The scope for using rural petroleum stations for marketing high value products and services in Ethiopia is fairly limited (see Ethiopia country status report in Document Search). Prior to the PRES work, the team knew that petroleum product margins were 'fixed' by government in Ethiopia, thereby fixing the returns on sale of traditional petroleum products. The team anticipated that petrol station companies and outlets might be interested in diversifying their product line, in order to realise higher, non-fixed, returns on sales. However, almost no interest was expressed either at a headquarters or at an outlet level to engage in such sales. Thus, currently, there is little scope for using these petrol station outlets for expanding sales of high value energy products and services in Ethiopia.

This finding was further reinforced by the fact that, although the bulk of rural petrol stations are owner-operated, there is little interest in diversifying products from petroleum and automotive products (limited range) to energy products (or any other products). There is no tradition for purchasing other products (e.g., food, other household light supplies) at rural petrol stations, and no interviewees expressed interest in expanding their offerings to new products. Neither was any interest expressed at the head offices of the petroleum companies interviewed in Ethiopia. There might be scope on an individual basis, but no company or chain is currently interested in this option.

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ethiopia_country_report.pdf 624 Adobe Acrobat 4/17/02