Ethiopia to spend $5 billion on Africa’s largest airport


Ethiopia has announced plans to build Africa’s largest airport in a project that will cost $5 billion.

The new airport will be located in the town of Bishoftu, which lies 37 miles south of the capital Addis Ababa. It will have the capacity to accommodate 100 million passengers per year, according to Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam, who announced the news to the state-run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA).

Ethiopia set to build Africa’s largest airport

The project comes as Ethiopia continues its push to become Africa’s aviation leader. Last year, a new $363 million passenger terminal opened at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, allowing the airport to accept another 22 million passengers, compared to its previous capacity of seven million.

However, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam says that, despite the opening of the new terminal, another airport is needed to accommodate for the passenger growth Ethiopia is currently experiencing.

He estimates that Bole will reach maximum capacity within three years unless a new airport is built.

A completion date is yet to be announced for the new airport in Bishoftu but construction is expected to begin at some point this year. Currently, the busiest airport in Africa is Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport, which welcomed 21 million passengers in 2018. This offers some context to the ambitious plans Ethiopia has for its new airport, which will be built for a capacity of 100 million passengers per year.

Featured image: By Vob08 – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.