If it wasn’t for ignorance there wouldn’t have been knowledge, and with this in mind, an emerging country like Ethiopia has been aggressively focused the importance of education. Inclusive and transparent educational systems brought forward to advance economically and technologically. Inclusive education means that all students, regardless of poverty, gender, ethnic background attend schools and attain in all aspects of life of the school.  The contribution and investing in education is one way to get access in Ethiopia to those who are interested to benefit financial gains.

“To achieve universal primary education” constitute the 2nd Millennium Development Goal set by the United Nations. Meeting the Education Goal will speed progress toward every other Millennium Goal. Educating children helps reduce poverty and promote gender equality.

Capacity building is strategic for overcoming poverty and achieving development. In the process of Africa’s economic and social development, human development is crucial for effective policy making and strengthening institutional capacity of African countries. Achieving high level of enrollment in primary and secondary education is one aspect of capacity development. Another aspect is to effectively tap existing resources and capacity of Ethiopian diasporas with qualifications, relevant skills and expertise living abroad and who actually hope that, one day they return back to their respective homes to join hands in building and developing their countries of origin.

According to His Excellency Ato Shiferaw Shugutie, the Federal Minister of Education, "over the last two decades Ethiopia’s Gross Enrollment Rate has soared, government has allocated a huge budget and admirable results have been achieved.”

Ethiopia has steadily increased the number of children in school in the last two decades from as low as 2 million in the 1990’s to over 22 million in 2012, trebling its Gross  Enrollment  Rates from as low as 32% in 1990s to 95 in 2012. With the current Net Enrollment Rate of 86%, Ethiopia is on track to meet MDG 2 (UNICEF, 2014).

However, current data from the just completed Study on the “Situation of Out of School Children in Ethiopia” shows that 3 million children remain out of school, while enrollment rates reveal marked regional disparities with regions like Afar recording enrollments as low as 32%. Key barriers in the way of the country’s drive towards access to universal primary education include costs around schooling, lack of basic facilities and quality education. These are often compounded by negative and harmful traditional practices, like early marriage and the preference for boys over girls, which put education out of reach for many girls.

Ethiopia has no shortage of universities – there are more than 30 across the country. The government has successfully put schools into most villages. As a result, primary schooling continues to grow. Yet the literacy rate sits around 42 percent. This figure will improve over time. And as both primary education attendance and literacy improves, the secondary level of education, specifically universities and vocational schools, will become most attractive for private investment.

Furthermore, investing at this level presents multiple opportunities for scaling and developing infrastructure. Institutions can scale across the country with Ethiopia’s much dispersed population – the country is not nearly as urbanized as its neighbors. Institutions can also potentially scale across borders as Africans demand better secondary schooling options because companies and investors require higher training. One Ethiopian university has already expanded operations to neighboring Somaliland.

In addition, “the changing dynamic of mobile phones and internet access can reduce the cost of soft infrastructure for institutions. Online and virtual training enables a group of institutions to share and fully utilize teachers across borders. Partnerships between institutions in Ethiopia and those in developed countries, such as the United States and United Kingdom, could also enrich students’ experience.

The following areas are some of the opportunities for foreign investors by constructing own building:

  •  Secondary schools;
  • Science and technology colleges/universities;
  • Colleges for business and marketing;
  • Schools for medical science;
  • ICT institutions;
  • Vocational training centers; and
  • Training centre for hospitability industry.