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Salient Features: Socialist oriented after
with strong state controls. Thereafter, large part of
economy transferred to public sector, including most modern
industry and large-scale commercial agriculture, all
agricultural land and urban rental property, and all
financial institutions; some private enterprise and capital
participation permitted in certain sectors. Since mid-1991,
a decentralized, market-oriented economy emphasizing
individual initiative, designed to reverse a decade of
economic decline. In 1993 gradual privatization of business,
industry, banking, agriculture, trade, and commerce under
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): US$6 billion in
capita GDP about US$120. Economy grew during late 1970s but
declined in early 1980s and stagnated thereafter. GDP in
Ethiopian fiscal year (EFY) 1990/91 fell by 5 to 6 percent
in real terms, after a 1 percent decline in EFY 1989/90.
Agriculture registered modest gains after 1989.
Agriculture and Livestock: Accounted for
percent of gross domestic product (GDP), 80 percent of
exports, and 80 percent of labor force in 1991; other
activities dependent on marketing, processing, and exporting
of agricultural products. Production overwhelmingly of
subsistence nature with large part of commodity exports
provided by small agricultural monetized sector. Principal
crops coffee, pulses, oilseeds, cereals, potatoes,
sugarcane, and vegetables. Livestock population believed
largest in Africa. Livestock alone accounted for about 15
percent of GDP in 1987.
Industry: Manufacturing severely affected by
dislocation following revolution. Growth of sector low after
1975. Primary subsectors cement, textiles, food processing,
and oil refining. In 1993 smaller enterprises being
privatized; larger ones still under state control. Most
industry functioning well below capacity.
Energy Sources: Hydroelectric power most
and potential source of energy. Domestic mineral fuel
resources in 1991 included low-grade lignite and traces of
petroleum and natural gas. Potentially important geothermal
power exists in Great Rift Valley.
Foreign Trade: Little foreign trade by
standards. Exports almost entirely agricultural commodities;
coffee largest foreign exchange earner. Value of imports
regularly greater than export receipts. Wide range of
trading partners, but most important in 1992 included United
States, Germany, Britain, and Japan.
Currency: Birr (pl., birr; no symbol). Prior
1992, US$1 equaled 2.07 birr. After devaluation on that date
US$1 equaled 4.94 birr. Significant parallel currency market
existed before devaluation.
Data as of 1991