Ethiopia is set to commence construction of an industrial parks in Hawassa city after the laying of the cornerstone by the Prime Minister last week. Phase I of the Hawassa Industrial Park would be laid on a 250,000 hectare piece of land and construction is slated to end by December 2015 according to Industrial Parks Development Corporation Board Chairperson, Arkebe Equbay.
The park will entail development of factories to revamp the manufacturing sector. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said at the launch that favorable conditions were being created to see the industrial sector take a leading role in Ethiopia economy. He said the government was committed to see farmers and pastoralists benefit from their produce through improved agricultural-based development.
Arkebe Equbay said Hawassa was one of the places selected to develop industrial parks at federal level. The city has a population of about five million population and three million labor force.
Hawassa University and other institutions will also offer human resources training for use by the factories, according to Equbay. He said Ethiopia would see transformation of its economic structure in coming 10 years, with manufacturing sector playing a pivotal role in employment, through absorption of 1.5 million persons in medium and large industries. Ethiopia currently employs 35,000 people in the industry.
Hawassa Industrial Park will also see the city becoming a center for industrial development according to SNNPR Chief Administrator Desse Dalke. He indicated that land and other infrastructure for the Hawassa Industrial Park would be provided by the regional state.