World Bank backing for greening of Ethiopian textile industry

Mark Lane | 9th October 2018

ADDIS ABABA – The World Bank is to launch a project to support Ethiopia in the greening of its rapidly growing textile industry. Apparel Insider has seen a World Bank tender document which shows it is seeking contractors that can improve efficiency in textile mills in Ethiopia as well as lowering production costs and minimising environmental impacts. The news arrives at a time when the Ethiopian government has just announced it is set to start construction of three more industrial parks during the current Ethiopian Fiscal Year 2018/19. Industrial parks will be a key focus of the World Bank project as they are the main tool being used by the Government to develop the textile and footwear industries and are central to Ethiopia’s industrialisation strategy.

According to the World Bank tender documentation: “The Government of Ethiopia expects the industrial sector to play an important role in GDP growth, job creation, foreign exchange earnings, and small and medium-sized enterprise development over the coming years. In recent years, investments in these sectors have significantly increased particularly in the apparel, footwear and textile sectors and most of the new investments are within Industrial Parks.

“The Project will support efficiency improving interventions which will lower the production cost and minimise environmental impacts, that will consequently attract and retain investment. At a broader level, the project will contribute to the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions through the removal of regulatory barriers to the implementation of energy efficiency and water efficiency investments in the private and public sectors. By providing support to the Government and relevant industries on sector specific interventions, the project will ensure that the textile and footwear sector remain competitive while the growth of the sectors is environmentally sustainable.”

Lelise Neme, CEO of the Ethiopia Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC), recently said three new planned industrial parks are Aysha and Semera Industrial Parks located in eastern Ethiopia and Assosa industrial park in western Ethiopia.

“The three planned industrial parks are expected to play a critical role in Ethiopia’s plan to transform its still largely agrarian economy into an industrialized one by 2025, using the textile and garment sector as a key component,” said Neme.

Neme said the new industrial parks will be a vital addition to the four industrial parks that have already been commissioned, namely Bole Lemi, Hawassa, Mekele and Kombolcha.