KEY SECTORS / Pharmaceuticals


The opportunity to serve a growing domestic pharmaceutical market

Ethiopia represents an attractive investment opportunity for investors in the Pharmaceutical sector

Source: Frost & Sullivan and World Bank, “National Strategy and Plan of Action for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing,” PowerPoint presentation (2019), AGI analysis.

Ethiopia presents an attractive location for investors in the pharmaceutical industry. With a population of 116 million, Ethiopia’s domestic market for pharmaceutical products is estimated at US$1 billion. Currently, 85% of pharmaceutical supply in Ethiopia is imported—a big gap that is yet to be filled by local production. Coupled with the limited local production and special policy focus, this makes the pharmaceutical sector of Ethiopia potentially very lucrative for investors.

The Ethiopian pharmaceutical market offers a wide range of investment opportunities in the production of pharmaceuticals (in finished dose form), antisera, vaccines, toxins, cultures, glandular extracts for therapeutic use, and other pharmaceutical goods.

Demand for pharmaceuticals in Ethiopia has been growing at an average of 15% for the past 5 years and is projected to reach $1.8 billion in 2025 and $4 billion in 2030. With a growing population (and middle class), increased access to healthcare services, increased government spending on healthcare, and increasing awareness of diagnosis and treatment options, demand for pharmaceuticals is projected to continue its rapid growth.

At the same time, pharmaceutical manufacturing is a top priority for the government, which envisions becoming a major pharmaceutical manufacturing hub for Africa.

Invest in ethiopia

The opportunity to locate in Ethiopia to access the Sub-Saharan market

In addition to tackling import-substitution opportunities in Ethiopia, investors can gain access to key export markets by leveraging Ethiopia’s air connectivity, which currently offers access to 116 international major destinations.

In Africa alone, Ethiopia acts as a gateway to serve a pharmaceutical market worth more than $20 billion
Africa is at the final stages of implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area, which will connect 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined GDP of US$3.4 trillion.

Paving the way for investors

Ethiopia’s government is firmly committed to strategically supporting the country’s pharmaceutical sector. A range of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives are offered to investors in pharma. In addition, to facilitate quick and smooth entry to the market, the government has developed Kilinto Industrial Park specifically for the pharmaceutical sector. Located in Addis Ababa (the nation’s capital) about 25 kilometers from the city center, Kilinto rests on 279 hectares of land, approximately 166 hectares of which is dedicated to manufacturers. The Park has all of the requisite infrastructure, including a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant, reliable water supply, and a dedicated power substation. To ensure compliance with international Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and remove contamination, several measures including segregation/zoning of products are implemented.

To encourage local production, the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Agency (EPSA) provides 25% price protection when local pharmaceuticals manufacturers compete with foreign suppliers and extends 30% advance payment with long-term agreements.

The Ethiopian Investment Commission is providing all necessary services to investors looking to establish their ventures in pharmaceuticals manufacturing during their pre-implementation, establishment and operation journeys. The commission also offers services to investors looking to invest inside industrial parks.

Pharmaceuticals TESTIMONIAL

“The private sector can play a major role in improving the health sector in the country, and the government in its 10 years development plan incorporates a deep working relationship with sectors alike”.  

Dr. Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health Ministry, Ethiopia

Pharmaceuticals TESTIMONIAL

“Africa is our second home and we established Ethiopia’s first WHO-cGMP compliant plant in Addis Ababa, which has become an epicenter of multi-fold growth and development for through enhanced investments. We look forward to further strengthening our relations with Ethiopia,” 

Dr. Rajiv Modi, CMD, Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd

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Related publication: Invest in Ethiopia’s Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Sector


Mr. Tariku Getachew

Investment Promotion Directorate

Mebrahtom Gebreyesus

Industrial Parks Division


Invest in Ethiopia’s Pharmaceutical Sector

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