Can Ethiopia’s textile industry weave its way back to its former glory?

By Loza Seleshie
Posted on Friday, 22 July 2022 11:23

Ethiopian textile factories fear U.S. may suspend trade deal over Tigray, in Addis Ababa
Employees of the Sammy Ethiopia hand made garments, hand-woven textiles and basketry factory package scarfs for export to U.S. clients, at the factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 14, 2021. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Following favourable macro and microeconomic factors, Ethiopia’s textile and garment industry had been steadily growing, reaching $171m in exports, but it has taken a major hit from the onset of the pandemic followed by the Tigray civil war in the north. Will it be able to weave its way back to its former glory?

Exports dropped to $140m (2020/21 FY) in the first year of the pandemic alongside the start of fighting in the Tigray region in 2020. However, the biggest blow came from US-imposed sanctions in January 2022.