East African Brand manufacturers’ hub
Industrial parks (IP) are mushrooming in major towns to tap the wide- ranging resources. The parks serve as middle ground between the resources and market, just to state it figuratively. What makes the parks unique is that they have taken shape or are being taking shape in resource rich areas within reasonable proximity to key infrastructure such as roads, railways and airports, not to mention suitability to major sea outlet.
The accelerated growth of the manufacturing industry will be promoted through expanding new investments mainly export oriented manufacturing and improving the productivity and competitiveness of domestic manufacturing firms.
The strategic directions during Growth Transformation Plan II (GTP II) are improving the productivity, quality and competitiveness of both existing and new industries while making possible the building of labor intensive light manufacturing industries that are globally v competitive in terms of productivity, quality and price, according to the GTP II document.
The Industrial Parks are servicing the intended purpose. “Ethiopia accounts 18.5 percent of all the jobs created through FDI in Africa,” Temesgen Tilahun Deputy Commissioner Industrial Park Division with the Investment Commission told Pioneeret Website.
The landscape of investment, however, does not operate with the abundance of resource alone he argues. Resource is necessary condition in fact but the political landscape is also an important matter that creates sufficient condition to investors, he adds.”The current reform enables investors to put enduring trust on the Ethiopian politics and government’s policies.”
Institutional reforms and structural changes within the country have created more enabling climate. Also, the sound investment policy has become central aspect of government’s industrialization agenda and Ethiopian Investment Board (EIB) is chaired by the Prime Minister, a document of Investment Commission states.
The young population which forms the largest slice (60 percent) in the society makes investment profitable in Ethiopia for it avails the needed human capital, according to Temesgen Tilahun.
He summarizes why foreign investors should See Ethiopia for investment as: “Political and social stability, growing economy, excellent climate and fertile soils, reliable security at industrial park sites, abundant and affordable labor as well as improved economic infrastructure and competitive incentive packages are just few to mention.”
Currently, over 180 companies are operating in Hawassa, Mekelle, Kombolcha, Bole Lemi and Adama Industrial Parks, he said, adding that the plan is to be able to reach the number to 30.
Jimma Industrial Park already inaugurated last Sunday. Dire Dawa Industrial Park is reportedly said to be launched on the coming Sunday while Bole Lemi II and Kilinto are in the pipeline to see the light of the day in a two-month time, he explains. “Bahir Dar, Debre Birhan and Ararti parks will be operational in due course of time.”
The Industrial Park has employed over 60,000 employees.
Most companies produce textile and apparel. The companies’ products are competitive in the global market. Internationally acclaimed brands like H&W, PVH and The Children’s Place buy textile products from Ethiopia. Also, Michael Kors also buy leather bags from Kombolcha Industrial Park.
FDI keeps flowing to Ethiopia. To cite, YKK is in the process to start its operation in Adama Industrial Park and Volkswagen Company will join operation in Dire Dawa Industrial Park