Addis Ababa: Kanoria African Textiles Plc, a subsidiary of India’s Kanoria Chemicals & Industries, is setting up a denim fabric manufacturing plant that will be a first for Ethiopia and East Africa and will create 350 jobs, mainly for Ethiopians.
This is one of the 577 projects on which Indian investers will be spending $52 billion in Ethiopia, according to data released by the Ethiopian Investment Agency (EIA). Of these, 152 are operational and have created 13,000 permanent and 98,000 temporary jobs across the country. Indian investers have been in the country since 1985.
The Kanoria factory in Bishoftu town of Oromiya Regional State, 44 km southeast of the capital, when completed in January 2014, will annually produce 12 million metres of denim.
The company has acquired on lease 153,000 sq. m. from the Bishoftu town administration. Sources close to the company said construction of the plant will start by the end of May after the environmental assessment is finalised.
The plant will have spinning (1,440 rotors) and weaving (60 looms) units, a dyeing facility and a finishing line in one production, according to the business plan submitted to the Bishoftu administration.
The level of industrialisation in Ethiopia is very low, with the manufacturing sector accounting for hardly five percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
According to a study conducted by the industry ministry in 2012 to assess the competitiveness of Ethiopian firms for participation in the Comesa (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) Free Trade Area, manufacturing sector exports account for a meagre 0.5 per cent.
The export performance report published by the Ministry of Trade (MoT) for 2011-12 also shows that textiles registered the lowest export figures at 46.4 per cent, bringing in $84.6 million.