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The Ministry of Industry (MoI) launched its second phase private-sector capacity project through the Ethiopian Competitiveness Facility (ECF), with a budget of 4 million pounds, financed by the UK Department for International Development (DfID).
The project will be operational for four years and anticipates to create 6,000 jobs, of which 3,500 will be for women, and will raise the income of 5,000 households by at least 10 percent. The project aims to facilitate increased private sector participation in the Ethiopian economy by creating the conditions for improving productivity and competitiveness.
The Ethiopian Competitiveness Facility, the Ministry’s private sector capacity-building implementing unit, provides support in the form of grants to private firms and affiliated institutions, such as those that support export development, particularly by supplying products and services to targeted industries, Chambers of Commerce and Sectoral Associations, as well as eligible private sector enterprises that do not currently export their products but support exporting firms or manufacturing products that substitute imports.
“For Ethiopia to achieve the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) objectives, the private sector needs to be transformed and be placed at the heart of Ethiopia’s development. ECF has demonstrated its willingness in involving the private sector and has made a big contribution,” said Melanie Robinson, Director of DfID Ethiopia, at the project launching event held at Capital Hotel on Tuesday, June 18.
It was stated that private firms supported by ECF are expected to significantly increase their exports or domestic sales in terms of volume and value. Beneficiary firms are also expected to employ a substantial number of women upto managerial positions and promote green growth in their respective industries.
“Ethiopian industry needs to start exporting value added products. We have been exporting raw materials and that needs to change in order to have a sustainable growth of the economy,” said Tadesse Haile, State minister of Industry.
The ECF of MoI, in its phase one program, has implemented a project for private sector development financed through credit extended by the International Development Association of the World Bank Group (IDA).
It has disbursed over USD 7.7 million for various capacity building activities, particularly to implement benchmark programs, by signing agreements with well-known international institutions in the leather and textile industries. Different capacity building activities were also undertaken in agro-processing, chemical and pharmaceuticals, floriculture and other manufacturing and exporting private firms as well.