ADDIS ABABA (HAN) May 31.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. EDITORIAL. Ethiopia is envisioned to be Africa’s industrial hub by 2025. A number of industrial parks have already been built at a huge sum in various states of the country. Some giant world-class manufactures have begun to rent shades in these parks and others are also in the pipeline to export their Ethiopian made products and goods to the world market.
Indeed, when the whole industrial parks are made to be fully operational, they will create two million job opportunities for fellow citizens. Without doubt, they will also play a pivotal role in enhancing the nation’s export earnings. Moreover, the ongoing process of new technology adoption and transformation will be hastened. The present agricultural-led economy will be an industrial-led one in the the shortest time possible as well.
In fact, without active state involvement in nation-building process and vibrant industrial policy, the aforementioned lofty goals won’t be realized particularly in developing countries like Ethiopia. This is because sticking to the principles of democratic developmental state is considered as a matter of life and death. It as well is seen as the only means of lifting millions of people out of absolute poverty.
Since the early times of its stateship, in a bid to secure its political independence and bring about sustainable development throughout the country, the current Ethiopian government has been openly opposing and rejecting the neoliberal ideas of privatizing the telecommunications and financial institutes of the country by multinational companies.
Truly, Ethiopia’s independent industrial policy has been the driving force behind the rapid economic growth that the nation has been witnessing over the last one decade.
To mention two good examples regarding the successful active state involvement in the economy, firstly, Ethiopia’s horticulture business. From the very day, the government has been so supportive to such kind of business through providing various incentives to investors. As a result, the sector is now generating hundred of millions of USD to the economy. Plus, hundreds of thousands citizens have gotten temporary and permanent job opportunities in the horticulture business.
Secondly, the remarkable role of the government could be mentioned in raising the cement production capacity of the nation. It was a recent past history that the nation used to import several million metric tons of cement with a view to meeting the big local demand of cement resulting from the construction boom in the country.
At this time, more or less, there are a number of privately owned cement factories along with the state owned ones that are playing their due role in the development of the nation.
Yes, it may seem so ambitious to say Ethiopia will be Africa’s industrial hub by 2025. But, the plan will be attained as a number of big international textile, footwear, plastic and other companies are being attracted by the government incentives.
The industrial parks that are built or in the process of construction are made to be world-class industrial parks. Every necessary infrastructure is put in place in these parks as any investor could begin production within 90 days.
Like the past time, foreign and local investors won’t waste their time and money to get land or investment license. They do not also need to go to a multiplicity of a given state to get things done. What is expected from the investor is just to rent shades in one of the industrial parks and to get ready for the next step of production.
The government will also offer ten year free income tax incentive for the most prominent global manufactures in this regard.
In general, the attractive incentives, the existing conducive working environment and peace and security as well as the sound industrial policy of the nation would surely help the country to be Africa’s industrial hub by 2025.