Hawassa Industrial Park to double staff

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Hawassa Industrial Park, the country’s flagship industrial park plans to double its workforce from 27,000 to 60,000 next year.
Fitsum Ketema, General Manager of Hawassa Industrial Park told Capital that all available 52 factory sheds were transferred to 21 international companies. Some are yet to fully embark on their operations amid ongoing machine instillation work.
The government has invested a lot in these parks hoping it would create jobs and bring in foreign currency. Although the jobs have come, many pay extremely low wages.
According to a report by the New York Stern Center for Business and Human Rights despite the garment market’s growth, Ethiopian garment factory workers are, on average, the lowest paid in the world. They earn around 26 USD per month, far too little to cover basic needs like housing, shelter and food.
Fitsum says the industrial park is designed to create jobs, bring in foreign currency, and transfer technology. Fitsum also emphasized the park’s indirect economic benefits to Hawassa city and its surroundings.
That is why the government is also improving Hawassa’s connectivity with the extension of the Addis-Adama highway to Hawassa, the construction of a domestic airport, and the extension of the Addis – Modjo – Djibouti railway to Hawassa.
For the just completed fiscal year, the country was able to export 110 million USD worth of products from the industrial park which is up by 35 percent compared with the previous year, The Corporation failed to achieve its target for the budget year due to instability in some parts of the country, according to the Industrial Park Development Corporation.
Built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the Hawassa Industrial Park was completed in a record time of nine months, and inaugurated back in July 2016.
Ethiopia wants to be the manufacturing hub of Africa by 2025, so they have focused on building industrial parks to increase foreign exchange earnings. It plans to build 30 industrial parks in the near future.