Addis Ababa Ã¢â‚¬â€ Ethiopian earnings from gold exports continue to rise as the government pushes for diversification of the economy.
According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines, the government earned $419 million from the export of minerals supplied by artisanal miners operating in the country in the first 11 months of the current financial year.
Artisanal miners are usually subsistence miners and are not officially employed by a mining company, but rather work independently.
Export of gold made up the largest proportion of minerals, generating $409.1 million in foreign currency, followed by gemstones and tantalum earning $9.3 million and $1.6 million.
This income came from the export of 7878.3 kg of gold, 20,126.3 kg of gemstones and 32.95t of tantalum.
The export of minerals has become Ethiopia’s second largest foreign currency earner, contributing over 23% of overall export earnings.
The Ministry of Industry has also announced that during the same period Ethiopia earned $254.7 million from the export of manufactured goods.
Exports include textiles and clothes, leather and leather products, agro-processing, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
More than $111 million of this came from the export of leather and leather products, over $90.7 million from textiles and clothes, $45.6 million from agro-processing and $7.3 million from pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
Meanwhile a Saudi Arabian company, Saudi Cargo, will soon begin transporting meat from Ethiopia to Europe by the end of this year.
Saudi Cargo has selected five Ethiopian exporters for this, after evaluating their performance in exporting meat to Saudi Arabia.
The companies are: Hashim Nuru Slaughter, Luna Expert Slaughter House, Modjo Modern Export, Elfora Agro Industry and Export and Organic Abattoir Slaughter. Saudi Cargo started transporting meat from Ethiopia five years ago and it is now looking to expand, according to Kassahun Kenna, Sales Manager with Saudi Cargo.
According to Tamrat Ejigu, the President of the Ethiopian Meat Exporters Association, the deal would act as an incentive for exporters and contribute to development in Ethiopia.