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Ministry to host manufacturing exhibition, conference

The Ministry of Industry in collaboration with the Construction and Chemical Inputs Development Institute and the Metals Industry Development Institute is organizing a national exhibition and conference that will be held at the Addis Ababa Millennium Hall, next month.     

Getachew Toma, communications director with the Construction and Chemical Inputs Industry Development Institute, told The Reporter that the manufacturing conference and exhibition aims at unveiling the works that have been done by the sector and presenting the bottle necks hindering the growth of the sector to stakeholders. It will be staged in May at the Millennium Hall and the Addis Ababa Exhibition Center.

Getachew also said, the Construction and Chemical as well as the Metal Industries are contributing their shares to the economic development of the country. However, he said there are some bottle necks that are hindering the growth of the sector. “The achievements of the manufacturing sector will be presented to the public. The hiccups hampering the growth of the manufacturing sector will be deliberated during the panel discussion,” Getachew told The Reporter.

Hundreds of local and foreign manufacturing companies are expected to participate at the four day conference and exhibition. Ministers and other senior government officials will attend the conference and exhibition aimed at promoting the manufacturing sector. Sources told The Reporter that the new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) will be the guest of honor. “We expect the prime minister to learn the contribution of the manufacturing sector and listen to the woes of the manufacturers,” sources said.

The local manufacturing sector has been hard hit by the recent foreign currency crunch. Local manufacturing firms lament that they are unable to access foreign currency to import inputs. Some factories are on the verge of closure due to shortage of foreign currency. The manufacturers claim that the critical foreign currency shortage is hampering their productivity significantly and putting the livelihood of thousands of employees at stake. “There are also tax issues that need to be addressed. Frequent power interruption is another major problem,” a local industrialist told The Reporter. “We hope that all these issues will be tabled for discussion during the consultative meeting,” he added. 

The manufacturing sector has also been affected by the political unrest that rocked the country for more than two years. There are some factories and mining quarries that suspended production due to conflicts with local residents in the Oromia Regional State. The Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas are holding talks with officials of the Oromia Regional State to resolve the issues amicably.