15 January 2016

Ethiopia: Marching Towards Industrial Development

editorial

The secret behind becoming prosperous, ensuring a turnaround in lifestyle, among others, resides in spurring industrial development. Although many developing countries envisage to become industry hubs, they fail to adopt the right policies and strategies. Constrained by lack of financial muscle and skilled human power, their ambitions to industrial development could not come anywhere near success.

But Ethiopia has mapped out a strategy to materialize industrial development, making it a top priority agenda.

Putting the right legal frameworks, policies and strategies, Ethiopia has made the journey to industrialization a top priority. The getaway to economic development is facilitating and creating enabling environment to industrial development. Ethiopia strives and has an ambition to become a manufacturing industry hub in Africa.

Presently, the government has strengthened its multifaceted industrialization drive both locally and intentionally. Locally, the government is exercising various means: endorsing legal frameworks, policies and strategies, giving incentives to investors like tax holidays and exemptions among other things. It is trying its best to encourage local investors. Industrial development is crucial to bring lifestyle changes among citizens.

Moreover, Ethiopian diplomats abroad have been vigorously engaged in exercising economic diplomacy, promoting Ethiopia's untapped resources and investment alternatives. They are working day and night to discharge their top priority mission. They carry out promotional works and scout for respective countries' potential investors. They as well organize exhibitions, panel discussions and invite investors to Ethiopia to conduct feasibility studies.

Along with attracting investors and creating enabling conditions for industrial development in the country, the government has been also busy in preparing and constructing industrial parks in the four corners of the country. Establishing industrial parks corporation is believed to be instrumental in materializing the country's industrialization dream. Currently, the corporation is harmonizing industrial parks' short and long terms development activities since its establishment. They are strongly believed to be fuel-engines that spur the industrialization voyage by attracting potential actors, both local and foreign investors.

Parks have a lot of advantages. They are of paramount significance in facilitating access to infrastructure, creating market linkages, sharing experience, reducing transport cost and establishing waste disposal management systems among others.

What is more, these industrial parks, apart from being assigned for production or services, they can also play a crucial role in advancing business activities.

Therefore, the corporation has planned to start Bole-Lemi Phase Two, Kilinto, Combolcha, Bahir Dar, Makalle and Adama industrial parks construction this fiscal year. Of course upon completion, they will create conducive investment and job opportunities. But here it must be noted that ensuring good governance and respecting workers rights are decisive to run the industrial development smoothly. Hence, holding frequent meetings with parks' communities and stakeholders will have a key importance in ensuring industrial peace and evaluating the production process. It also allows to ease possible negative impacts that could crop up.

However, lack of potential contractors, the unavailability of legal framework and financial capacity were the great challenges seen in the course of developing industrial parks. Indeed, the government is doing its utmost in developing industrial parks and boosting manufacturing industries. It is true that to hasten the country's economic development, the industrial parks construction has to be finalized with in a short and well defined time framework.

The Bole-Lemi Industrial Park is expected to incorporate twenty factories. Hawassa Industrial Park is also targeted to house 38 factories. It is slated to see completion by 2016. All together the factories in the park will create 70 thousand job opportunities. According to corporation's action plan, about two million job opportunities will be created in the next10 years.

What is more, coordinated efforts have to be put in a place: focusing on internal muscle development, scaling up worldwide best experiences and building capacity. Micro and Small Enterprises linkages, among other activities, are pivotal for industrial development.

In sum, Ethiopia has made industrialization development top priority agenda. The getaway to economic development is facilitating and creating enabling environment to industrial development. It unwavering makes endeavours and has an ambition to become a manufacturing industry hub in Africa. It must deepen its multifaceted industrialization efforts both locally and intentionally. Industrial development is crucial in bringing lifestyle changes in citizen's life.

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