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Ethiopia Metal industry facing hard challenges
By Binyam Tamene
A hard currency shortage is among the major challenges faced by the metal industry of Ethiopia, a new study has indicated.
The Ethiopian Association of Basic Metals and Engineering Industries has conducted a study that assesses the existing engineering and technological problems in order to find ways to alleviate them.
With the rapid advancement of technology worldwide, the study said the sector has used the new technologies well and is producing a variety of high quality products that contribute to economic growth.
“However, within this rapid progress, different problems affect the process,” said the study, which carried out an assessment in 24 local metal industries to find out the problems faced in the industry.
The assessment identified problems related to the hard currency shortage as one of the major challenges for the sector, with over two thirds of respondents saying it has impeded their businesses.
Other major challenges strongly affecting the sector include electricity shortages (62.6 percent), competition from similar imported products (60.89 percent), insufficient skill levels of employee (69.56 percent) , insufficient research and development (R and D) (79.91 percent) and a lack of cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Another problem identified is that the industry in Ethiopia is focused on supplying its product to the construction sector.
“Most metallic products produced in Ethiopia are consumed by the construction sector. There are limited trends to build large scale industries like heavy machinery, engines and other similar parts that reduce the consumption of hard currency,” it said.
The study put forward solutions to improve the technological and engineering challenges of the industry. It is recommended that R and D is considered as one of the key solutions to lessen engineering and technological challenges so that existing industries may promote themselves to large scale industries. It said R and D can make the sector competent internationally and boost the nation’s economic growth.
Establishing links between local industries is another recommendation made by the study, as it allows a transfer of technology among them to solve engineering problems.
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