Ethiopia described as model in capturing jobs exported from abroad

Addis Ababa, December 26, 2017 (FBC) -Helen Hai, CEO of Made in Africa Initiative said Ethiopia could be a model in Africa in capturing jobs opportunities exported from abroad as a result of rising labour costs.

According to Hai, what Ethiopia has been following is China’s model and she advised African governments to follow this development replica and aim to become a light manufacturing hub to undergo a fruitful economic transformation within the next 30 years.

China’s success was premised on its ability to have a clear strategy and to execute it regardless of obstacles in the way. “African countries must be clear about what they want from China,” she said.

Local conditions may also present significant opportunities for Africa in the next few years, she added, as rising labour costs are likely to see 85 million jobs exported from China. 

“If Africa can capture those jobs it can enjoy the same economic transformation that China had.”

Can Africa really make this work?

“Yes, Africa can make it happen, you know as a private entrepreneur, I came to Ethiopia back in 2011, being the general manager of a Chinese shoe factory to set up the first of its kind on Ethiopia. Which I immediately doubled the export revenue in Ethiopia’s shoe sector after 6 months. By the end of year one I recruited 2000 local workers, by year two I recruited 4000 local workers, in 2011 Ethiopia ranked 125 according to World Bank Doing Business Report,” said Hai.

“I’m working with AID Africa on more industrialization strategies considering a movement has already started in Africa. I have also been working closely with the Ethiopian government. According to a recent report, Ethiopia is poised to generate 60,000 local jobs and $1billion in export revenue.”

“Africa has a population of 1.2 billion, most of them are young people, we can talk about a lot of fancy things, but the first thing in my opinion is how to create jobs, how to create million of jobs, significant jobs. In seizing this opportunity there is a potential of 85 million jobs. And as we all know, according to statistics manufacturing jobs has a strong multiplying effect, and a manufacturing job can impact a whole economy.”

“The GDP per Capita in China in 1978 was $154 which is less than 1/3 of the south Sahara African countries. China was poorer that a lot of African countries at the time. But in 2015 the GDP per capita in China is 7500 and according to a forecast, by 2025, China could become a high-income country. This means by 2025, considering the reshaping, all the labour intensive jobs will have to relocate out of China. But where will those jobs go? (all 85 million of them)”

“If African countries can first understand this opportunity and be able to capture a significant portion of these jobs, in my opinion they can have the same opportunity for economic transformation in the next 30 years, following the exact same footsteps of what Asia did.”

“Ethiopia has made it already, soon one by one; the 54 African countries will be able to attain this kind of economic transformation. In Asia It started with Japan and then China followed, “she added.

Source: Ventures-africa

Posted by Amare Asrat