Already considered a burgeoning country for apparel and textile manufacturing, Ethiopia received a boost this week with the official opening of a new industrial park dedicated to production.
The Adama Industrial Park, located about 100 kilometers southeast of the capital city of Addis Ababa, was inaugurated on Sunday. The site, situated close to the Ethio-Djibouti railway line, which is key for logistics, joins others like the flagship Hawassa Industrial Park and the Bole Lemi I Industrial Park.
Ethiopian officials said the scope of Adama will be textile and apparel manufacturing, vehicle assembly and food processing. Construction of the park started two years ago and cost roughly $140 million. It is expected to create an estimated 25,000 jobs and generate more than $38 million from the export of goods, officials said.
Year-to-date through August, the United States imported 29.13 million square meter equivalents of textiles and apparel from Ethiopia, a 94 percent increase over the same period a year earlier, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA). The bulk of products imported were cotton and synthetic apparel, according to OTEXA data.
The park’s first phase, sitting atop 102 hectares of land, was developed by the country’s Industrial Parks Development Corporation. Antenx Textile PLC and Charter Ventures Apparel Ethiopia PLC are among the two large firms already occupying some of the buildings.
Meanwhile, Japanese accessories manufacturer WKK is preparing to begin production, and Jiangsu Sunshine Wool Textile PLC and Kingdom Linen Ethiopia PLC are developing their own factories to produce integrated cellulosic fabric and garments. Additional companies will rent the space in the park to produce textiles and apparel for customers including PVH Corp., H&M, Zara, Decathlon, Walmart and Costco.
PVH recently received a 2018 U.S. Secretary of State Award for Corporate Excellence for Sustainable Operations as lead investor of a best-in-class apparel manufacturing facility in the Hawassa Industrial Park.
The project is part of an effort to make Ethiopia the leading manufacturing hub in the African continent, officials said. Apart from their contributions to job creation, industrial parks are essential for technology transfer, said Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in his speech at the inaugural ceremony.
The Industrial Parks Development Corporation said construction of seven industrial parks around the country are set to be completed this year, with plans to have 30 industrial parks by 2020.