Tujar Industrial Zones Development, a share company established to develop, operate and manage industry zones in different parts of Ethiopia, announced its plans to implement a patented concept of creating 400 special integrated economic zones across Africa.
During the announcement at the Sheraton Addis hotel on Tuesday May 23, 2017, it was stated that the project, which is in the conceptual stages, aims to become a key input in development programs such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the African Union’s Agenda 2063 as well as Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP).
“We want to bring a socio-development movement to Africa. We believe that when implemented, this project will decrease migration, increase freedom of movement, help the expansion of good governance and democracy, eliminate poverty, create peace and stability, increase gender equality, and control population growth,” said Tadele Diriba, CEO of Tujar Industrial Zones Development Share Company.
He added that the concept project will be implemented in three phases in the span of 50 years. It looks at creating a modern mechanized agricultural farming system that will involve smallholder farmers and other stakeholders. According to the company, because there is immense potential in the agricultural sector, a lot more investment needs to be made as it is essential for the overall growth and development of the economies of African countries.
“This concept we have might seem too wide and maybe a bit difficult to accept because it sounds somewhat unrealistic. It might take some time for people to accept it even. But we know that these kind of ideas change the world. If you look at China, they are where they are today in just a span of 40 years. We can bring Africa to that level,” said Tadele.
Out of the 400 special integrated economic zones that are planned to be developed across Africa, 33 will be built in Ethiopia’s different regions. Each zone is planned to be 20,000 square kilometers and from that 19,000 square kilometers will be used to develop 100 modern farms, 500 square kilometers used to develop commercial centers, 375 square kilometers for industry and 125 square meters for mining.
It was also stated that Tujar Industrial Zones Development will be holding a meeting on May 30, 2017 at the African Union where embassies, international organizations, development partners and businesses will participate.