Ethiopia’s manufacturing industry has been by some measures a success, according to African Centre for Economic Transformation.
According to a study conducted by the centre the country’s manufacturing sector has exhibited continuous growth over the years. The meeting organized by the African Centre for Economic Transformation focused on exchange of experiences in the manufacturing sector.
The study entitled “Promoting Manufacturing in Africa” showed that Ethiopia’s manufacturing sector has been growing because of cheap hydropower, government commitment to a strategy of transformation from agriculture-led economy to that of industry, massive growth in infrastructure development and FDI as well as steps taken in deploying the necessary human power for the sector.
Ethiopia has been a pioneer in the creation of Chinese-inspired industrial parks to attract investments in light manufacturing, especially textiles and apparel, and stimulate exports. Currently, there are five government-built industrial parks that have created about 45,000 jobs for Ethiopians and four private industrial parks. In some instances, the industrial parks have performed well, such as the Bole Lemi industrial park outside Addis. Other parks, such as Hawassa, have experienced difficulties with labor, staff retention, and productivity.
Ethiopia is aiming to create 30 industrial parks by 2025 in order to increase jobs, generate export revenue, and grow the manufacturing sector from 5 percent to 22 percent of the economy’s productivity. Such brands as Michael Kors, H&M, Children’s Place, and apparel giant PVH are already sourcing products from the country.