Ethiopia will start work on three more industrial parks that will play a "critical role" in the country’s bid for economic take-off on the back of its textile industry.
The developments, which are to begin before next July, are in are Aysha and Semera, near the Djibouti border and Assosa, next to the Sudanese border.
Lelise Neme, chief executive of the Ethiopia Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC), told the Xinhua news agency that the three parks were expected to play a "critical role in Ethiopia’s plan to transform its still largely agrarian economy into an industrialized one by 2025, using the textile and garment sector as a key component".
The announcement follows another in September, which said a further four would be built in Jimma, Adama, Arerti, and Dire Dawa.
In addition to these manufacturing facilities, four agro-industrial parks are being developed to capture more value from Ethiopia’s farming output. These are to be built in the north eastern regions of Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and SNNPR.
Ethiopia has based its industrialisation effort on the development of low-carbon, tax-exempt "plug & play" industrial parks along development corridors. So far, this has resulted in four operation ventures, at Bole Lemi, Hawassa, Mekele and Kombolcha (see Further reading, below, for more on these).
On Sunday (7 October), these four were joined by a fifth at Adama, about 100km southeast of Addis Ababa. This was opened by Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia (pictured).
The 120ha, $150m development will host a number of international manufacturers, such as Spanish synthetic yarn specialist Antex, Hong Kong’s Charter Ventures Apparel, Jiangsu Shinshine Wool Textile of China and Kingdom Linen Ethiopia, the local subsidiary ofÂ Zhejiang Jinyuan Flax.
Ethiopia plans to increase the number of operational industrial parks from the current four to around 30 by 2025, increasing the share of the economy contributed by manufacturing from 5% to 22%.
Image: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed opened the Adama industrial park 7 October (Fitsum Arega/Government of Ethiopia)