Ethiopia is one of the world’s oldest countries. Throughout its history, it has remained an economic hub for trade and free enterprise. Agriculture contributes to almost half of Ethiopia’s gross domestic product (GDP) – mostly conducted by subsistence smallholder farmers and cash cropping. Exports are mainly comprised of agricultural commodities, however, mining, and the export of precious gemstones is also increasing.
Since 2010, MEDA has worked with farmers and agri-businesses in Ethiopia to facilitate market connections, develop entrepreneurs, and transform agricultural practices. Although agriculture remains our strongest sector involvement, MEDA has also supported businesses in handicrafts, textile, and gemstones. Over the course of our time in Ethiopia, MEDA has provided support for over 47,000 men, women, and youth to access markets, financial services, environmental and gender training, and business growth.
The country is currently experiencing an ongoing military campaign between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. The conflict broke out in the Tigray Region last year and has since spread to neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions, including areas where MEDA has programming. Despite a very challenging operating environment, MEDA’s operations continue. We continue to actively monitor the security of our local staff and project partners in Ethiopia.
“The ATTSVE project encouraged me to write my own business plan and fulfill my dream of starting my own business. They not only helped me get my business started financially, [but] they also gave me technical support which taught me practical skills I would not have learned otherwise.”