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Ethiopian govt backs textile sector through GTP II

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-12-10 12:00:00 – Africa

The Ethiopian government’s second Growth and Transformation Plan II (GTP II) has a plan to increase the export from the textile and garments sector by one billion USD by the end of GTP II. The government is demonstrating commitment in investing in the sector. The sector is also expected to create more than 300,000 jobs during the plan period.

In addition to the suitable policy concerning the sector, the nation is placed in the disadvantageous position with easy access to international value chain and it has abundant and competitive workforce, according to Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC).

On the other hand, different incentives have been provided for foreign investors and local small scale and medium textile and garment associations in order to encourage the sector. According to Siyoum Wujira, Garment and Textile Directorate Director at the Ethiopian Textile and Garment Agency, small and medium industries have been given support in terms of structure, training, work shops, loan, machinery lease, finance, advice services, market linkages and the like.

Textile and garment fields still serve as bench marks for the growth of other industries. In Ethiopia, there is also a huge and untapped potential for cotton production which is the major input for the industry. Therefore, strengthening access and incentives for small and medium textile and garment industries, and most of all improving the competency of the labour force in the sector should be given due attention. The sector also need committed and modern management system in a way that can raise the small industries baselines to the higher ones.

Girma Tafere, a Senior Officer in technology transformation and training directorate at Textile Industry Development Institute, said that the Institute provides chemical and environmental laboratory facilities, spinning, garment technology, weaving, knitting and trainings.

According to him, the number of middle and higher industries of the sector has currently reached 161. The progress of the sector is promising, the export status accelerated from 7 million in 1990 to 111 million USD in 1998. Moreover, the national export has been growing from 0.9 to 3.8 percent. However, some inconveniences remain to be challenging to the progress of the sector.

Aiming at improving support methods for small and medium textile and garment industries, a four-day capacity building training took place in Wolkitte town from November 29 to December of this year. The training was organized by joint coordination of Small and Medium Manufacturing Industries Agency and stakeholders.

According to a training document prepared by the Ministry of Industry, the major challenges are lack of input with fair price, quality and quantity, lack of skilled man power, and less improved technologies. On the other hand, investors' (engaged in small and medium textile and garment) lack of awareness on the sector was mentioned as another issue to deal with and which made such a training mandatory.

On the other hand, slow process on credit access and some maladministration of the shades are few challenges for small and medium scale associations or people organized in textile and garment sector.

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