On the 20th of June 2017, Ethiopia inaugurated what is believed to be the first specialised, sustainable textile and garments industrial park in Africa. The opening of the Chinese-constructed Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP) marks a significant step in Ethiopia’s goal to become Africa’s leading manufacturing hub by 2025.
“The full operation of the Hawassa industrial park is the most evident and concrete example yet towards achieving our national vision and marks a milestone in our quest to industrialisation” (Sudan Tribune, 20.06.2017).
- For more than a decade, Ethiopia has been one of Africa’s top performing economies; but with a rapidly growing population, the government is keen to capitalise on its double-digit growth – largely through industrialisation and investing in the manufacturing sector in particular.
- The development of industrial parks is a key factor in Ethiopia’s efforts to transform the economy, and to create jobs for the country’s fast growing population.
- Despite the government’s concerted efforts to create an attractive investment environment, Ethiopia remains a challenging place to do business.
"Population growth…is not only a challenge, but also an opportunity…if it's linked with quite rapid economic growth" (BBC News, 24.08.2017).