While we always like looking at Uganda and Tanzania , well both enjoy a lower pump price yet the former is even landlocked and their oil has to go through Mombasa where I pay more as a motorist for the same litre of fuel.
Now a benchmark that has deliberately been ignored is our northern neighbour Ethiopia, guess what ? They pay less than Ksh 60 for a little of petrol while we pay Ksh 120+.
Ethiopia is totally landlocked, we are not .
Ethiopia has to use the port of Djibouti and in future Berbera in Somaliland.
When you look at the table Ethiopia it is even able to sell fuel to its people cheaper than UAE and just about to beat even Bahrain then you wonder why manufacturers are headed there.
It is said information is power but that was 20 years ago , these days information is power if only you use it in a productive way. Why is Ethiopia able to deliver fuel to it’s people at less than half of what we pay? Why ? Yet they are totally landlocked. Now I understand why my cousins in Moyale prefer to cross to Ethiopia side to fuel .
I am sure many of you may also not know that Ethiopia has one of the lowest electricity costs in Africa and even globally. You see Ethiopia in their strategy they consider Fuel and Energy as critical factors for the success of any manufacturing dream. Simple economnics is that you dont heavily tax enablers , you only do that in a matured economy like Europe yes Europe.
Now let me brutal.
You see we think speaking queens english and looking sophisticated is enough to make us superior to our neighbours. While Ethiopia may have had challenging past they are positioning themselves as the China of Africa. You see China is not able to cope with global demand and they are looking at off loading low yield manufacturing so they are looking for developing countries that can do that and which is the easiest and ideal place ? Your guess is as good as mine . Ethiopia. Take a visit and go and see the industrial zones across Ethiopia.
With such low cost of fuel and low cost of electricity then what is left is trained personnel and again China and other countries that are outsourcing their manufacturing are helping them do that .
Dont even bother with Europe as a benchmark…… think hard about Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is home to Ethiopian Airlines. No other African country and even many European countries can challenge Ethiopian Airlines . They are also known for world class leather products.
Looks like we will be left speaking only good english… well the Chinese speak no English and they dont pretend to be sophisticated but they supply the world from Gucci accessories to Apple products and myriad of pharmaceutical products list is endless .
Any developing country that thinks it can spur growth by heavily taxing input like fuel and energy I am sorry that is nothing but voodoo economics.
Oh by the way before I forget on my last visit to Nairobi my hotel towel when I looked at the label it read ” Made In Ethiopia “.