How the growth in Ethiopian Manufacturing has affected the demand for talent in Ethiopia? By William Hardman, Search Consultant

Executives in Africa (EiA) has seen activity in Ethiopia increase rapidly over the last 12 months having completed Search mandates in a range of business including Real Estate, Fertilizer and Mobile Money.  Now manufacturing is another sector seeing huge investment and growth.

The Government’s tax policies, free trade agreements with the West, and huge investment in infrastructure, is attracting many of the world’s largest manufacturers of consumer goods.  It is thought that in the future, Ethiopia will join the likes of China, Taiwan and India as being one of the largest manufactures and exporters of consumer goods across the globe.

This is not something that has come as a surprise to EiA, having completed several Searches in this space including a General Manager for an Ethiopian Dairy Facility, a CEO for a Winery, and an MD for Beef production.  However the attraction to the country by some of the largest multinationals is nothing short of astonishing, with the likes of Nestle considering a dairy packaging plant,[i] demonstrating the country’s pull for even the world’s largest organisations.  The country’s natural resources, relatively low cost of land, and an already strong livestock trade, make it an ideal place for Dairy and Meat processing facilities in particular.

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Ahmet Aydeniz, a Turkish investor in meat processing, has been quoted as saying “Ethiopia is one of the best places for doing business and has a conducive investment climate particularly in the manufacturing sector.  In terms of manufacturing input, the country is blessed with numerous natural resources and raw materials“.[ii]  This is backed-up by EiA’s recent experience completing a Search for a Managing Director for a VC backed Beef Processing facility in the region, whose ambitious growth and diversification plans were a key attraction factor for candidates to this opportunity.

The Textile industry is another sector that is clearly having its head turned by Ethiopia.  With clothing Giant PVH Corp (owner of brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein) setting up operations in the summer of this year, it is obvious that the country is attracting the world’s largest clothing brands.  In fact the influx of garment manufacturers is so great that the Ethiopian Industrial Parks Development Corporations has ordered the construction of two new textile and apparel industrial parks in Addis Ababa and Jimma, in a deal worth $221.2M.

This increase in Garment Manufacturing in Ethiopia isn’t just beneficial to East Africa, but is also having a knock on effect elsewhere in the world.  There has been an average increase of 86% over the last 3 years[iii], for Italian textile machinery being exported to Ethiopia to fill the huge demand from the quickly increasing number of factories in the country.

It is likely that many other business sectors such as Shipping and Construction are likely to all take advantage of Africa’s fastest growing economy and we envisage that the demand for talent in the region to deliver success to the region, will also continue to grow.

For more information on how Executives in Africa can support the growth of your business in Africa through the identification of business leaders, please contact William Hardman, Search Consultant at wh@executivesinafrica.com

 

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