CFEE Joint Seminar: Foreign investors in Ethiopia’s textile and leather
CFEE Joint Seminar on Contemporary Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa (2016-2017)
in partnership with the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University
Ethiopia’s attraction of foreign investors in the textile and leather products industry: to what extent is it benefitting the country’s industrialisation process?
by Jostein HAUGE (PhD candidate, Centre of Development Studies at the University of Cambridge)
Friday December 9, 2016, 3:30-5:00 pm
Venue: Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Etege Menen Hall, Addis Ababa University, Sidist Kilo Campus
Since 2004, Ethiopia has been Africa’s fastest growing economy. While this growth has mainly been a result of a boom in construction, a burgeoning flower industry and the growth of the airline services industry, the country is also embarking on an ambitious industrialisation agenda. The country wants the manufacturing sector to make up 18% of the economy by 2025 – currently, it makes up only 6%. The textile industry and the leather products industry are heavily prioritised sectors, as they are labour intensive in nature and have low technological entry barriers. The government is attracting massive amounts of foreign investments into these industries, which seems to benefit the Ethiopian economy by creating jobs and export earnings. However, a more interesting question is whether the attraction of these investments has the prospects of transferring technology and creating linkages to the local economy. With respect to this, the results are more ambiguous.
Jostein Hauge is a PhD candidate at the Centre of Development Studies at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on industrial policy in African countries, particularly how the expansion of global production networks should affect the formulation of such policies. He studies Ethiopia in particular, with a focus on the global apparel and footwear industries. He has done consulting work for various organizations, including Norwegian Church Aid, the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and most recently the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, for whom he has co-authored a report entitled “Transformative Industrial Policy for Africa”, together with colleagues at the University of Cambridge, Dr. Ha-Joon Chang and Dr. Muhammed Irfan. His writings and research have been featured in The Economist, The Guardian, BBC World Radio and African Arguments.