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Ethiopia hailed as 'African lion' with fastest creation of millionaires ...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/04/ethiopia-faster-rate-...

Ethiopia hailed as 'African lion' with


fastest creation of millionaires
Michael Buerk's famished Ethiopia of 1984 has become a nation
achieving 93% GDP growth in six years, finds study
David Smith, Africa correspondent
The Guardian, Wednesday 4 December 2013 16.49 GMT

Office blocks under construction in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. But the reality is also many very poor
neighbourhoods. Photograph: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

"Dawn. And as the sun breaks through the piercing chill of night on the plain outside
Korem it lights up a biblical famine, now, in the 20th century. This place, say workers
here, is the closest thing to hell on earth."
That television news report by the BBC's Michael Buerk in 1984 framed Ethiopia for a
generation as a place of famine and in need of salvation.
Almost 30 years later the country is hailed by pundits as an "African lion" after a decade
of stellar economic growth.
Now further evidence of its turnaround has arrived with research showing that Ethiopia

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Ethiopia hailed as 'African lion' with fastest creation of millionaires ...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/04/ethiopia-faster-rate-...

is creating millionaires at a faster rate than any other country on the continent.
The number of dollar millionaires in the east African nation rose from 1,300 in 2007 to
2,700 by September this year, according to New World Wealth, a consultancy based in
the UK and South Africa.
That figure puts the country well ahead of Angola, up by 68%, and Tanzania, which had
a 51% increase. Zambia and Ghana completed the top five.
The study finds that the rise in millionaires has been closely tied to GDP growth, in
which Ethiopia has also fared best over the past six years achieving 93%, followed by
Egypt (81%) and Angola (61%).
The authors note, however, that Ethiopia started from a very low base, and its per
capital wealth is still just $470 (287), compared to $3,187 (1,948) in Egypt and
$7,508 (4,588) in South Africa.

Andrew Amoils, a senior analyst at New World Wealth, said: "The economic and wealth
growth in Ethiopia over the last five or six years has been really strong. There has been a
lot of privatisation and certain sectors are growing well. It's a huge upswing but it
started from a low base."
As in other parts of Africa, however, the growth is not necessarily shared.
"The millionaires are growing at a faster rate than the middle class, which doesn't really
exist in a lot of African countries, including Ethiopia," Amoils said. "Angola, for
example, has had massive millionaire growth in the last 10 years but that hasn't spilled
through to the average Angolan."

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Ethiopia hailed as 'African lion' with fastest creation of millionaires ...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/04/ethiopia-faster-rate-...

But whereas much of Africa's boom has been driven by mineral resources, leading
sectors for millionaires in Ethiopia include agriculture, manufacturing and transport.
The richest Ethiopian is said to be the businessman Mohammed Al Amoudi, who divides
his time between Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia, where he now has citizenship.
A construction boom is underway in the capital, Addis Ababa, but Amare Abebaw, a
social entrepreneur, said the rest of the world does still did not appreciate the country's
extraordinary transformation.
"When I go home and watch TV I still see the famine from the 80s and I wonder how do
they still show this on the BBC when things have improved here? It is painful for us. We
know it is part of our history but we want to focus on the present."
Nevertheless, while the number of millionaires is definitely increasing, they remain a
fraction of the population.
"There are a few at the top but the majority of people are at the bottom, like in other
countries," Abebaw said. "There are self-made millionaires and people are proud to
know them. There are others where you don't know where they got the money from, and
suspicions may arise from the population."
South Africa is the top African country for millionaires with 48,700 in 2013, followed by
Egypt with 22,800 and Nigeria with 15,700.
Richard Dowden, director of the Royal African Society, said he had witnessed the rise of
tower blocks, traffic jams and people now "walking with a purpose" in Addis Ababa.
He added: "You don't see many Ethiopians in flashy cars, like you do with Luanda or
Lagos [citizens in their respective countries]. Flaunting your wealth is not part of the
culture."
The Ethiopian government claims credit for the growth but is criticised as authoritarian
by human rights groups; there is only one opposition MP.
In a recent blog post, Dowden noted that the former prime minister Meles Zenawi once
observed: "There is no connection between democracy and development."
2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.

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