The logistics sector is key for the successful development of a manufacturing and export-led economy. The ability to transport goods quickly, economically, and reliably is vital to the country’s prosperity and competitiveness in the global market.

For the past years Ethiopia has been faring well in the areas of economic development and attraction of foreign direct investments – especially through the development of industrial hubs. However, the logistic services in the country remains a major challenge for the industrial development and the targeted export-led growth. Being a landlocked country, more than 90% of Ethiopian cargo traffic is handled in the port of Djibouti – the cooperation between the countries as well as the handling and customs procedures are often not well-defined and not practical. The political instable situation in both countries complicate the logistic services further.

Acknowledging that a robust and sustainable logistic sector is not only crucial for export-led economic growth but also offers great business opportunities itself, Ethiopia has been investing heavily in improving its transport infrastructure, developed a National Logistics Strategy, and set clear targets in cutting import and export transit times. 

Objectives of the conference

Ethiopia is strongly committed to industrial transformation, innovation, employment creation and environmental protection. To achieve these targets, an economically and ecologically efficient logistics sector is inevitable. This conference will identify best practices and develop innovative solutions for the design of Ethiopia’s logistics sector. In this respect the objectives of the conference are solution-driven and focus on practical implementation: 

  • Promotion of economic and environmental sustainability as defined in the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development in the global logistics sector (esp. SDG 9 "Infrastucture and Innovation")
  • Pooling of knowledge and sharing international best practices on policies, approaches, and technical solutions for planning and managing the logistics sector – especially in landlocked countries and fragile political contexts  
  • Highlighting Ethiopia’s effort and next steps to improve its ease-of-doing business index – including, especially, its establishment of dry port(s) and logistics centers and custom clearings 
  • Identifying concrete solutions for addressing persisting bottlenecks of the domestic logistic sector in Ethiopia

Main Messages

Logistics Services as a Success Factor for Export-led Economic Growth 

  • Reliable and cost-efficient logistic services are key for Ethiopia’s industrial transformation 
  • Reliable and cost-efficient logistic services can offer a competitive advantage for Ethiopia’s industrial transformation

Logistic Services in Landlocked Countries and their Particularities  

  • Logistics services in landlocked countries require well-defined regulations with neighbouring states 
  • Logistics services in landlocked countries require stable and stringent institutions that enforce regulations

Logistics Services as an Attractive Business Opportunity in Ethiopia

  • Ethiopia’s ongoing industrial transformation and predicted export-led growth for the next years will demand extensive logistic services  
  • Ethiopia’s recently liberalized logistics sector offers promising investment potential for local and international logistic service provider