Until the end of June 2014, a total of 5483k.m road, of which 1,793k.m asphalt was built. The huge electric power projects that are stepped-up all over the country have also guaranteed the State to have reliable and sustainable power supply. Leave alone major towns, small towns of the State have benefited from a 24 hours electric power supply. Due to the full accessible coverage of networks, both the urban and rural communities have got access to use cellular phone services.

Concurrent to these, a number of massive development activities are undertaken within the State. Particularly, the availability of 'EFFORT', an endowment organization operating in the State, is an opportunity as it finances investment projects whose feasibility studies are finalized.

As sources from the Bureau indicate, following government's efforts to attract developmental investors through offering all sorts of investment incentives, the State provides investors all the privileges that are vested by Ethiopian Investment Proclamation.

In this regard, attractive incentive packages, such as duty free capital goods, construction materials and vehicles for investment projects, exemption of income tax for certain periods and loan facilities are put into practice.

Pertaining to the tourism sector, presently, the number of tourists who flow to the State has augmented remarkably. This, unquestionably, is the result of the reliable peace and security that is sustained within the State.

Due to the ever increasing demand for both consumption and marketable agricultural products, and the availability of varied species that adopt to different agroecology, agriculture is highly intensified in the State. Similarly, the existence of adoptive livestock species and skilled man power, fodder trees used for fattening cattle, ample and high protein content by-products, make the State more desirable for investment. Of course, not to forget the prevalence of small and medium dams construction for fishing industry.

Not only that, including the availability of abundant land, State's proximity to ports coupled with hard working labour force and high demand at foreign markets keep Tigrai at the first row of preference for oil seeds investment.

Needless to say that, Tigrai State is well known with its white medicinal honey production. Particularly, the fact that the State is being blessed with white floras, a type of plant which has a distinctive aroma that attracts bees easily, enables it to be well known with its white honey production.

Indeed, the major opportunities, such as the expansion of land rehabilitation and irrigation agriculture, the existence of honey processing plants, as well as government's intervention in mass distribution of modern hives have also contributed a lot to flourish the sector.

The other blessings of Tigrai are the existence baswellia, sterculia and acacia tree species which are used as input for beverage & pharmaceutical preparations.

Moreover, around 20,000 and, 100,000 hectares of land is suitable for wild gum and incense respectively.

In the State, close to 100,000 hectares of land is highly convenient for Aloe and sisal.

The availability of these plants and others such as, bamboo, grape fruit, apple, coconut, cactus, has made the production cost of cosmetics to be minimal and the sector be very lucrative.

Thus, these opportunities make investment a success in Tigrai.

Tigrai is endowed with abounded natural resources of mineral ores, including gold, marble, granite, green stone, limestone, slate, silica sand, nickel, kaolin, copper, iron, lead and zinc. According to sources from the Bureau, the State has the most abundant gold mineral and 'blue sapphire,' the newly discovered second valued mineral in the world next to diamond.

In addition, the State has an estimated accumulation of over eight billion metric tons of marble, 1 billion metric tons of granite and huge reserve of many other minerals.

In the State, the availability of inputs that can be used for the manufacturing of construction materials is said to be at the highest. Rapid urbanization, low production cost, cheap labour along with many other opportunities are inviting investors to be engaged in the sector.

In the State, nine industry zones are recently demarcated to expand the industry sectors, according to the Bureau. The Mekelle Industrial Park which is inaugurated recently is the other opportunity. According to sources the Industrial Park has wider opportunities for those investors who desire to commence business in the manufacturing sector, particularly in the textile sector.

Indeed, these days several local factories are engaged in the manufacturing of products that are used as inputs for the growing construction sector in the nation and the country at large.

Among them, Sheba Dimensional Stones Factory which is built around Adwa, and Semayata Dimensional Stones Factory in Wukro are at the top to fill the national demand of marble, granite and terrazzo, including the capital.

Semayata confirms to The Ethiopian Herald that it will start exporting its products to the horn of African countries soon.

The manufacturing of electrical and electronic products in the State, the availability of well facilitated transport service and a 24 hrs electric power coupled with an ever-growing demand for electrical products yield high returns for investors.

Pertaining to the processing of animal feed, there are excessive by-products of organic materials in urban areas. The availability of above 20 flour milling factories, traditional edible oil extractors, Dansha Cotton Ginning Factory as well as minced bone from Abergele International slaughter are opportunities for the sector.

Raising rate of construction sector throughout the country, availability of almost all mineral inputs has played a determinant role on the engagements to the sector.

Construction sector is an untapped sector in Tigrai, Berhanu Legese, Secretariat of the Tigrai Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association expressed to The Ethiopian Herald via telephone.

Hotel & tourism
Economic development, high rate of urbanization and infrastructure expansion, raising number of tourists to the country in general and to Tigrai in particular, government priority for tourism sector, infrastructure expansion, high demand for cultural recreation centres, scenically beauty natural and historical sites, beautiful natural scenery and varied historical and cultural heritage sites are everywhere in the State.

To conclude, it is well known that Ethiopia has abundant untapped natural resources and ample investment opportunities which are rewarding for investors across the globe. Investing in all of its states, unquestionably, yield the best.

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