Lazy eyes listen
Ethiopia’s ambassador to Russia, Cham Ugala Uriat, told the TASS news agency on Tuesday that the government plans to construct a production line to assemble Russian Lada automobiles for the African market.
The cars, according to the diplomat, will be constructed in Ethiopia and delivered to other African countries such as Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, and Somalia.
“We will see Russian Lada cars in the neighbouring countries in the near future as they [Avtovaz] have already signed a contract with an Ethiopian company,” he said. Lada, Russia’s best-selling brand, produces a variety of SUV types ideal for the African market.
The development comes as Ethiopia is set to join the BRICS group of emerging economies – which currently comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – along with fellow newcomers Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The new memberships will take effect on January 1, 2024.
Economists anticipate that Ethiopia’s membership in BRICS will help its economic growth. The East African country has one of the continent’s fastest expanding economies and a growing middle class.
Meanwhile, its low manufacturing cost base could help Russian automakers keep costs down while simultaneously providing access to the burgeoning African market.
Other Russian manufacturers, according to the envoy, “are showing interest in going to Ethiopia for the construction of assembly lines.” He revealed that two more Russian automobile manufacturers are now in talks with Ethiopia about doing so.