President Paul Kagame on Friday visited the Bishoftu Automotive Industry, a division of the Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC).
Incorporated as part of METEC in 2010, Bishoftu Automotive Industry includes seven factories that work to assemble, upgrade and overhaul vehicles used for military use, public transport and construction.
The Metals and Engineering Corporation was established to enable the realization of the government’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and to accelerate the ongoing transition of Ethiopia into industrialization and towards becoming a middle-income economy.
Unveiled in 2010, the Growth and Transformation Plan is a five-year plan for Ethiopia’s transformation. Beginning with modernizing agriculture, Ethiopia’s plan for transformation dubbed the Growth and Transformation Plan is now entering its next stage with a focus on industrialization as key to Ethiopia’s transformation.
Speaking to the press following the tour of Bishoftu, President Kagame described initiatives such as METEC as having the ability to benefit both Ethiopia and the continent:
“I have been very impressed with the whole story and building up this level of development. It is in the context of what the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is trying to achieve and within the vision they have had for the people of this country. It provides not only Ethiopia but the continent with very good prospects.”
President Kagame added that Rwanda can learn from the steps Ethiopia has taken towards economic transformation through industrialization: “There is a lot to learn from Ethiopia and a lot to share from different experiences we have had. When you see the industriousness and the vision with which they are carrying out their development, it is something we all would want to learn from.”
During the visit, METEC’s leadership renewed its commitment to working with Rwanda to build national capacity for industrialization.
To date, Rwanda’s cooperation with Ethiopia includes capacity building with Rwandans training in the Defense and Engineering College, Ethiopian Airlines and METEC.
METEC is comprised of 15 semi-autonomous, and integrated manufacturing companies operating in more than nine different sectors and over 90 factories employing 16,000 – 20,000 employees.
Some of the most significant projects implemented by METEC include the Renaissance power dam set to share electricity with Rwanda, construction of roads, fertilizer and sugar cane machining as well as armament overhauling.
Through the growth of various industries such as METEC, Ethiopia remains one of Africa’s top performing economies maintaining double-digit growth rates for the past decade.