Ethiopia Partnerships Forum (May 09, 2019)


The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs and Office of Global Partnerships invite you to participate in the Ethiopia Partnerships Forum in Washington, DC on May 15-16, 2019.


The Ethiopia Partnerships Forum (EPF) is a U.S.-Ethiopia economic engagement platform to raise awareness of Ethiopia’s recent economic reforms and emerging business opportunities, and accelerate American investments to transform Ethiopia’s economy. Coinciding with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s Spring Meetings in Washington, DC, the EPF will bring together private sector leaders and policymakers from the U.S. and Ethiopia to envision a new future of engagement between the two countries.


To support ongoing political and economic reforms in Ethiopia, the U.S. Department of State will convene the Ethiopia Partnerships Forum (EPF), a U.S.-Ethiopia economic engagement platform to raise awareness of Ethiopia’s bold new efforts to transform its economy and create attractive business opportunities. This joint event aims to accelerate American investment in Ethiopia and contribute to transformational change of Ethiopia’s economic and commercial landscape. The EPF will bring together private sector leaders and policymakers from the United States and Ethiopia to present their insights on ways to strengthen bilateral and regional engagement. The action-oriented forum will be comprised of two days of interactive panels, inspirational keynotes, networking sessions, and possible announcements of public and private sector business opportunities for post-forum implementation. The design of this event is driven by a need to develop revenue-generating deals in specific sectors that will benefit both Americans and Ethiopians by fostering trade, investment, growth, and job creation. The EPF is a unique opportunity to understand the dynamic changes taking place in Ethiopia, with a focus on formulating future business strategies and building strategic partnerships.


The EPF will kick off on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 in the Loy Henderson Auditorium at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC. The second day will feature a series of concurrent industry-focused events in various venues hosted by leading business groups in Washington, DC. These activities and events will serve to encourage creative collaboration to address Ethiopia’s business climate challenges and promote ideas to spur new investments. To view the full day’s agenda, click here.


The forum will feature a number of U.S. and Ethiopian business leaders and investors, major U.S. corporations, philanthropists, impact investors, and others interested in deepening business, trade, and investment ties based on the local priorities outlined by Ethiopians.


Ethiopia’s future is now. Africa’s fastest growing economy, and the continent’s second most populous country, is at the precipice of unprecedented opportunity for both Ethiopians and the global community. Upon taking office in April 2018, Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed declared a “New Horizon of Hope” for Ethiopia. He has promised Ethiopia’s first free and fair elections in 2020, has helped broker peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia, ending a nearly 20 year war, and is focused on dramatic economic reforms aimed at “unleashing the potential of the private sector.” Ethiopia is moving towards greater private sector participation, and has announced plans to privatize a number of enterprises and industries long-controlled by the state. The government of Ethiopia has focused on the services sector, including finance and telecommunications, as potential engines of growth and seeks partners to develop world-class infrastructure, including capital markets and ICT. Additionally, the country is revamping policy to rely more heavily on public-private partnerships (PPPs) for large infrastructure projects, and has already committed to 17 PPPs worth $7 billion. In December 2018, the Prime Minister’s administration unveiled a new initiative to improve the ease of doing business in the country, an exciting development for the private sector both in and outside of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is demonstrating a clear intent to engage more actively with the private sector as the country strives to maintain its growth and meet its goal of reaching lower-middle income status by 2025. Investors, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists from the United States and Ethiopia will have unparalleled opportunities to bolster their vision for the future. EPF aims to ensure that both countries benefit from this historic moment.


Entrepreneurs and investors from the United States and Ethiopia will present the work they are doing through a brief pitch in which they will identify needs and leads. Enterprises selected for these sessions will have a unique opportunity to present their business and investment ideas so they can be matched with others. There will also be a marketplace featuring information about U.S. Government economic support efforts and public-private programs to catalyze investment.


A concerted effort is underway to connect potential partners to begin orchestrating partnerships. The Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships will be working to make matches based on potential synergies before, during, and after the Forum.


The Forum will be followed by a Partnership Opportunity Delegation (POD) to Ethiopia. The Ethiopia POD will consist of a group of serious investors, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and impact investors who will visit the country for three to five days where they will meet with key officials and partners from the country. The program includes a tour of local startups and established businesses, industry parks, networking sessions, and roundtable conversations. These delegations help to cultivate and enable partnership opportunities in communities of mutual interest, and provide unique insight and networks to bring much needed investments to the Ethiopian market.


If you are interested in hosting an industry-focused round-table or side event on May 16, please email the Office of Global Partnerships at by May 2nd. Reasonable Accommodations for people with disabilities who wish to attend this event are available upon request. The request should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed and the requestor’s contact information submitted to

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