Transport and infrastructure in Ethiopia

Our listing of the primary kinds of transport compares the infrastructure of Ethiopia with the average of all countries in Africa. In many places, the traffic routes show considerable deficiencies and are often not in a particularly good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, Ethiopia ranks 133rd in the world with 0.01 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 659 kilometers long.

Airports in Ethiopia

Back to overview: Ethiopia

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 120,171 km. For each of the country's 117.88 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 1.02 meters. This puts Ethiopia in 201st place in the global ranking. However, the country's size and population density of around 107 inhabitants per km² must also be taken into account. Countries with fewer inhabitants on the same or even larger area naturally achieve quite different values here and have to connect remote areas to the transport network despite a smaller population.

With an average of 27988 traffic fatalities per year (2012 - 2019), road traffic in Ethiopia is considered quite dangerous. This corresponds to around 4.3 accident fatalities per 26.6 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.2 in the USA and 17.1 worldwide.

In Ethiopia, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road, i.e. people drive in the right-hand lane and overtake on the left. Oncoming traffic comes toward you on the left side. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.



 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways120,200 km1,019.47 km108.82 m
Railroads700 km5.59 km0.60 m
Waterways0 km0.00 km0.00 m
Commercial harbors110.090.000


 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways3,002,100 km2,186.19 km99.00 m
Railroads88,600 km64.51 km2.92 m
Waterways50,100 km36.46 km1.65 m
Commercial harbors7,8295.700.000

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
Ethiopia: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in EthiopiaThe 21 biggest airports and Ethiopian in Ethiopia with further information and data
Ethiopia: ClimateClimate details in EthiopiaA climate analysis for Ethiopia incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, Rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing