Ethiopia is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, according to The World Bank. And now, it is poised to become a major player in the mining market.

Ethiopia’s latest mine, the Tula Kapi Gold Project in Western Ethiopia, could mean big things for the country. Owned by KEFI Minerals, the mine will be fully operational by 2019 and is expected to produce a large gold yield, as well as greatly support local communities and create various economic opportunities. In addition to job creation, the mine will be supporting the community through greater infrastructure.

CEO of KEFI Minerals, Harry Anagnostaras-Adams, had this to say of the mine: “The Arabian-Nubian shield – including Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia – will go through a transformation over the next few decades to become one of the world’s major mining and metal production regions. Therefore, we feel that we are being focused enough, and careful enough, and successful enough to establish a platform there and be a part of that from ground zero.”

Mining has been marked as a priority for development, according to Ethiopia’s Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Motuma Mekassa Zeru. The geologically diverse country is rich in minerals, including gold, platinum, and gemstones, all of which have gone virtually untapped. As a result, the government is making a concerted effort to shift the country from an agricultural-led economy to an industrial-led economy. The hope is to make the mineral sector the backbone of the Ethiopian economy by 2023, furthering industrialization and wider economic development.

The Fast-Track:

Ethiopia is fast becoming a power player in the global economy. Ethiopia recently climbed up 3 places on Rand Merchant Bank’s list of best African countries to invest in, beating out Ghana for fourth place. Egypt, South Africa, and Morocco make up the top three. Furthermore, Global risk consultancy, Control Risks, just released the Africa Risk-Reward report on the 21st of September, in which they state that Ethiopia, as well as Kenya, are on track to overtaking African heavyweights Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt in the competition of investment.

The study shows Ethiopia outshining all other African countries in terms of investment. In 2016, Ethiopia attracted $3.2 billion of foreign direct investment. 2016 also saw the country receiving 6.5% in economic growth.

The purpose of the report is to determine for investors their strongest hidden options in times of top investments diminishing. Concerns such as political stability, government investments, militarism and security all factor into considering the strength of investment. Paul Gabriel, senior analyst for Africa at Control Risks and lead author of the report says, “The Africa Risk-Reward Index helps investors to identify some of the more hidden investment opportunities in times where the heavy-hitters are struggling.” Gabriel continues by saying, “While no serious investor should overlook the economic giants of the continent, a real competitive edge can only be achieved when investors manage to stay ahead of the pack in knowing what’s next”.

What do you think? Can Ethiopia overtake other African heavyweights? Let us know in the comments below.