BY MENGISTEAB TESHOME
Geda Special Economic Zone that would take shape on a 23,656-Hectare swath of land in Mojo, Oromia State, approximately 79 km south of Addis, is expected to create jobs for over 7 million Ethiopians in newly special cities that integrate economic facilities from market, industry, logistics services to recreation.
On coming to full completion, the project is envisaged making the place an economic hub of the State. The economic significance goes; however, even beyond— to a national and regional levels.
The project paves the way for facilitating free trade in the Horn of Africa by making Ethiopia the epicenter of the region’s economy. It for sure opens the economy to private reputed international companies’ as well as local investors. Hence, the import-export of goods and services becomes inevitable.
The modern cities will be constructed phase by phase. The first phase of the plan will get concluded in five to ten years, and the second one in twenty years, and eventually the final one in thirty to forty years.
From the outset, care has been given to farmers and residents that live in and around the area. An estimated 33,000 farmers residing in the project area would be incorporated in the special economic zone’s plan, and they are to benefit through letting them buy shares and no one will ever be left behind the door, the project will create jobs for 7.4 million citizens.
Speaking to The Ethiopia Herald, Oromia State Planning and Development Commission Commissioner Dr. Teshome Adunya has this to say: “The ultimate goal of the special economic zone’s construction is to create jobs for the youth.”
At the same time, the plan is meant to benefitting the people at the grassroots.
The zone would also attract reputable investors from across the globe, and Ethiopia could obtain more hard currency from manufacturing products’ exports and services given in the cities.
The project encompasses the construction of mega industries, higher education institutions as well as local investors that are believed to assist Ethiopia’s efforts of enhancing an industry-led economy.
“The Special Economic zone is an eye-opener project that makes Ethiopia competent in the African market.”
Geda Special Economic Zone CEO Demelash Biru for his part said the mega projects will have new special cities with markets, industries, and logistics services, and relational cites. The zone would also have administration and residential corridors that are believed to make the place one of the best destinations for both citizens and visitors.
He said the State is committed to sustaining and ensuring an economic development that could benefit the masses.
“We want to extend our message to all stakeholders to be part of the effort,” he underlined.
The construction of economic zones is a known practice worldwide that enabled, Bangladesh, South Korea, Singapore, China, and Taiwan to uplift their millions of citizens from poverty, it was learned.
The Ethiopian herald January 10/2021