By Tesfaye Getnet
Five industrial parks located in Bole Leme, Hawassa, Mekele, Kombolcha and Killinto have a combined export income of
nearly USD 85 million. Each company on average at the industrial parks exports a little less than USD 2.8 million annually.
The government spent USD 780 million to construct the industrial parks so they are disappointed that income has not met
expectations so far.
The parks have over 65,000 workers and 180 companies most of which export textile products.
Temesgen Tilahun, deputy head of Industrial Parks Affairs at the Investment Commission says that income will increase as
challenges are dealt with.
“Don’t forget that we are beginners when it comes to industrial parks, we have to do a lot, we have a lot to learn, more foreign
companies are interested in coming and working in the park sheds which will increase our exports.”
One thing that may help is making it possible for industrial parks to create their own power.
“Honestly speaking there is a power shortage in the parks which means the companies underperform so we have to solve
this while at the same time adding more parks to create more job opportunities,” Leslie Neme, CEO of the Industrial Parks
She added that the Industrial Parks Development Corporation is researching methods to allow companies to generate power
on their own.
International brands like Levi’s, Gap Outfit, TESCO, PVH, and Tal apparel have already set foot in the developed
industrial parks and are exporting their products to the global market.
Recently, Dire Dawa and Adama Industrial Parks completed construction and one has started in Adama. Two industrial
parks are being built by CCECC at a cost of USD 190 million and USD 12 million respectively.
Another issue is low salaries many workers are paid less than USD 40 per month, the minimum wage in many US states is
USD 15 per hour. (Capital Ethiopia)