29 July 2014 Economic News


Aviation: Ethiopians’ Big Ambitions

New operators and services are entering new markets but, as ever, there are only two options when it comes to buying wide-bodied aircraft: Boeing and Airbus. Neil Ford reports.

According to figures from Airbus, Boeing held an 81% market share in 1995, with Airbus taking the remaining 19%. Now, however, the European consortium puts the balance at 51% to 49% in its favour. One of the three biggest African airlines, Kenya Airways, recently added to its existing fleet of 42 aircraft when it took delivery of two Boeing 777-300ERs.

The aircraft will operate on the Nairobi-Amsterdam and Nairobi-Guangzhou routes, as the company continues to roll out new long-haul services. The company has also announced that it will lease two Boeing 737-800 aircraft from GE Capital Aviation Services from early 2015.

Ethiopian’s fleet is almost entirely dominated by Boeing but the company is currently weighing up an option for 30 narrow-bodied Airbus aircraft to drive its rapid expansion plans. Chief executive Tewolde Gebremariam says that his company would make a decision by the end of June. Whether opting for Boeing or Airbus, the deal would be worth about $3bn. The company is seeking to become the dominant player in African aviation by setting up hubs in every region.

After its hubs in Addis Ababa and Liège in Belgium, it became a partner with ASKY Airlines in 2010, founded by Gervais Koffi Djondo (co-founder of Ecobank), to operate from the Togolese capital Lomé, which it has made its West African hub. 

Ethiopian is currently assessing potential candidates in Central and Southern Africa but the most likely options are to be in Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and Malawi. Ethiopia bought a 49% stake in Malawian Airlines last year, while DR Congo is the missing link in its African trade, both in the air and on the ground. Flights from a DR Congo hub airport could reach anywhere on the continent in less than five hours. 

An African global hub?

Ethiopian Airlines is particularly keen to make the most of Addis Ababa’s location in the Horn of Africa. Passengers travelling from North America or Europe to Asia could be reluctant to fly further south on the African continent to pick up a connecting flight but Addis Ababa could compete with Dubai as a hub airport. 

As a result of its new service to Beijing, Ethiopian now flies to Chinese destinations 28 times a week and is looking to expand this coverage. The airline has set targets of carrying 18m passengers a year by 2025, with 112 aircraft operating on 92 routes. In December last year, Ethiopian began operating a thrice-weekly route to Singapore via Bangkok. This is a welcome addition given the rapidly increasing trade and investment ties with the Asian commercial giant.

The company has also invested $52m in the Ethiopian Aviation Academy in an attempt to develop an aviation sector institute of global importance. About 1,000 students are currently enrolled at the Academy with the aim of becoming pilots, cabin crew, engineers and marketing staff. This figure will be ramped up to 2,000 by 2017 and 4,000 by 2025, with the intake split roughly equally between Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian students. 

Low-cost airlines are still likely to be the future of African air travel but the model has not taken off as quickly as some had anticipated. South Africa has seen a string of low-cost airlines come and go in recent years but many in the industry believe that there is room for new operators. 1time folded in 2012 and an attempt to relaunch it as Skywise earlier this year was rejected by the Department of Transport because its licence had expired. 

Potential new entrants in the market include fastjet and FlySafair, while consultants Blue Crane Aviation have applied for a licence for their new company, Fly Blue Crane, which is led by a number of former SAA executives. In May, a company spokesperson announced: “We are preparing the ground for a regional airline, looking specifically at underserviced routes.”



Tendaho Dam construction reaches 98 pct


The Tendaho Dam built to irrigate sugar cane plantation for Tendaho Sugar Factory can now fully supply the water required, according to Water Works Design and Control Enterprise.

Some 98 percent of the construction of the dam that holds 1.86 billion cubic meters of water is finalized.

The dam has the capacity to develop over 60,000 hectares of land and provide pasture land and farm land for the community in the neighborhood.

Out of the 60,000 hectares of land planned to be cultivated, 10,000 will be allotted for social services, and 4,022 hectares of this is already given to members of the community, it was learned.

The remaining 50,000 hectares would be used to cultivate sugarcane for the sugar factory.

The construction of the dam was delayed as the locality is susceptible to earthquake.



Ethiopia to build US$51m hospital in Amhara 


Gondar University Hospital in Ethipia

The Amhara Regional State in Ethiopia has embarked on an array of activities to raise funds for the construction of the Wollo Tertiary Health Care and Teaching Hospital. The estimated cost of the construction project is US$51m.

The project will consist of a three storey building for the hospital, two storey building for teaching, and three apartments each with three storey accommodations for dormitories and housing for teachers.

The hospital will be constructed in Wollo, 5KM from Diessie. The design was done voluntarily by tripartite architects who included Haile Gebriel Consultant & Architect and Engineering Plc, Mat Consultant and Universal Consultants.

The Sate of Amhara is located in the north western and north central part of Ethiopia with an estimated population of 14 million people. Most of the communities there engage in agricultural activities. This region is one of the largest in Ethiopia, and the move to construct the hospital is aimed at making health services readily available in the rural areas.

Although Ethiopia has a free universal primary health care policy, most women in the rural areas have to walk for many kilometers to access these services.

The Ethiopian government has made great strides in accomplishing their millennium development goals of which providing quality healthcare is part of.



Ethiopia’s Jatropha plantation set to produce biodiesel


Ethiopia expands Jatropha plantation to produce biodiesel

The project is being implemented in collaboration with the Ethiopian and Norwegian governments at a cost of over $2.8 million.

World Bulletin/News Desk

Ethiopia is expanding Jatropha plantation to produce 500 million litres of biodiesel from the inedible plant, which can yield 600 litres of biodiesel from a single ton of seeds, an Ethiopian official said on Monday.

“The country has designed a five-year Jatropha development project aimed at transplanting 700 million Jatropha seedlings and produce 500 million litres biodiesel,” Bizuneh Tolcha, spokesperson for the Ministry of Water, Energy and Irrigation, told Anadolu Agency.

He said the project is being implemented in collaboration with the Ethiopian and Norwegian governments at a cost of over $2.8 million.

“Production of biodiesel from Jatropha will help the country save foreign currency, which is spent on the import of petroleum,” he added.

According to government estimates, Ethiopia spends close to $2 billion a year to import petroleum from Sudan and Saudi Arabia.

“There is an area of 2.5 million hectares suitable for Jatropha plantation in different parts of the country,” Tolcha said.

He noted that so far, 90,000 hectares of land is covered with Jatropha plants.

The spokesperson said that his ministry is working to modernize the Jatropha plantation and encourage investors engage in the activity.

“So far six investors and some three domestic NGOs have given prime attention to Jatropha plantation. The investors and NGOs are transplanting 250 million Jatropha seedlings,” he said.

Tolcha said that efforts were also underway to produce Jatropha seed pulping and squashing machines, noting that pulping and squashing machines are being installed in Tigray and South Ethiopia Peoples’ States, which will have the capacity to produce a total of 5000 litres biodiesel.

Jatropha is a drought resistant plant, which contributes in natural resource conservation as it can grow on depleted land.



Egyptian intensive care unit for cardiac surgery inaugurated at Black Lion Hospital


An Egyptian intensive care unit for cardiac surgery was inaugurated Saturday at Black Lion Hospital in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a Saturday statement.
Renowned Egyptian-born British heart surgeon Magdi Yacoub, Egyptian Ambassador to Ethiopia Mohamed Idris and members of the Ethiopian Parliament attended the opening.
“My visit with the Egyptian medical crew to Ethiopia represents the true bonds of the two peoples,” the statement quoted Yacoub as saying.
Yacoub, who received the Order of Merit from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in June, added, “This cooperation will continue and evolve to provide high-level medical service to Ethiopian citizens and save the lives of Ethiopian children and brothers who suffer heart diseases.”
The unit, which will mainly serve children, was funded by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry as part of growing medical cooperation between the two African countries, the statement said.
Several other Egyptian medical units specialized in a variety of conditions have recently been inaugurated in Ethiopia’s capital, including Saint Louis Hospital.
“The visit comes in the framework of an integrated system aimed at enhancing Egyptian-Ethiopian relations in all fields and on different tracks. Cooperation in the medical field has had direct positive effects on the lives of our Ethiopian brothers,” Idris said.
“The upcoming period will witness a lot of efforts and many mutual visits to develop cooperation between the two states and peoples,” the ambassador added.



KEFI Minerals On Track Towards Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia Mining


KEFI Minerals PLC Monday said it is on track towards re-activating the mining licence at Tulu Kapi in Ethiopia and it expects to submit its mining licence application for the Jibal Qutman mine in Saudi Arabia by the end of the year.

The gold mining company with operations in Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia said in a short update that it has had an exceptionally productive quarter after raising over GBP2 million in a placing to acquire the remaining 25% of its Tulu Kapi project and move forward its projects in both Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia .

In the remainder of 2014, the company plans to get independent verification of; the mineral resources and ore reserves, its revised mine plan and its estimates for capital expenditure and operational expenditure at the Tulu Kapi site.

It also plans to complete the acquisition for the remaining 25% of Tulu Kapi, and arrange bank finance in order to reactivate the mining licence at Tulu Kapi.

KEFI Minerals bought a 75% stake of the Tulu Kapi licence in December for GBP4.5 million after Nyota had struggled to find a joint venture partner at the site.

In June, Nyota Minerals said it had agreed to sell its remaining 25% in the Tulu Kapi gold project to KEFI for GBP1.5 million in cash and shares, after failing to fund its cash calls for the site.

The company also said on Monday that at the Jibal Qutman site, its joint venture Gold & Minerals is working on refining documentation in order to trigger the mining licence application for the site.

However, KEFI said that further expenditure on the process is being curtailed as they await the outcome of discussions with the regulatory authorities which are currently reviewing their policies for the minerals sector in Saudi Arabia with a view to encouraging exploration whilst ensuring appropriate local benefits.

“At Tulu Kapi, we are on track to complete the DFS documentation required to organise the project finance and re-activate the mining licence. In Jibal Qutman, results from recent drilling extend the known mineralisation and we expect to submit the Mining Licence application by year end,” Managing Director Jeff Rayner said in a statement.

KEFI Minerals shares were up 1.8% to 1.40 pence on Monday.



Kefi Minerals rises as unveils “most productive” quarter in history


On the second quarter, managing director Jeff Rayner said:  'We strengthened our board with the appointment of Norman Ling, former UK ambassador to Ethiopia, and we raised over £2 million to ensure that we can continue to support the rapid development of our projects.'

On the second quarter, managing director Jeff Rayner said: “We strengthened our board with the appointment of Norman Ling, former UK ambassador to Ethiopia, and we raised over £2 million to ensure that we can continue to support the rapid development of our projects.”

KEFI Minerals (LON:KEFI) shares were lifted as it described its second quarter as the “most productive” in its history, which saw progress at both projects: Tulu Kapi and Jibal Qutman.

At Tulu Kapi in Ethiopia, milestones for the remainder of the year as part of the mining licence application for the project include closing the acquisition of the remaining 25% and an independent verification or ore reserves.

At the Jibal Qutman property in Saudi Arabia, where strong drill results have been reported this month, the firm intends to expand the revised plans to the level required by syndicate banks.

On the second quarter, managing director Jeff Rayner said: “We strengthened our board with the appointment of Norman Ling, former UK ambassador to Ethiopia, and we raised over £2 million to ensure that we can continue to support the rapid development of our projects.

“Operationally, the selective mining approach we deployed at Tulu Kapi at the beginning of the year has had the effect of significantly lowering capital requirements making the project a more attractive investment and financially-viable proposition.

“As a result, for Tulu Kapi, we are on track to complete the DFS documentation required to organise the project finance and re-activate the mining licence. In Jibal Qutman, results from recent drilling extend the known mineralisation and we expect to submit the mining licence application by year end.”



Breaking Down the Silos: Learning Knowledge and Skills for Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods


By Anna Robinson-Pant, University of East Anglia.

EgyptAs a researcher in literacy, gender and development, I was excited to have the opportunity to collaborate on a project that aimed to bring together policy makers, practitioners and researchers working on adult basic education, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and agricultural development. These sectors are so obviously inter-connected in people’s lives and livelihoods, and yet researchers and policy makers in these fields often work in isolation from each other. Within the education sector alone, gaps in understanding, communication and conflicting policy priorities have developed between schooling and other forms of education; between adult literacy and other kinds of adult education (particularly vocational skill development); and between programmes for children and adults.

The IFAD-UNESCO project, ‘Learning knowledge and skills for agriculture and rural livelihoods’, set out to develop a more holistic analysis by researching how young people learn different kinds of knowledge, skills and strategies to enhance their livelihoods in rural areas. Rather than using training programmes and educational institutions as an entry point, the study adopted a ‘bottom-up’ approach to researching how informal, non-formal and formal learning is taking place in the everyday lives of young people. Research teams in Cambodia, Egypt and Ethiopia conducted ethnographic observation, focus group discussions and life history interviews in two contrasting rural communities. They explored how young people viewed their learning experiences (education in the widest sense – not just schooling), agricultural livelihoods and their aspirations for the future. They analysed this data in relation to case studies of skill providers in these communities and interviews with older women and men – to gain insights into intergenerational learning and understanding of changing social values and livelihood strategies. As Global Research Co-ordinator on the project, my role included supporting the country research teams through a review of the international literature and training in qualitative methods, and developing a comparative analysis across the three country contexts.

Having worked for several years in rural communities in Western Nepal, I have seen how young people dreamed of a future beyond the family land and subsistence farming. As roads, mobile phones and the internet have reached even remote mountain villages, I have witnessed the growing numbers of young women and men leaving for education and work in Kathmandu and the Gulf countries. So I guessed that the situation in our research sites in Cambodia, Egypt and Ethiopia would be similar. As much previous research has pointed out, young people often see farming as an occupation of ‘last resort’. In a sense, challenging our own assumptions as researchers was the first step on this project – how to suspend beliefs (particularly since many of the country research teams were originally from subsistence farming backgrounds) that young people would be better off in occupations away from agriculture and their rural communities. At our first workshop with stakeholders in Ethiopia, there was heated debate about whether the IFAD-UNESCO project was trying to ‘brainwash’ young people into staying in family farming.

As the field research progressed, the young people’s views and experiences from these very different contexts made us realise the complexity of the relationship between learning, agriculture and social change. Young people not only talked about their livelihoods in terms of ‘farming’ or ‘other’ in their accounts of their lives. Rather, they emphasised that farming was a ‘given’ within many different livelihood activities and roles over the course of their lives and that there were strong inter-connections between off-farm and on-farm work. For instance, a college student in Fayoum (Egypt) related how he returned to help the family with farming during holidays in order to support his studies. There were striking differences between the different country contexts in terms of how young people viewed agricultural work. In Siem Reap (Cambodia), some young women talked about the appeal of working in a factory rather than the farm as it offered a social space and chance to meet their future spouses, as well as gaining confidence through this interaction. In Gemi (Egypt), young women expressed great affection for the land and yearned to own their own piece of land for growing food for the family. In Basona (Ethiopia), the team interviewed several divorced young women who had moved to the town to make and sell alcohol. Although now independent of their families, they were dependent on traders and employment agencies that made them susceptible to abuse and exploitation.

So where did learning fit into this complex picture of rapidly changing and multiple rural livelihoods? As a young man in the Ethiopian study commented, ‘learning agricultural knowledge and skills is not a question of choice, we learned it because it is a way of life, where we are born from’. The findings revealed much about informal learning in these communities, such as how young people learned agricultural practices from their families. An older pastoralist woman in Yabello (Ethiopia) explained how young children would learn to look after one or two small calves at the age of 7, then move onto a larger herd at age 8, and she explained what they would learn – where water and fodder is available in which season, alertness, physical endurance to travel to distant places and fight with wild animals. New skills and technologies were also learned informally. Young people related how they had learned to use mobile phones through help from friends – even those who could not read and write had developed visual strategies to recognise incoming and outgoing calls.

Formal schooling is now a possibility for many young people in these communities – in contrast to their parents’ generation, some of whom saw schooling as a threat to traditional agricultural livelihoods, not least in terms of the financial burden and loss of labour within the family. Although young people did not expect to learn useful knowledge and skills directly relevant to agriculture in school, they emphasised the symbolic status of schooling, the confidence gained through being literate and an educated person. Young farmers commented that they had been excluded from agricultural extension programmes or training institutes due to the entry criteria: whether due to lacking educational qualifications or literacy skills or needing to own their own land. In Siem Reap (Cambodia), young women farmers explained how they turned to fertiliser traders to help them with technical advice on their crops. There were also instances of farmers learning informally from neighbours who had been included in training programmes, or by watching extension workers demonstrate new inputs to other farmers. In all the contrasting field sites, insights emerged into the ways in which informal learning supports and complements formal learning, particularly in terms of the wide range of ‘soft’ skills learned.

The project points to the need for researchers and policy makers to give greater attention to the extent and value of informal learning. The findings also provide strong evidence of young people’s diverse experiences and aspirations – challenging the one-size-fits-all approach in many educational programmes (whether adult literacy or agricultural skills development) and targeting youth as a homogeneous group.  Above all, as a team of educational and agricultural specialists, we learned the importance of moving outside our research and policy ‘silos’ to share assumptions and understandings of learning in these different sectors.


Anna Robinson-Pant is a Professor of Education and the Director of the Centre for Applied Research in Education (CARE) at the University of East Anglia. She is also the Global Research Co-ordinator on the IFAD-UNESCO project ‘Learning knowledge and skills for agriculture to improve rural livelihoods’.



DO NOT DEVALUE THE BIRR: Ignore the World Bank By Tecola W Hagos


The recent poisoned advice from the World Bank to devalue the Birr by another 10% is a sure process of killing the Ethiopian economy for good. What they are attempting is to get at China through such pariah-nibbling at small economies around the world where China has gained well-earned influence and often mutually beneficial partnerships with numerous developing countries.

“Lars Moller, the bank’s chief economist in Ethiopia, told reporters today in the capital, Addis Ababa,” about the 10% devaluation so reported William Davison in his short article “World Bank Urges Ethiopia to Devalue Birr to Boost Exports,” Bloomberg, Jul 22, 2014.

The first and subsequent devaluations that were also instigated by the World Bank/IMF forcing the then new Ethiopian leaders of the new EPRDF Government as a condition for badly needed loans did not benefit Ethiopia at all. It degraded the labor value of every commodity Ethiopia was exporting. There was no dramatic increase in volume of exports due to the devaluation. The increase was due to other economic factors having to do with market demands not devaluation. It is absolutely stupid to think of devaluation in order to boost the volume of export.

In this regard, in an extensive and highly illuminating article, the well-received economist Prof Seid Hassan enlightened us on the subject of devaluation, four years ago, in 2010. [Must Read.]
“The devaluation of the birr is likely to aggravate inflation and it could spark a snowball effect of higher inflation as it can build into a cascade of expectations for further devaluation by private citizens. When devaluation is done overnight in secretive and surprising manner as is done to the birr, the action has the potential to irritate the business sector and speculators. As a result, the devaluation measure could be self-defeating and self-fulfilling. Moreover, for those who control the commanding heights of the Ethiopian economy and the party-controlled conglomerates and their ‘owners’, the action will tempt them to convert their assets into dollars/pounds/euros and expatriate their assets before their values are eroded… There is also a possibility for potential and future birr holders to shun the currency since holding the birr will be very expensive to them.” Seid Hassan, Zenawi and the devaluation of the birr: A layman’s guide, Pampazuka News, Issue 498, 09-30-2010. http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/67399.

I hope you will understand the nature of my emotive statements herein, for my views are decidedly that of a layman. In fact, the Ethiopian Government should lodge stern warning and serious complaint against the individuals in the World Bank who came up with such destructive schema. This is not something that can be hidden from public scrutiny and challenge. We have read the devastation caused by devaluation in a number of South American countries. They have struggled out of that debacle by adopting the very opposite of what the World Bank is suggesting now for Ethiopia to adopt—by reevaluating their currency in reducing inflationary economy.

I believe that the Ethiopian Birr is severely undervalued. As a net importer country, it is in our best interest to increase the value of the Birr and not devalue it. I understand the argument that it will encourage export and discourage imports thereby expanding the domestic economy. I am not convinced that such domestic economic boom is possible, from having studied what followed devaluation in a number of countries in Africa and South America. What we must seek to evaluate is the labor cost of our unit production. It is not the general population’s economic condition that ought to determine the value of the Birr. The lower labor cost of production certainly overcompensates for the inefficiency rooted in less technologically advanced economies. I believe the starting point of our currency is first and foremost our medium of exchange in our domestic economic life. I would advocate that we should move back to the gold-standard system of valuing currency and reevaluate our Birr against the Dollar. If we had maintained a gold-bullion reserve rather than giving up our gold for mere 2-3% royalty to some mercenary exploitative Foreigner, the value of our Birr would have been right now at least on par with that of the oil based economies of the Middle East.

Devaluation is a fictional man’s system of creating virtual efficiency, a delusion of doing something, while doing nothing worth anything. The economy problems of Ethiopia can not be solved by manipulating indices such as the currency. What we need to focus our energy and talent is in creating and maintaining a political system that has core democratic values, the rule of law, and that encourages and rewards individual industry and creativity. There are also specific policies on the Ethiopian economy, the Ethiopian Government has to undertake. Foremost, the issue of land ownership must be resolved; monopolistic control of service and manufacturing industries must be dismantled; banking must be revolutionized to allow credit/debt based economy; serious effort must be carried out on educating qualified citizens to undertake the many tasks in an industrialized community. The problem essentially can be solved by such structural adjustments and democratic policy implementations rather than fiddling with the currency. Once again I quote Seid Hassan for his poignant remarks identifying what truly should be our concern in regard to the economy of Ethiopia, for his words are prophetic and valid to this day.

“If the birr collapses, therefore, it will not be due to those unscrupulous speculators, but due to structural problems and bad policies and their implementation by the government in power. But again, given what took place in Zimbabwe, a combination of existing shortages and the expectation of further devaluation could lead to the collapse of the birr… Speaking about the IMF, it is quite puzzling that the IMF would suggest a devaluation of the birr on such a massive scale, particularly for a currency that has not faced a currency collapse. Devaluation of this magnitude is generally necessitated by a currency collapse, which is not the case with the birr. One may also argue that this relatively massive devaluation may indicate the government’s willingness to forgo the necessary structural adjustment measures, using the massive devaluation as the only measure to ameliorate the problem.” Seid Hassan, “Zenawi and the devaluation of the birr: A layman’s guide,” Pampazuka News, Issue 498, 09-30-2010. http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/67399.

I will conclude my concern with another outstanding economist, Mustafa Acar: “ these findings imply that policy makers in developing countries should be cautious when taking a decision on devaluing the currency or using the policy instruments under their control in such a way as to create real depreciation. More particularly, it is not advisable to call for devaluation if the major concern is increasing output in the short run. Along the same lines, we can say that it is not recommended for the LDC [Less Developed Countries] governments implementing a flexible exchange rate system to allow for a major depreciation, since it may hurt economic growth.” Mustafa Acar, “Devaluation in Developing Countries: Expansionary or Contractionary?” Journal of Economic and Social Research 2 (1) 2000, 59-83, 79-80. Devaluation has far extensive and deeper effect on the economic life of a country that devalues its currency. It sets bad precedent and a polarized solution to a problem lodged elsewhere in the government of a country. The fact is that devaluation eats at our savings and vaporize already completed transactions whose economic value was determined at then existing market system. Devaluation brings into the system one of the most unacceptable degree of inequity, unfairness, and corrosive of social values. It creates unusually high level of uncertainty and a form of economic Tsunami that would rock every corner of the Ethiopian society. It is problematic to no end. Do not devalue the Birr, but make structural political and economic reforms.

Tecola W Hagos
July 25, 2014
Washington DC



Ethiopia is the biggest country in the world without Stock Exchange


Of the roughly 200 nations (both official and partially recognized) in the world, 40 of these countries have no stock exchanges. As frontier market investors with a focus on public equities, keeping an eye out on which countries are about to launch new stock exchanges is important as they usually represent promising investment opportunities. This is because stock exchanges require a great deal of capital, expertise, controls, and economic growth in order to survive, and a stock market launch is a promising sign that early economic challenges have been overcome. We could not find a definitive list of countries with no stock exchanges online, so we have compiled our own.

Here is a list of countries without stock exchanges (population over 1 million):

Country Name Region GDP/Capita Population
Angola Sub-Saharan Africa $       6,247 19,183,590
Burma Asia-Pacific $       1,740 60,380,000
Cuba Caribbean $       9,900 11,167,325
Democratic Republic of Congo Sub-Saharan Africa $       1,287 69,360,000
Eritrea Sub-Saharan Africa $         707    6,536,000
Ethiopia Sub-Saharan Africa $       1,366 87,952,991
Gambia Sub-Saharan Africa $       1,962    1,882,450
Guinea Sub-Saharan Africa $       1,125 10,628,972
Kosovo South Europe $       7,766    1,815,606
Lesotho Sub-Saharan Africa $       2,255    2,098,000
Liberia Sub-Saharan Africa $         703    4,397,000
Madagascar Sub-Saharan Africa $         970 21,263,403
Mauritania Sub-Saharan Africa $       2,218    3,461,041
North Korea Asia-Pacific $       1,800 25,027,000
Somalia Sub-Saharan Africa $         600 10,806,000
South Sudan Sub-Saharan Africa $       1,350 11,739,000
Tajikistan Central Asia $       2,354    8,160,000
Timor-Leste Asia-Pacific $       2,242    1,212,107
Turkmenistan Central Asia $       9,510    5,307,000
Yemen Middle East / North Africa $       2,316 25,235,000

GDP per capita is on a PPP basis and is as of 2013 from the IMF.

There are also 20 countries with a population under 1 million that do not have stock exchanges: Andorra, Belize, Brunei, Comoros, Djibouti, Kiribati, Macau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Monaco, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Vatican City.

Notable Countries With No Stock Exchanges:


With a population of almost 90 million, Ethiopia is the biggest country in the world without a stock exchange. On the other hand, it is home to Africa’s first commodity exchange, the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX), which began operations in 2008. The ECX was founded by economist Eleni Gabre-Madhin (read an interview with her here) and trades five commodities: coffee, sesame, haricot beans, maize, and wheat. While the National Bank of Ethiopia has done studies on the feasibility of a future stock exchange, nothing is planned yet.

Burma / Myanmar

While Burma currently has the Myanmar Securities Exchange Centre (MSEC), an exchange founded back in 1996, it had little IPO activity after it’s opening and is effectively dead. Fortunately, the government has enlisted Daiwa Securities Group and the Tokyo Stock Exchange to help them start a new exchange: the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSE). From the latest reports, it is currently slated to open in October 2015 with six companies interested in listing.


Angola has a sizable population and is one of the more developed countries on this list, so it is a surprise they lack a stock exchange given the number of smaller and less developed countries in Africa with exchanges of their own. Unfortunately, while an exchange has been discussed since 2002, the launch of the Angola Stock Exchange has been pushed back again to 2017. The culprit is poor financial statements, and it will take time for expertise and infrastructure to be in place.


These 40 countries represent the final frontier for investors, and we certainly expect the top 20 countries on this list to have stock exchanges one day. The biggest reason for the larger countries to not have stock exchanges is rule of law and prevalent corruption. This means that until their rankings improve on Transparency International’s reports and others like it, stock exchange launches will continue to be delayed.

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