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35 Years from 300 Miles Up - What's Changed in Addis Ababa?

By Emily Ziethen | Fri May 13 2016
NASA recently released almost 3 million photographs of Earth, which were taken over the course of 17 years from just beyond the outer limits of our atmosphere in space by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer satellite (or ASTER for short).* So what does outer space have to do with Ethiopia or investing?
The World Economic Forum combed through the massive collection of images and pulled out six of the best photographs, and the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, is one of them! The photograph of Addis is listed among several others that portray man-made and natural phenomenon, like the Great Wall of China or the rainforests of South America.
What is unique about this photo is that the top image shows what Addis Ababa’s urban development looked like in 1973 (from satellite Landsat MMS) versus what the city looked like in 2007. Clearly, the capital of Ethiopia has undergone serious growth and rapid urbanization over the past 35 years, and this comes as no surprise to RENEW.
Ethiopia is considered to be one of the fastest growing countries on the continent of Africa and in the world, with double-digit annual GPD growth over the past decade (at 10.8% per annum) and an ever-increasing population (of 95 million people).** The country is quickly becoming a rising star in the region and is ripe with investment opportunities in many key sectors - a fact that is not lost on institutional and angel investors, like RENEW’s Impact Angel Network.
With support from outside investors and the Ethiopian government’s Growth and Transformation Plan II, which seeks to make Ethiopia a lower-middle income country by 2025 through economic growth, industrialization and structural transformation, the country’s entrepreneurs and innovators are ready to step in and place Ethiopia on this path of development.
We can’t wait to see what Ethiopia and Addis Ababa look like from space in another 35 years - we think it will be a beacon of light that rivals that of any major U.S. city.
Renew Capital is an Africa-focused impact investment firm that backs innovative companies with high-growth potential. Renew Capital manages investments made on behalf of the Renew Capital Angels, a global network of angel investors, foundations and family offices who seek financial returns and sustainable social impact. For the latest on investing in Africa, subscribe and follow us at our social links below.

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