Ethiopia and China to build a new US$300mn industrial park in East Africa
Ethiopia and China have announced the continuation of their partnership, to build a new US$300mn industrial park to be located in Adama city. Construction could commence as early as the end of 2019, says Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, Liu Yu.
85% of the funding for the project will be from Chinese government concessional loans, while the other 15% will be from the Ethiopian government, says Liu.
The construction of the new industrial park will be the second contracted industrial park between the two countries, the first was inaugurated by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed back in October 2018.
The first Adama Industrial Park – built by China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) – took two years to build at a cost of US$140mn and was expected to create 40,000 direct and indirect jobs. Its location alongside the Ethio-Djibouti railway line also meant the site was said to have a strategic economic position, with expectations to generate more than US$38mn in exports.
"The governments of China and Ethiopia have attached great importance to their cooperation in various fields including in construction of industrial parks, whereby they have achieved fruitful results," said Liu.
The projects are a result of efforts to position Ethiopia as the leading manufacturing hub in Africa, industrialising the country by 2025. "The planned industrial park will focus on attracting firms engaged in equipment manufacturing," said Liu.
The new park is set to cover 100 hectares of land and create job opportunities for 25,000 Ethiopians.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.