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Why Cars are so Expensive in Ethiopia

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Owning a car for many Ethiopians - even those with ready cash to spend in one of the world's fastest-growing economies - remains a pipe dream.


"I have been saving for nearly four years now, and I still can't afford to buy even the cheapest vehicle here," a frustrated Girma Desalegn tells me.

He has been shopping around for a whole week in capital, Addis Ababa, and has still not found an affordable car.

He is looking to buy a second-hand car imported from the Gulf states or Europe - but even they are prohibitively expensive because the government classifies cars as luxury goods.

This means even if a vehicle is second hand, it will be hit with import taxes of up to 300%.