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IKEA eyes Ethiopian market for sourcing

IKEA eyes Ethiopian market for sourcing

At the opening of a photo exhibition at the Addis Ababa Museum, an initiative of the Swedish Embassy in the capital, its ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, Torbjörn Pettersson, announced IKEA, a Swedish furniture giant; the top furniture seller in the world is “seriously” considering sourcing from Ethiopia.

“They see good prospects in Ethiopia,” he told The Reporter. “I can only nudge them. They work in a global market but they see Ethiopia as their absolute most interesting African market”.

The company was founded in 1943 and sold 36.4 billion worth of goods last year. It is known to sell ready-to-assemble easy, affordable products. The company uses the world’s 1 percent commercial wood products making it one of the largest users of wood in the retail sector. It currently has almost 200,000 employees spread around the world, especially throughout Europe and North America.

While the company does not have any stores within the continent, it has announced its partnership with emerging African designers and have their products featured in some of its stores. "The creative explosion which is taking place in several cities around Africa right now is something IKEA is curious about,” the company announced in March.

Design Indaba of South Africa, others from Kenya, Senegal, Egypt, Angola and others were invited to collaborate with the company and have some of the products featured in many of its stores beginning in 2019. The company is also known to help during disasters with the donation of ready-to-assemble shelters and assists Syrian refugees by marketing their products in some of its stores.

Meanwhile, the ambassador is set to celebrate Yetnebersh Nigussie's, a well-known Ethiopian lawyer on being a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award at a reception at his residence on Tuesday. The award widely known as the “alternative Nobel Prize”, she was chosen for "offering visionary and exemplary solutions to the root causes of global problems."