President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has paid an official visit to the Hawassa Industrial Park in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region of Ethiopia, which plays host to the largest textiles and apparel park in Africa and one of the biggest in the world. The industrial park is home to 52 factories.
According to a dispatch from the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region of Ethiopia, President Sirleaf was met on arrival by Deputy President Melese Alemu amid appropriate military honors befitting the Liberian Chief Executive at the regional airport.
President Sirleaf and delegation were then led by Deputy President Alemu to the Hawassa Regional Airport Industrial Park. Upon warm reception at the park, she was accorded a power point presentation highlighting Ethiopia’s Vision 2035, which aims to achieve a middle-income status for Ethiopia.
Speaking during the visit to the park, President Sirleaf said she was delighted with the progress Ethiopia was making and recognized both countries’ historically unique ties over the years. She underscored the two countries’ contributions towards the formation of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.).
The Liberian leader said Ethiopia’s unique transformation and experiences will evidently benefit Liberia in the areas of fisheries and livestock, health and medical sciences, Vocational and Technical Education as well as obtaining industrial and commercial progress with a view to inspiring value addition.
Earlier, Deputy President Alemu welcomed President Sirleaf and acknowledged her distinguished leadership both nationally and internationally. He said the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region of the Ethiopia was extremely happy to host the Liberian leader and guests and wished them a healthy stay. The Deputy President recalled the historical ties between the two countries and stressed the need to foster closer cooperation of mutual interest.
The Hawassa Industrial Park – described as a one-stop shop – can boast of consistent availability of electricity, pipe-borne water and state of the art telecommunication connectivity, where Americans are the leading manufacturers, with investments from China, Indonesia, Belgium, Bangladesh, Malaysia, among others.
Following her impressive tour of the Hawassa Industrial Park, especially given the scale of employment potential such investment seeks to achieve, President Sirleaf and entourage joined the Deputy President of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region of Ethiopia at Hotel Hori, where they received briefings on historical, anthropological, economic, tourism, ecosystem, fisheries and the agrarian potentials of the region. The region contributes 10 percent to Ethiopia’s overall GDP, covers a total landmass of 109,066km and generates 8600 tons of fisheries per annum for export and local consumption.