Ethiopia opens up a giant industrial park on Wednesday, mainly designed for textile manufacture, garment products and agro industry which is believed to boost exports. The new park is built as part of government plans to expand the industry development which has a crucial role in realizing the countryâ€™s dream to be Africaâ€™s leading manufacturing powerhouse.The mega project built by a Chinese company was completed in only 9 months period.
Ethiopian prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, speaking at the inaugural ceremony said that the giant park will have significant input in transforming the countryâ€™s economy. It will attract foreign direct investments and will have pivotal role in shifting small-scale manufactures into a larger scale.
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, involve cost to the tune of $250 million. The Hawassa eco-industrial park has 35 factories equipped with 1 stop service center and has its own renewable electricity sources to avoid power supply problems.
The park is implementing Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) which would allow it to recycle 85% of sewerage disposal water and meets international standards.
It is learnt that 15 foreign companies from America, China, India and Sri Lanka as well as six local companies have finalized preparations to start operation.
A second phase of Hawassa Eco-Industry Park to be built in 120,000 square meters of land will commence in two months time.
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 that the park will create job opportunities for tens of thousands of citizens.
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.
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.
At present, Ethiopia earns USD 110 million per annum from textile sector. However, the Hawassa Industrial Park alone is expected to generate USD 1 billion annually.
Ethiopia during the second Growth and Transformation plan (GDP) intends to elevate the contribution of the manufacturing sector to 25% from the current 5%.
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