Ethiopia currently has the largest area – one million hectares – of commercially untapped bamboo in East Africa, making it attractive to investment partners from the bamboo industry. However, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development told IPS that they were unwilling to disclose any figures on the bamboo economy, but added that there had been no formal bamboo economy in Ethiopia until 2012.

I tried to get some more stats on the bamboo market and I found this interesting FAO report (pdf)

Export of bamboo products in 2000 (million US$)

  Africa Asia Europe North and Central America Oceania South America Total
Bamboo products 29 1554 739 120 8 5 2455
Market share % 1.2 63.3 30.0 4.9 0.4 0.2 100.0

 Main importers of bamboo products in 2000 (million US$)

USA UK Netherlands Germany France Japan Hong Kong Others  Total
Bamboo imports 899 125 106 169 169 349 163 475 2455
Market share % 36.6 5 4.3 6.9 6.9 14.2 6.6 19.3 100.0

Why is bamboo a good market?

… In comparison to soft wood trees that can take 30 years to reach maturity, bamboo is a fully mature resource after three years, making it commercially and environmentally sustainable. Sub-Saharan Africa has three million hectares of bamboo forest, around four percent of the continent’s total forest cover.

More here