While Ethiopia's industrial sector engages primarily in food processing, it also produces sugar, alcohol and soft drinks, cigarettes, cotton and textiles, footwear, soap, ethyl alcohol, and quicklime. Cement production is also significant. Industrial facilities are concentrated around Addis Ababa, depend heavily on agricultural inputs, and primarily serve the domestic market.
Since 1991, privatization of Ethiopia's industry has been a major objective of the government. In 1995, the government established the Ethiopian Privatization Agency to help privatize companies. By 1999, about 180 government enterprises had been privatized, including Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola bottling plants, the St. George Brewery, and the Lega Dembi Gold Mine. Other companies for sale included the Kenticha Tantalum Mine, the Calub Gas Company, and the Wonji-Shoa Sugar Factory, hotels, tanneries, textile mills, and garment factories.
Ethiopia has few proven oil and natural gas reserves, although the potential of these industries is seen as promising. Hydrocarbon exploration began in the Ogaden Basin in the 1920s, and in 1994, the World Bank approved a $74 million loan to develop natural gas fields in the Ogaden Basin. As of 2002, there were plans to build an oil refinery.
One of the key components of Ethiopia's industrial success is its access to ports. Two-thirds of Ethiopia's goods passed through the Eritrean port of Assab prior to the 1998–2000 border war. Ethiopia subsequently shifted its trade to Djibouti, but Port Sudan and Berbera in Somaliland were targeted as future outlets for trade.