Feature: Chinese-built industrial park helps boost Ethiopia's local capacity, export value

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 9, 2019
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ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Jibril Tessa looks excited when talking about his contribution to the construction of Adama Industrial Park, located 74 km southeast of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

Speaking to Xinhua, the human resources manager at China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) said he feels he's been learning new skills and boosting his capacity with each day he works for CCECC.

Adama Industrial Park, which was was built by CCECC and inaugurated by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in October 2018, is part of Ethiopia's grand plan to transform the country's largely agrarian economy into an industrialized one by 2025.

Covering 100 hectares of land and built at a cost of around 146 million U.S. dollars, the industrial park is expected to create job opportunities for around 25,000 Ethiopians.

"Senior CCECC staff have transferred different skills experience to their Ethiopian employees. They also let locals to have exposure to new kills and trainings during construction," said Tessa, who has been working for CCECC for the last three years.

The industrial park, designed and built with international standards, has integrated facilities including clinics, fire services, a market center, a bank, cafes and exhibition facilities.

"CCECC has created direct job opportunities for more than 1,500 locals. On top of that there are certain unions which are already directly formed by the government and by the locals that have been supplying construction materials to CCECC projects, including Adama Industrial Park," Tessa told Xinhua.

Tessa further said he feels even more satisfied with the skills and experience fellow Ethiopians have earned working in CCECC.

"I can tell you this experience in two ways: one is personal experience I got. I have exercised leadership skills and gathered experience working with diverse people, both Chinese and locals. These are my personal experience," he said.

"The other thing is those locals who have directly engaged in the construction. They have gained construction skills and learned how to work on construction materials," said Tessa.

CCECC's timely and quality delivery of the Adama Industrial Park project has motivated some local and foreign firms to invest in the industrial park, one of them being the prominent Chinese textile production firm Antex group.

Antex officially started the production of export-oriented textile items inside the premises of Adama Industrial Park in December 2018, with an established initial investment capital of 10 million U.S. dollars.

Antex has already received widespread acclaim Ethiopian government officials and local community members for creating about 1,500 jobs.

One of those Ethiopians employed by Antex is Tigist Gemechu, currently Assistant to General Manager of Antex Textiles Ethiopia branch, part of a workforce credited with boosting the investment appeal of Adama Industrial Park.

Antex "has delivered more than five shipments and we expect that within a year we can get around 100 million U.S. dollars in export value," said Gemechu.

"For now, we're producing different kinds of clothes like under wears and fashionable dresses," Gemechu told Xinhua.

Gemechu's said gaining skills and knowledge while working at Antex with Chinese colleagues is an experience as good as earning a salary.

"As an employee of Antex, I have gained a lot of experience from my Chinese colleagues, learning from their hard work and efficient time management," she said.

"I started from supervision and I'm now assistant to the general manager. Every management team have passed through this. I have received a six-month training in China, that has helped me to improve my language skills, management skills and production skills," Gemechu told Xinhua. Enditem

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