By Xinhua writers Habtamu Worku, Wang
Shoubao ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) --
Mastewal Tsegaye, a graduate of the Arba Minch University in
Ethiopia, is among the many young Ethiopians working for Chinese
companies in Ethiopia’s industrial parks.
After failing to
find a job related to her major for more than a year, Tsegaye
was finally employed by the Huajian Shoe Factory in the the
Eastern Industrial Zone.
As African countries
pursue industrialization, the Chinese-built industrial parks and
free trade zones have been gaining momentum in the
socio-economic drive of the continent, some significantly
accelerating the process of industrialization and job creation.
PROVIDING EMPLOYMENT, PROMOTING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
“The factory mainly
produces women’s shoes, which interested me,” Tsegaye told
Tsegaye said she is
“very grateful” for the Chinese companies that provided her and
other youth with jobs.
Located about 40 km
south of Addis Ababa, the Eastern Industrial Zone (EIZ), built
and operated by Chinese companies, is widely viewed as the
benchmark for the development of industrial parks in Ethiopia.
Earlier this month,
upon invitation by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed,
Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh and Sudanese President
Omar al-Bashir traveled to Ethiopia’s western town of Jimma,
where the three leaders inaugurated the Chinese-built Jimma
Industrial Park, some 350 km west of capital Addis Ababa.
At the ceremony,
Ahmed said the park would help with the industrialization
process of Western Ethiopia and create a large number of jobs
for young Ethiopians.
Ethiopia’s Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC), the
park, once fully operational, will create some 12,000 direct
jobs for Ethiopians. The EIZ, Ethiopia’s first industrial zone,
has provided more than 10,000 jobs for local people.
Thanks to the
industrialization driven by industrial parks, Ethiopia’s gross
domestic product remained at a growth rate of about 10 percent
between 2008 and 2017, creating an economic miracle on the
envisions building 15 industrial parks in the coming few years,
it is estimated that the parks alone will produce more than
150,000 direct jobs.
trade zones and industrial parks in Djibouti, Nigeria and South
Africa also created jobs for local citizens and promoted the
economic development of these countries.
BEIJING, (Xinhua) --
Workers [left] go about their work at the Hisense
South Africa household appliance factory in Atlantis, Cape
Town, South Africa, May 16, 2018. An Ethiopian quality
inspector [right] checks the quality of shoes at the
Huajian Shoe Factory in the Eastern Industrial Zone (EIZ)
in the south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Dec. 7, 2018.
XINHUA PHOTO:LINDA YEE
AND ZHANG YU
INDUSTRIAL PARKS BOOM IN ETHIOPIA
second most populous nation, Ethiopia has an abundant workforce.
More than 70 percent of its 100 million population is estimated
to be under the age of 30.
As the East African
country is exploring ways to realize its demographic dividend
while transforming its agriculture-dominated economy towards a
manufacturing hub of Africa, China’s development model of
industrial parks has been considered as an option.
industrial parks are in the pipeline across Ethiopia, most of
which are being constructed by Chinese companies. Six of the
industrial parks have officially gone operational in the past
few years, attracting a large number of transnational companies
from China, India, South Korea and other countries.
Ethiopia now exports
shoes produced by Huajian to European and American markets,
while many of the taxis on the streets of the Ethiopian capital
and other cities are assembled by Lifan Motors.
The EIZ is
Ethiopia’s first industrial zone and has inspired the government
to establish more such parks in the country.
parks are vital elements of the infrastructure supporting the
structural transformation in Ethiopia that can attract
institutional investors,” said Costantinos Bt. Costantinos, an
economic advisor to the African Union (AU) and the United
Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
Xinhua that industrial parks have been built in many countries
which believe these parks will bring about employment
opportunities and revenues.
(International Monetary Fund) chief Christine Lagarde said at
the Eastern Industrial Park in Addis, ‘I saw the dynamism and
enthusiasm of the people working there and the commitment of
private investors to Ethiopia.’ This is extremely encouraging,”
said Costantinos, who is also a professor of public policy at
the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.
INDUSTRIAL PARKS, FREE TRADE ZONES TAKE ROOT IN AFRICA
Djibouti, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, Chinese-built
industrial parks and free trade zones, which are key to
attracting investors, have taken root in many other African
international free trade zone was inaugurated in July in
Djibouti, a country with a population of nearly 1 million.
At the construction
site of the free trade zone, a tall modern office building has
been erected. Some 70,000 square meters of warehouses and 65,000
square meters of storage yards have also been completed.
With a planned
construction area of 48.2 square km, the free trade zone
occupies one-tenth of the country’s available land area and has
attracted more than 20 companies that have decided to settle in
In the Western
African nation of Nigeria, the construction of the Lekki Free
Trade Zone is also in full swing. The free trade zone is
invested, constructed and operated by the Lekki Free Trade Zone
incorporates, among others, oil and gas warehousing, furniture
manufacturing, garment production, trade logistics, engineering
construction services, industrial real estate, automobile
assembly, steel structure processing and manufacturing, steel
pipe production, daily necessities and other industries.
South Africa is an
important platform for investors to enter the African market
because it is one of the most developed countries in the region.
In 2013, Chinese consumer electronics company Hisense and the
China-Africa Development Fund teamed up to inject 383 million
South African rand (about 33 million U.S. dollars) to build a
home appliance industrial park in the Atlantis area, about 50 km
west of Cape Town.
show that the TV sales market share of Hisense in South Africa
has reached 25.1 percent, ranking first in the market. It is
followed by refrigerator sales which account for 24.2 percent of
the total market share. As of July 2018, its annual TV
production capacity is about 400,000 units, while the
refrigerator production capacity is about 400,000 units
chairman of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress
(ANC) Western Cape campaign team, hailed Chinese investment in
beneficial cooperation between China and South Africa in the
park has impressed everyone, Rasool said.