Made in Africa: Will Ethiopia’s Push for Industrialization Pay Off?

Women stitch pieces of a cotton dress at the Ayka-Addis textile and garment factory, Oromia, Ethiopia, April, 2016 (Photo by Jonathan Rosen).
Women stitch pieces of a cotton dress at the Ayka-Addis textile and garment factory, Oromia, Ethiopia, April, 2016 (Photo by Jonathan Rosen).
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ALEM GENA, Ethiopia—As she shuffles about the factory floor, watching over the machines that weave spools of thread into fabric, Asrat Yimam personifies the future of the Ethiopian workforce. A 27-year-old mother of one from the nearby capital, Addis Ababa, Yimam has spent the past six years toiling for Ayka-Addis, a Turkish-owned textile and garment factory and the largest firm in Ethiopia’s emerging apparel industry. Six days a week, for 1,500 birr ($68) a month after taxes, she rises early for her eight-hour shift, dons her spotted blue and white Ayka uniform, and spends her day churning out cotton for […]

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