Ethiopia Investing in Energy Promising DevelopmentThe Grand Renaissance Dam or GERD

By Alazar Shiferaw

In order to meet the rising demand of electricity, Ethiopia has continued cultivating its immense potential of renewable energy sources such as hydropower, wind, solar energy, and geothermal energy. The nation is the source of several river basins that are helpful to develop electric power- clean power generation. For instance, the Nile, the longest river in the world, gets about 85 percent of its waters from the Blue Nile which originates from Ethiopia. There are also huge potentials of non-renewable energy resources such as natural gas and coal energy in the nation.

The increasing demand of power to commensurate economic growth the country has been pursuing necessitates high investment in the energy sector. Hence, the nation has been working aggressively to increase the power supply reliability and generate foreign currency. It has set the target to reach the generation capacity 17, 208 MW at the end of the second Growth Transformation Plan (GTP-II).



Nation continues luring FDI

Lately, the Ethiopian Investment Commission announced that the country’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has increased by 35 percent on average over the last six months as compared to same period of last year.

This increment which is valued to be more than 1.2 billion dollars is due to conducive investment environment the government has maintained in these months. As to the commission, this amount highly exceeds the record gained during the beginning of the first Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP I).

In fact, this reality has been reported by some international outlets. For instance, The Gulf Today was quoted as saying, “Ethiopia is rapidly attracting huge FDI from global investors.”

The nation has won the international reputation for registering double-digit growth for the last twelve years in a row. This has to be attributed to the stable political climate, peace, expanding infrastructure, incentive packages for investors with viable policies and clear strategies most importantly, committed leadership.

It is a hard fact that investors would invest their resource if they make sure that there is sustainable peace together with the necessary infrastructure. This, for sure, has boosted their confidence to invest in Ethiopia.

Some media outlets reported that the recent unrest in different parts of the country affected the FDI flow to the country. To the contrary, the FDI flow in the country is significantly rising. It is within this time the US delegation led by Senator James Inhofe has discussed with Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn ways to furthering the relations with the new US administration, particularly in trade and investment.

The giant and reputable companies from Europe, America, and Asia are coming and settling themselves in industrial parks over the last six months. Recently, one of the Chinese textile companies situated in the Hawassa Industrial Park has begun exporting its products. This is a manifestation of the efforts in developing industrial parks for the industrialization move.



Companies at Hawassa Industrial Park to start exporting their products(EBC; March 3, 2017) - Foreign companies engaged in textile and garment making at Hawassa Industrial Park are set to commence exporting their products to the global market, the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) has announced.

Having installed their machinery and trained local personnel, the renowned textile and garment companies from USA, Hong Kong, India, China and Sri Lanka, among others, have already launched operation.

According to Dr. Belachew Mekuria, Deputy commissioner of Industrial Park Division, the renowned textile and garment makers are now ready to launch exports.

While the first round of export destined to USA and Canada, the plan at full capacity in the near future is to send up to 50 containers of garment and textile products daily from the Park to different parts of the world.

Owing to the growing interest from investors, 15 more sheds are being built in the park in addition to the 35 already there.



Manufacturers from China, India, Turkey and other nations are racing with each other in Debre Birhan town, North Shoa Zone, Amhara Regional State to install multi-million dollar factories with a view to selling their finished products locally and abroad, including the US and European markets.

Similarly, despite the prevailing mood due to the State of Emergency (SoE) decree, which was declared five months ago, the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) said on Wednesday that the six-month performance of foreign direct investment (FDI) stood at USD 1.2 billion.

Among the major companies currently in early stages of building factories and those whose sites are nearing completion include Chinese, Indian as well as Turkish businesses. Among the Chinese-owned sites is a steel casting project, by Sino Steel PLC, and another one by Humanwell Pharmaceutical Group. Meanwhile, the giant Turkish shoemaker, My Shoe and Leather Manufacturing PLC., is one of the foreign companies that are currently building factories in Debre Birhan.

Sino Steel PLC Ethiopia is owned jointly by Jiangsu New International Trade Co. Ltd. (JNT), which owns the lion’s share (97 percent) and Jiangsu Hengde Real Estate Co. Ltd (JHRE). The joint company is currently building the factory along with a workshop in Tulefa Kebele, in Debre Birhan with a USD 42.4 million capital on 125,000sqm plot of land.

According to officials of Sino Steel PLC Ethiopia, when the plant is completed, it will produce 400,000 metric tons of rebar. Company reports show that it will be completed by June this year, whereas the first phase is expected to be operational with stated annual output (rebar and wire rod). Meanwhile, the second phase of production is planned to begin by June 2017 producing angle iron and U-Channel of various specifications.

“Since there is a comparative advantage that the project is equipped with advanced plant and high quality raw billet while many other African manufacturers are currently applying with second hand plant and steel scraps, Sino Steel PLC plans to export its products in the coming few years,” a company representative told journalist who were visiting the plant under construction near Sheno town, 60 km North East of Addis Ababa.

The other company from China – a pharmaceutical company – is also constructing its plant in Sheno, as well.



President Sirleaf Visits Hawassa Industrial Park in the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region of Ethiopia

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has paid an official visit to the Hawassa Industrial Park in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region of Ethiopia, which plays host to the largest Textiles and Apparel Park in Africa and one of the biggest in the world. The Industrial Park is home to 52 factories.

According to a dispatch from the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region of Ethiopia, President Sirleaf was met on arrival by Deputy President, Melese Alemu amid appropriate military honors befitting the Liberian Chief Executive at the regional Airport.

President Sirleaf and delegation were then led by Deputy President, Melese Alemu to the Hawassa Regional Airport Industrial Park. Upon warm reception at the Park, she was accorded a PowerPoint presentation; highlighting Ethiopia Vision 2035 towards achieving a middle-income status.

Speaking during the visit to the Park, President Sirleaf said she was delighted over the progress Ethiopia was making and recognized both countries' historically unique ties over the years. She underscored the two countries' contributions towards the formation of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.).

The Liberian leader said Ethiopia's unique transformation and experiences will evidently benefit Liberia in the areas of fisheries and livestock, health and medical sciences, Vocational and Technical Education as well as obtaining industrial and commercial progress with a view to inspiring value addition.

Earlier, Deputy President Melese Alemu welcomed President Sirleaf and acknowledged her distinguished leadership both nationally and internationally. He said the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region of the Ethiopia was extremely happy to host the Liberian leader and guests and wished them a healthy stay. Deputy President Alemu recalled the historical ties between the two countries and stressed the need to foster closer cooperation of mutual interest.

The Hawassa Industrial Park - described as a one-stop shop can boast of consistent availability of electricity, pipe-borne water and state of the art telecommunication connectivity. Also, the Americans are the leading manufacturers - where there are also investments from China, Indonesia, Belgium, Bangladesh, Malaysia, among others.