ADDIS ABABA, 7 March 2021 – The Ethiopian government has raised nearly $200 million locally to build a 250 hectares agricultural processing park in the country’s western highlands province of Oromia.

The park, to be built over the next three years in the city of Nekemte, will process export crops such as coffee, tea, meat, oilseeds and honey, officials said.

Coffee, One of Ethiopia's Best Known Exports - Photo Global Construction Review

Coffee, One of Ethiopia’s Best Known Exports – Photo Global Construction Review

Investing to Transform Ethiopia's Agriculture - Photo ig.ft.com

Investing to Transform Ethiopia’s Agriculture – Photo ig.ft.com

It may eventually create more than 50,000 jobs, according to Sisay Gemechu, the head of the Ethiopian Industrial Parks Development Corporation.

The Nekemte-based park is being funded entirely by the Ethiopian government and will be built by an Ethiopian contractor.

All previous parks have been built by Chinese contractors, financed by Chinese capital and often essentially to accommodate Chinese companies.

Ethiopian Female Farmers Stand to Gain the Most - African Business Community

Ethiopian Female Farmers Stand to Gain the Most – Photo African Business Community

Gemechu signed the agreement to build the park with the head of the Walabu Construction Share Company, a contractor based in Oromia.

The creation of industrial parks are an important part of Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan, which is in its second phase and is aimed at making the country the leading manufacturing hub in Africa by 2025.

Last December, the Ethiopian Investment Commission said the country earned more than $47 million from its industrial parks during the first quarter of the its fiscal year (July – September 2019).

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