The nine operational industrial parks in Ethiopia—five built by the government and the rest private ones—have created 64,000 jobs, according to the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC). The state-owned parks Hawassa, Kombolcha, Bole Lemi, Mekele and Adama have created 45,000 jobs. The four private industrial parks are Eastern, Huajan, Velocity and George Shoe.

Most of the owners of the companies operating in the parks are foreign, an Ethiopian newspaper reported.

More jobs will be created when seven additional state-owned industrial parks, which are under construction at Dire dawa, Debre Birhan, Arerti, Kilinto, Jimma, Bahir Dar and Ayisha, go fully operational. The country launched construction of state-owned industrial parks a few years ago after securing loans from Eurobond.

Three foreign companies based in the recently-built Kombolach Industrial Park (KIP) have started exporting their products, said Mekonnen Hailu, EIC public relations director.

He stated that in the past six months the three foreign companies have created jobs for a total of 1,500 youth. Reports show that employees in Ethiopia’s industrial parks are being paid less than a dollar a day, which is resulting in high level of employees turnover.

The companies that have started operations in KIP includes South Korean Pungkook, known for its Mikle Kourse (MK) brand of ladies leather bags, Carvico Ethiopia of Italy, which produces sportwear from synthetic, and Saytex Spinning of China, which converts cotton into thread. (DS)