Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Turkish investors to develop Oromia industrial park

The Ministry of Industry (MoI) together with Oromia regional state signed a contract with Turkish investors to develop 640 hectares of land in Sendafa area, 26 kilometers north of Addis Ababa in Oromia special zone. The agreement reportedly details that 100 hectares will be developed within one year while the remaining 540 hectares to be developed within the next five years.
The agreement is a continuation of the delayed 2009 deal, which was slated to include several social service providing institutions, and was projected to generate close to one million jobs when developed.
The agreement states that factories to be constructed in the zone will include pharmaceuticals, garment factories, leather processing units as well as paper and packaging factories, among others.
The zone will also have social service agencies such as schools, technical and vocational training centers, health institutions and hotels.
This would be one in a series of new industrial parks in the country. Chinese investors already have an industrial park in Dukem, 30Km east of Addis Ababa, named East Industrial Zone, and another on the way to Melka Jebdu, approximately 15Km from Dire Dawa on 30 hectares of land.
The city administration had prepared 100 hectares of industrial land four years ago, which included a full infrastructure needed for the industry and the Turkish textile industry and the Chinese cement factory are some of the biggest investments in the zone. 
Dire Dawa, located 330Km from the port of Djibouti is also attracting more investors due to its closeness to the port, which is the main point of access for international trade in the country.
Currently, there are more than 300 Chinese investment projects which are fully or semi-operational in Ethiopia and over 900 projects are in the pre-implementation phase.
The Ethiopian government is currently engaged in an aggressive drive to establish industrial zones for selected investors who can put a lot of resources into large projects.
MoI for instance for the first six months of the current Ethiopian fiscal year 2011/12 allocated around 5,130hct of land for industrial zones.
Amhara, Dire Dawa, Addis Ababa, Somali region and the Southern regional state, are home to the targeted industrial sites. Borena area in Dire Dawa has allotted nearly 700hct and Shinele zone in Somali region allotted 350hct  for industrial zone.
The last plots designated for an industrial zone are located in, Bole Lemi area totaling 438hct and in the Akaki Kality sub city, Kilinto area totaling 243hct.
MoI states that the industrial zones were designated with the hope that they will decrease the cost of investment, help development, technological expertise and increase hard currency and exports. The ministry also said this would help to create massive employment opportunities, provide social services and enhance agricultural development because raw materials are used in the industrial zones.