Ethiopia might be Africa’s fastest Growing Economy, but it is also home to World’s Cheapest Garment Factory Labor


Africa has over the last few years been hailed as a fast-growing economy; with Ethiopia being the fastest growing economy on the continent. Ethiopia is also a top producer of garments; produced in an industrial setup.

Now to some shocking news! Despite Ethiopia being the fastest growing economy in Africa, and by extension making Africa a fast-growing economic region. The country is also the cheapest labor force on the planet.

That is according to a report by New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights. The body says the minimum wage per month for the average Ethiopian working at a garment factory is $26. Making workers at Ethiopian garment factory the lowest paid workers for a major garment company across the globe.

Attract foreign investment by lowering the cost of labor

The authors of the report – Paul M. Barret and Dorothee Baumann-Pauly – say these lowest wages being witnessed in Ethiopia is as a result of the government’s desire to attract foreign investments.

The government’s eagerness to attract foreign investment led it to promote the lowest base wage in any garment-producing country-now set at the equivalent of $26 a month,” reads the report in part.

Compared to other world regions where garment factories are well established, such as Bangladesh and Myanmar, the workers’ monthly wages is at an average of $95. While in turkey records the highest monthly wage of $340.

Ethiopia is on an Investor charm offensive

As from 2018, Ethiopia has been described by various finance experts as a country setup to become the fastest growing economy in Africa. That came as a result of major development projects put up by the government of Ethiopia. The government was on overdrive to create an investor-friendly business environment.

That was followed up by financial incentives from the World Bank Group and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The IFC for one has been quoted saying:

This is part of a broader effort by IFC to support Ethiopia by helping create new markets for private investors.”

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