Industrial Park Corp Changes Guard


Industrial Park Corp Changes Guard

It was a notable couple of years for Sandokan Debebe, serving as the head of the Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC). Last week, he stepped on the ladder as the State Minister for Planning & Development. Having a background in food science and nutrition, Sandokan feels he leaves behind a foundation for the Corporation amid the challenging years of the global pandemic. His time at the Corporation also saw Ethiopia delisted from AGOA's preferential trade, affecting several manufacturers housed in the industrial parks. However, the Corporation reached 360 million Br in operational profit by the end of last year, from 160 million Br loss recorded the year before. He has a bit of regret, too. "I left without completing the reforms started under my watch," Sandokan told Fortune. "It's time to see the results of efforts put into building a strong industrial hub." Industrial parks are criticized for labour abuse and wages. Ethiopia's delisting from AGOA also has factories downsizing their workforce and making ends meet in the domestic markets. Sandokan rebuts the allegation as groundless, stating that the labour force with little education is paid more than their peers outside the park. "Wage adjustments alone would not solve the issue," he said. "The law needs amendment." Sandokan had served the Technology & Innovation Institute as a director general before he was appointed to run the Corporation. He hoped his work to attract investors would help the Corporation recover from the loss due to AGOA's delisting. His successor, Aklilu Tadesse, will have to pick up from where he left off. Aklilu was appointed by the Prime Minister to run the Corporation last week. Aklilu is a councillor of the Addis Abeba City administration and served as the Vice President of the city's Prosperity Party Youth League.


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