Ethiopian textile and apparel sectors registered high turnover last fiscal year. According to the Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute (EDITI), a 10 percent turnover was registered at Hawassa, Bole Lemi and Eastern Zone industrial parks.
Currently from over 80,000 workers in the textile sector, nearly 8,000 left their jobs within the stated period of time to find better salary in the manufacturing, agriculture and service sectors.
Recent researches indicated that labourers in the textile industry are getting less than USD 40 per month. Many are battling to make ends meet, though they are generally happy with the foreign investment that has been bringing them jobs.
To reduce the turnover rate in manufacturing sector and set a minimum wage for the private sector, the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU) are working towards bringing a new policy .
Seleshi Lemma, director of EDI said that the workers wage will increase through competitiveness and flow of investment.
“Ethiopia remains an investment destination because of the landscape, natural and human resources and population. Our desire is to have enough investors come into invest and produce goods in the country that would provide job and wealth creating opportunities for Ethiopians”.
“Wage may not be sufficient for the workers but the skill and experience they gain from the investors is a big opportunity to upgrade themselves. Some people request the implementation of minimum wage in the manufacturing sector but we have seen that some of the investors give shelter, food, and transport services to ease the living condition of their workers towards a good step in subsidizing the workers.
He added that the country’s industrial parks total investment has reached over USD 4.2 billion with an added USD 900 million investment from the previous year’s performance.
“The several business to business meetings, the vast investment options and human resources are contributing to increasing the investment and we will do more to bring more results.’’ He added that importing inputs of textile products is challenging the sector.
“Many textile product inputs can be produced here and bringing them from abroad has a negative impact in speeding production. We are already talking to some companies to produce these inputs locally .’’ He added.