Building prospects in the clothing industry

Project description

Title: Textile Training and Career Development Project with the Hawassa Industrial Park
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ethiopia 
Partner: Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH)
Overall term: 2019 to 2022

An employee in the industrial park working on machines that make clothing.


The Ethiopian Government faces the challenge of facilitating access to the labour market for the country’s labour force, which is estimated at 54 million. The textile and clothing industry, in particular, offers considerable potential and export opportunities here. As the Government wants to attract as many investors as possible, specialised industrial parks are being set up with the private sector and global stakeholders. There are currently four such parks for the textile and clothing industry, the largest being the Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP).

A lack of qualified workers at the lower and middle management level presents major challenges for the companies in the HIP– such as low productivity. The training and study courses on offer are not very practice-oriented and fail to provide the qualifications actually needed by the companies. In addition, there are hardly any appropriate, centralised career guidance and job placement services.


The skills of potential and current workers in lower and middle management working in the textile and clothing industry in the Hawassa Industrial Park have improved.


The project works in the following areas:

  • It gets the local HIP Investors Association (HIPIA) involved in the projects at an early stage and supports them in coordinating internships and management training courses for trainees and students along with further training courses for staff in the HIP.
  • It provides support in setting up and equipping three career service centres.
  • It promotes the transfer of knowledge and skills between industry and public institutions.
  • It supports educational establishments, so that practice-oriented and demand-driven vocational training can be offered at higher education institutions.

The project makes positive examples and experiences available so that other industrial parks and regions can also use them. The clothing company and partner Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH) is setting international standards.

Last updated: June 2022