Home | News    Thursday 14 July 2016

Ethiopia aims to be Africa’s top manufacturer, inaugurates industrial park

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

July 13, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia which intends to become Africa’s leading manufacturing powerhouse, on Wednesday inaugurated a giant industrial park which is believed to boost exports.

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The US$1.5 billion Gibe III project dam is expected to generate 1870 MW of electricity.

The mega project dubbed as Hawassa Industrial Park is located in Hawassa town some 275 kilometres south of the capital.

Built in an area of 1.3 million square meters, the Hawassa eco-industrial park has 35 factories and is equipped with 1 stop service center and has its own renewable electricity sources to avoid power supply problems.

It was disclosed that the park is implementing Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) which would allow it to recycle 85% of sewerage disposal water and meets international standards.

Built at a cost of $ 250 million, the industrial park is mainly designed for textile manufacture, garment products and agro-industry.

The mega project built by a Chinese company was completed in only 9 months period.

A second phase of Hawassa Eco-Industry Park to be built in 120,000 square meters of land will commence in two months time.

Sudan Tribune has learnt that 15 foreign companies from America, China, India and Sri Lanka as well as six local companies have finalised preparations to start operation.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony Ethiopian prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, said the giant park will have significant input in transforming the country’s economy.

He said it will attract foreign direct investment s and will have pivotal role in shifting small-scale manufactures into a larger scale.

He said the new park built as part of government plans to expand the industry development will have a crucial role in realizing the country’s dream to be Africa’s leading manufacturing powerhouse by 2015.

The premier added that the government has given great emphasis for the industrial sector to boost its contribution for the country’s economy.

Ethiopia had targeted a 15-fold boom in textile and leather exports to $1.5 billion this year but lack of special parks have been constraints.

Arkebe Oqubay, Board Chairman of Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, said the park will create job opportunities for tens of thousands of citizens.

Arkebe said the pioneer park will create 60,000 jobs during the just completed phase and 80,000 when expansion project of the park is completed in November.

“Ethiopia at present earns 110 million US dollar per annum from textile sector. However, the Hawassa Industrial Park alone is expected to generate 1 billion US dollar annually” he added.

During the second Growth and Transformation plan (GDP) Ethiopia intends to elevate the contribution of the manufacturing sector to 25% from the current 5%.

Currently Ethiopia is investing billions of Dollars to build 12 Industrial parks across the country.

The construction of Dire-Dawa, Kombolcha and Mekelle industrial parks are already well in progress and are expected to be completed in April.

(ST)

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