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Chinese textile factory invigorates small Ethiopian town

Xinhua| Updated: November 25, 2022 L M S

ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Worku Lemi has witnessed great changes in his life and his hometown since the setup of a Chinese textile factory.

Miles away from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Sebeta in the Oromia region used to be largely a farming town. But the establishment of Zhejiang Mina Textile Co., Ltd. has helped bring a much-welcomed change to the small Ethiopian town and the lives of the local residents.

"I was one of the first batch employees of this company when it started operation about seven years ago. Since then, I have been working here, and I have been constantly improving both my professional and living conditions," the 31-year-old Lemi told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The printing and dyeing factory, equipped with machinery from international brands, is now capable of producing 200,000 meters of dyed and printed fabrics per day, and its products are marketed to European as well as local and neighboring African markets.

Lemi, an accounting graduate, had for years worked in a local factory before he eventually quit working there "due to difficult conditions and no room for personal improvements."

After joining the Arbaminch textile factory of Zhejiang Mina Textile Co., Ltd., the young enthusiast was able to grow from what he described as a low position at the factory initially to a supervisor now.

"Before I became a supervisor and engaged in overseeing fellow Ethiopian employees, I was an assistant to a Chinese machine operator. I have learned a lot from him," Lemi said. He attributed his growth to the smooth experience-sharing mechanism practiced among Chinese and Ethiopian professionals.

"There are about 300 people working here. I really appreciate the Chinese investors for creating this amazing opportunity for us," he added.

Abdurhaman Kemal, the local marketing head of the company, praised the factory's state-of-the-art machinery and innovative working procedures, which have brought a far-reaching and revolutionizing role in Ethiopia's textile industry sector.

Noting the growing number of Ethiopian youths who are graduating from different universities as well as technical and vocational education and training centers in the sector, Kemal underscored the factory's importance in terms of creating employment opportunities while offering technical studies with the help of its modern laboratories.

"In addition to the massive knowledge transfer endeavors, the Chinese technical experts are also sharing their hardworking culture with our local workers," he said.