Ethnic conflict could unravel Ethiopia’s valuable garment industry

In the current context of ethnic conflict in Ethiopia, Dorothée Baumann-Pauly looks back in the article Ethnic conflict could unravel Ethiopia’s valuable garment industry on the report Made in Ethiopia: Challenges in the Garment Industry’s New Frontier that was published in 2019 when Ethiopia was still considered one of Africa’s economic wunderkinds.

In order for Ethiopia to meet the current challenges, she argues that businesses and garment manufacturers must double down on their commitment to doing business in Ethiopia and speak out in support of human rights. Once ethnic tensions are defused, the government and foreign manufacturers will still have lots of work to strengthen the sector. This includes developing a domestic supply chain and establishing a minimum wage that provides decent living conditions for workers.

Garment factory at the Hawassa Industrial Park in Hawassa, southern Ethiopia.
Garment factory at the Hawassa Industrial Park in Hawassa, southern Ethiopia.