Last month I spent two days in Addis Ababa at the invitation of the new Prime Minister, His Excellency Dr. Abiy Ahmed. As I have said many times before, Ethiopia is a quiet champion of Africa’s economic transformation. It has managed to grow at the rate of over 10% over 10 years (and 7% over twodecades!)
With a population of 102 million which is increasing at the rate of 2.2mn per year, it is the second largest country in Africa by population size.
Under Ethiopia’s new leadership, change is happening at a breathtaking pace! The excitement was palpable. The young entrepreneurs I met are very hopeful.
I had the opportunity to participate in a proud @AfricaMoment! Ethiopian Airlines had just added the 100th airplane to its fleet, the largest in Africa!
This is an amazingly successful business in one of the toughest industries in the world. One of Africa’s oldest airlines at 72 years old, Ethiopian Airlines has survived times of extraordinary upheaval in the country’s and even Africa’s history.
This airline has seen everything: war, famine, bad governments, fuel price shocks and so on… But still it has thrived!
It has survived despite the worst of conditions…
# Remember: A good soldier learns to fight in the conditions and not the conditions.
I met Ethiopian Airlines’ Chairman Abadulla Gemeda, Vice Chairman Dr. Arkebe Oqubay, and award-winning CEO Tewolde GebreMariam who began work there more than 30 years ago in the cargo traffic handling department, rising up the ladder and gaining experience in all parts of the business. I discussed with them why it has been successful.
Guess what… the three “Ps”!
# Product: For them, moving people in the air is not just their product. It is the unique mission in which they are constantly innovating. Even whilst I was there, they were starting a new direct route to Chicago the next day, and also a new destination, Geneva, that same week! This week they became the first African airlines to fly direct to Indonesia and there was more…
# People: Amazingly dedicated and highly skilled professional staff at all levels. The CEO and his team are humble and entrepreneurial. These guys could work anywhere in the world. They have a reputation for being corruption-free. This is probably why they have succeeded where many other state-owned enterprises failed.
# Process: They understand every aspect of modern business practice. This is a very serious business, let me tell you.
Being a good entrepreneur does not mean you have to own a business. Some of the most successful businesses in the world are run by entrepreneurs who don’t own the business!
Confused? It’s a #MindsetThing!
Well done, Ethiopian!