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Big gap between Ethiopia export goals and reality

Ethiopia may have more trump cards to play than any other sub-Sahara African country when it comes to developing a competitive cotton, textile and garment supply chain, but it still has a rough road ahead. Indeed, Ethiopia’s growth as a garment exporter will be slower and more difficult than the government and local textile organisations predict.

Ayka Addis is one of the biggest textile and garment investors in Ethiopia
Ayka Addis is one of the biggest textile and garment investors in Ethiopia

Theoretically, all the necessary ingredients are available to transform Ethiopia into an internationally competitive textile nation.
More than 3m hectares, of which only 7% are currently cultivated, are available to grow cotton. Compared to other African countries like Burkina Faso, Mali or Ivory Coast, Ethiopia is an insignificant cotton producer (38,000 tons of lint in 2013/14). However, while most African countries export more than 90% of their cotton as raw material, Ethiopia uses most of its cotton for manufacturing textiles and garments.
The French cotton consultant Gérald Estur expects faster development of the textile supply chain in Ethiopia than in other African countries because of the available spinning capacity (more than 100,000 tons/year in 17 spinning mills) and the high priority the Ethiopian government has given to the sector’s development. Read full story at just-style

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