Ethiopia set to make industrial parks more productive

Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with First Consult on Monday in order to implement the digitization of the labour supply and matching database for factories within seven industrial parks in Ethiopia.

The MoU was signed today by EIC Commissioner, Lelise Neme, and, BRIDGES Program Project Manager Michael Addisu.     

The partnership between First Consult, which is implementing the BRIDGES Programme, an initiative supported by the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Worksin Ethiopia strategy and the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), will lead to a series of job creation and employment interventions across several industrial parks (IPs) throughout the country.

The seven Industrial Parks participating in the utilization of the IP labour database include: Adama IP, Debre Berhan IP, Dire Dawa IP, Bahir Dar IP, Hawassa IP, Mekelle IP, and Kombolcha IP.

The BRIDGES Programme, which is a five-year initiative, will support the creation of close to 600,000 jobs for young people (80% women) and 15,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Furthermore, the BRIDGES Programme will train 300,000 unemployed young people through industrial park job creation initiatives, and market linkage between industrial parks and MSMEs.

The creation of a digital industrial park labour database will unlock the potential for job creation within industrial parks, as well as their surrounding ecosystem. Additionally, it will promote local value addition and domestic linkage between large investors and local suppliers. The IP labour database will also be used as a major instrument for optimal, reliable, and predictable labour market information for policy makers and industrial parks.

The expected impact of the digital IP labour database includes facilitating the matching of labour supply and demand to support an estimated 100,000 jobs within two years as well as supporting 30,000 industrial park workers to obtain soft-skill training and awareness of the industry for better comprehension and career development planning.

The BRIDGES Programme, which is a part of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works initiative, intends to facilitate and provide technical assistance toward the development of the digital labour database. In Ethiopia, the Mastercard Foundation, through its Young Africa Works strategy, aims to create 10 million dignified and fulfilling jobs and employment opportunities for young people by 2030.

The Ethiopian Investment Commission will take the lead in supervising the development of the IP labour database and manage its data collection and aggregation of information from all participating industrial parks. The EIC will also work to ensure proper buy-in and utilization of the database by stakeholders and investors.

Work on the digital IP labour database will begin in mid-September 2020 and continue throughout the implementation and scale up to additional industrial parks. Full development of the database and transfer of ownership to the Ethiopian Investment Commission will be completed by 2023.