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Ethiopia is to become a tourism brand – despite drought fears

Ethiopia’s Tourism Minister Aisha Mohammed Mussa proudly presented the country’s new tourism slogan: ’Ethiopia - Land of Origins’. Human life, in the shape of the hominid ’Lucy’, began in Ethiopia, and the country is proud of the many unique attractions, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites, its fascinating natural landscapes and rich flora and fauna. Situated in the continent’s east and on the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in the world. It is the only African country never to have been colonised and was already mentioned in the Old Testament. “As you can see, we really are the land of origins“, said Aisha Mohammed Mussa. Unfortunately this new brand launch comes at a bad time. The current crisis and the country’s worst drought in 50 years have rekindled fears of the terrible images of 30 years ago, when due to drought and war Ethiopia was ravaged by famine, costing hundreds of thousands of lives. Aisha Mohammed Mussa stresses that the same will not happen this time. No rain has fallen since the spring of 2015. The drought is caused by El Niño, which last year had a stronger impact than ever. Despite this, there would be no famine, she said. The Ethiopian government was well-prepared for poor harvests, and there were precautionary mechanisms in place. The government had set up social aid programmes which could be expanded in the event of a crisis. “We will end the drought and not let it cause a famine“, said the tourism minister.

In Ethiopia, one of the world’s fastest-growing countries, tourism is expanding by 20 per cent per year. Tourism in 2014 generated income equal to 2.8 billion dollars. Over the last ten years visitor numbers have increased by 12 per cent, to 800,000 in 2014, and in 2015 reached the targeted one million mark. Aisha Mohammed Mussa: “Our vision is to transform Ethiopia into one of Africa’s leading travel destinations by 2025.“

Antje Lückingsmeier


Hall 21.a , Stand 121 / 101 / 102

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