Anbessa Shoe S.C is set to move to its newly built building, at the cost of half a billion Br in Akaki Kality District, in an area reserved by the Ministry of Industry for leather industries.
The project was started in February 2015, on 20,000sqm of land with the main aim of enabling the factory to increase its production capacity from the current 3,500 shoes to 10,000 shoes a day.
Currently, the factory is at the commissioning stage of the site and is scheduled to start production this week. It is now operating with 1,235 employees and plans to hire 600 more in the coming New Year.
Giga Construction Plc, a company, established in 1998 with an initial capital of one million Birr, constructed the new plant of the company. Currently, Giga has a capital of 69.2 million Br and engages with road and building constructions.
The Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI) was established in 2010, and it is supporting the industry through research, training, consultancy services, quality control and laboratory testing.
LIDI has been training 90 employees for the new factory and 60 of them have already completed the training and are expected to start work this week. "We will also provide them in-house training," said Bamlak Demisse, General Manager of the Factory. For the first year, the company is planning to produce only 6,000 shoes a day until the company built its human resource capacity.
Established as Darmar in 1935 by an Italian owner, it was transferred to different owners following the political changes of the country. The plant was first sold to an Armenian in 1942, but the Dergue regime nationalised it in 1975. The Dergue later restructured it into two enterprises, Anbessa Shoe Factory and Awash Tannery. After the down fall of the military regime, the company was re-established as an autonomous body under the National Leather & Shoe Corporation. It was then transferred to private owners at the cost of 4.3 million dollars in 2011.
The factory exports its products to different countries in Asia, Europe, US and Africa. During the 2015/16 fiscal year, it exported products worth 750,000 dollars, but during the recently ended fiscal year, the amount had declined to 500,000 dollars.
Anbessa has retail shops in different parts of Addis Abeba, and in other regions such as Bahirdar, Gonder, Jimma, Nekemet, Diredawa, Hawassa, and Adama. The history of Ethiopian leather industry goes back close to nine decades, when the former Asko Tannery, currently known as Tikur Abay shoe factory was established.
The footwear industry has generated 34.6 million dollars from export in the year 2014/15 up from 6.3 million dollars five years back. During the first three-quarters of the past fiscal year, Ethiopia has exported over two million pairs of shoes to the US market alone.