Feature: Chinese-built Industrial Park boosts Ethiopia’s employment, capacity

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ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) — Jibril Tessa, a Human Resource Manager at China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) feels excited when talking about his contribution to the construction of Adama Industrial park, located 74 kms southeast of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

Adama Industrial Park which was inaugurated by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in October 2018 was built by CCECC, is part of the Ethiopia’s grand plan to transform the country’s largely agrarian economy into an industrialized one by 2025.

Covering 100 ha of land and built at a cost of around 146 million U.S. dollars, Adama industrial park is expected to create job opportunities for around 25,000 Ethiopians.

The industrial park, designed and built with international standards, has integrated facilities including clinics, fire services, a market center, a bank, cafes, and exhibition facilities.

Speaking to Xinhua, Tessa who has been working for CCECC for the last three years, said he feels he’s learning new skills and boosting his capacity with each day he works for CCECC.

“Senior CCECC staff have transferred different skills experience to their Ethiopian employees. They also let locals to have exposure to new kills and training during construction” said Tessa.

“CCECC has created direct job opportunities for more than 1,500 locals. On top of that there are certain unions which are already directly formed by the government and by the locals that have been supplying construction materials to CCECC projects including Adama Industrial Park,” Tessa told Xinhua.

Tessa further said he feels even more satisfied with the skills and experience fellow Ethiopians have earned working in CCECC.

“I can tell you this experience in two ways: one is personal experience I got — I have exercised leadership skills and gathered experience working with diverse people, both Chinese and locals. These are my personal experience,” said Tessa. “The other thing is those locals who have directly engaged in the construction, they have gained construction skills and learned know how to work on construction materials.”

CCECC’s timely and quality delivery of the Adama industrial park project has motivated several local and foreign firms to invest in Adama industrial park, one of them being the prominent Chinese textile production firm Antex group.

Antex officially started the production of export-oriented textile items inside the premises Adama Industrial Park in December 2018, with an established initial investment capital of 10 million U.S. dollars.

Antex has already received widespread acclaim Ethiopian government officials and local community members for creating about 1,500 jobs.

One of those Ethiopians employed by Antex is Tigist Gemechu, currently Assistant to General Manager of Antex Textiles Ethiopia branch, part of a workforce credited with boosting the investment attraction of Adama Industrial Park.

Antex textile “has delivered more than five shipments and we expect that within a year we can get around 100 million U.S. dollars in export value”, according to Gemechu.

“For now, we’re producing different kinds of clothes like under wears and different fashionable dresses. Gemechu told Xinhua.

Gemechu’s excitement working at Antex extends to the skills and knowledge she gained working with Chinese colleagues, an experience she says is good as earning a salary.

“As an employee of Antex I have gained a lot of experience from my Chinese colleagues learning from their hard work and efficient time management,” said Gemechu.

“I started from supervision and I’m now assistant to the general manager, every management team have passed through this. I have received a six-month training in China, that has helped me to improve my language skills, management skills and production skills,” Gemechu told Xinhua.

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