According to the government of Ethiopia, the country is experiencing an industrial boom due to the supply of bamboo, foreign investment, and interest from foreign markets.
Although there has been no existing bamboo economy in Ethiopia, minister for agriculture and rural development Mitiku Kassa has said that the country now has the right mix of resources, foreign interest, and investment to create an industry from the 2.47 million acres of bamboo previously untouched.
Africa Bamboo, a public-private partnership between Ethiopia and a German development group, plans to invest over $10 million into manufacturing for bamboo flooring products. Associate engineer Felix Boeck of Africa Bambo commented that there was much market potential for bamboo in Europe. “We believe that there can be a reliable and effective supply chain built here in Ethiopia to create a bamboo manufacturing industry,” said Boeck.
Unlike traditional wood sources, bamboo is fully sustainable and sees regrowth within three years. In comparison, trees can take up to 30 years until they are mature enough to harvest again for wood. Many local farmers hope to capitalize on the booming bamboo industry in the country, and hope that foreign investment is available to small-scale growers.
Other organizations are stepping in to ensure that the government of Ethiopia recognizes the vast potential that bamboo has to create economic growth and development.
– Christina Kindlon