Ethiopia is pursuing an ambitious plan that speeds up its growing economy. The nationwide industrial parks construction comes at the forefront of the developmental feats in this regard. Lying on a-75 hectare of land in north-central part of the country, the recently launched first phase of Kombolcha Industrial Park is sparking hopes among the residents of the town and beyond.
Tadiyos Ero, is a plant protection expert. He said: "I am delighted by the opening of the new industrial park. Because, it means a lot not only to Kombocha people but also to other adjacent towns of Amahra, Tigray and Afar states. Besides unleashing job opportunities in the town, the industrial park constructed at a cost of 90 million USD will further speed up the economic growth of the towns.
Tadiyos added that Kombolcha town is situated in a strategic town that has reasonable proximity to port of Djibouti. For this reason, the opening of the industrial park would add extra values to the economic development of the town.
"This Industrial Park has a significant economic contribution to the town. The park will create job opportunities for over 20,000 individuals. The future looks bright to all business peoples as well as the surrounding farmers."
According to him, the government is pursuing a policy that promotes industrialization. In this regard, Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) is doing encouraging activities. The Corporation has shown relentless efforts and achievements in constructing various industrial parks.
Tadiyos believes that the industrial park would catalyze urbanization for it is accompanied by infrastructural provisions besides creating off-farm jobs for residents and beyond.
The youth in the town would also learn new technologies. "I heard that companies from the U.S., Korea and Italy have requested to plant their industries in the park. That means technology transfer is imminent. This is additional asset to the nation that aspires to get a middle income status. What is more, the experience of Kombolcha Town would be replicated to the nearby towns of Debre Berhan and Minjar Shenkora."
The commitment of the government in transforming the nation towards industry-led economy is becoming visible. In this regard, the Industrial park could provide industrialists an opportunity of acquiring a good location and modern factory accommodations.
Kombolcha Industrial Park is a well-planned park that provides sufficient land space to allow industrialists to expand factory space in the future. Plants of different size could also meet the different growth rates of enterprises. With more space available, it is possible to provide larger loading docks and parking space, as well as easier access to less congested roads or to railroad sidings.
Asked about the potential of the industry park in catching the attention of global anchor companies Tadiyos said that Industrial park's closeness to the port of Djibouti is expected to grasp the attention of several international class textile companies.
Habtamu Haile, is electrician by profession whom this journalist interviewed. Reflecting his views concerning to the industrial park, he said that Kombolcha is situated at a cross-road equidistant of major Ethiopian cities. This makes the town an ideal destination to distribute manufactured products to domestic market.
What is more, the park has also a significant role to the national economy by providing job opportunity to the youth. This has a direct impact on the national economy by minimizing dependency ratio.
Kombolcha and its surrounding areas are sources of illegal migration particularly to the Middle Eastern countries. For this reason, the park could be one option to increase employment opportunity in region and tackle the migration.
He also hopes that the service delivery of the town administration and private sectors would get new momentum as a result of the park. "For instance, expansion of housing projects, education, health facilities as well as financial institutions is expected as the parks are to create new demands."
This writer had also asked Alemu Assefa, who is a resident of Dessie Town. He is engaged in financial institution that provides credit service to low income communities. According to Alemu, the park is to stimulant farmers to produce more inputs to the textile factory.
With a population of over 90 million, Ethiopia is reliable market for investors. In addition, the Ethio-Djibouti railway remains as an important factor in promoting exports. This is not to mention the cheap labor and dependable energy supply of the nation. Thus, investors joining the industrial parks seem to reap quick returns while supporting the fast-tracking economic growth of the nation.