Textile Industry Growth Underscore Ethiopia’s Rising Economy

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Written by Kevin Mwanza

In less than a decade Ethiopia’s has emerged from a famine ravaged economy to become the fifth largest in Africa, bigger than neighboring Kenya that had dominated the region for years.

With global fashion companies shifting focus from Far East countries such as Bangladesh for textile manufacturing due to human right violations, the horn of Africa nation has taken the opportunity in its stride to develop a vibrant textile industry, which it expects will contribute up to $500 million in taxes to the economy annually.

The Production costs in Ethiopia are also cheaper compared to the Far East countries.

The country is looking to boost the textile industry exports tenfold in the next three years, Reuters reported and is already encouraging more companies to start exporting their products abroad.

“Previously most of our clients were from many parts of Europe and America. But now, currently, we are also producing garments for H&M from Sweden, the second biggest garment retailer. We also produce in large quantities for a local market,” Mehari Aregai, acting chief executive of Almeda Textile in Adwa show, told Reuters.

“This factory is a good source of revenue for the government. In the last five years, Almeda Textile has submitted 11.8 million dollars of revenue to the government. We have become a good source of income for the government. (And) 95 percent of the 4800 people who work here are women.”