Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. GoE has embarked on an ambitious Industrialisation drives that will further boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product and generate employment. Towards this end, the Ethiopian Investment Council (EIC) and Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) – Government of Ethiopia initiatives – are developing ten mega industrial parks in different regions of the country.

These industrial parks will see investments by global and Ethiopian companies in industries like textiles and apparels, industrial machinery, pharmaceuticals, footwear, and food and beverages.To reduce/eliminate any possible negative impacts on environmental and social sustainability as result of this Industrialisation drives, Government of Ethiopia has decided to use cleanest water/effluent treatment technology – The Zero Liquid Discharge technology (ZLD) – in these mega industrial parks. ZLD ensures that the industrial parks use the minimum amount of ground water and has a ZERO liquid discharge outside the park.

Ethiopian Government has decided to continue working with Arvind Envisol, a subsidiary of Arvind Limited, one of India’s leading companies, with a presence in textiles, apparels, heavy engineering, water management, e-commerce and telecom. The company provides end-to-end solutions for water treatment, industrial waste water treatment and sewage treatment.

Arvind Envisol has already set up a Zero Liquid Discharge water treatment plant at Hawassa Industrial Park. This plant has a capacity of treating 11 mnltr of waste water per day. It is one of the largest such plants in Africa and also has among the lowest cost of operations.

The Government of Ethiopia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Arvind Envisol to provide the technology and implementation of the Zero Liquid Discharge technology for industrial parks. Envisol has also agreed to partner the Government to provide other water treatment technologies using the latest and most effective technologies for industries and factories outside the industrial parks as well.

The Government of Ethiopia and Arvind have also agreed to partner in taking this journey forward by commissioning a study on environmental sustainability in the textile and garmenting sector in Ethiopia. This study will establish the baseline on various sustainability studies and outline the future environmental impacts of the rapid industrialisation drive of Ethiopia.

The study will be jointly partaken by the Government of Ethiopia, Arvind, GIZ, DFID and Enterprise partners – a unique combination of the institutions that will impart comprehensiveness to the effort. Another key MoU is the agreement to work with Ethiopian Universities to incorporate a module/curriculum on Environmental Sustainability in the wake of Industrial Development.

Dr. ArkebeOqubay, the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, speaking at a function to mark the formal launch of the environmental sustainability study and signing of the MoUs with the Universities said that Green Industrialisationis the cornerstone of their strategy for rapid economic development. Ethiopia has enjoyed among the fastest GDP growth rates in the last decade.

They believe that if this economic progress is to continue, they need to ensure that the environmental impact of this Industrialisation is reduced or minimised. They are happy that Arvind Envisol, one of the world’s most innovative water management companies, is partnering with them not only to set up ZLD plants in their mega industrial parks but also working with Ethiopian Universities to develop curriculum on environmental sustainability and technology transfer.

PunitLalbhai, Executive Director, Arvind Ltd on his part noted said that the world has seen examples of several nations that, in a bid to boost economic growth, have ended up causing enormous environmental damage, eventually creating problems for their own people. They are happy to partner with Government of Ethiopia in this landmark initiative and hope that these joint efforts will go a long way towards bringing greater prosperity to the people of this great nation, while preserving the environment at the same time.The Green Industrialisation platform that Ethiopia is seeking to build, is a sustainable industrial development strategy for the whole of Africa to emulate.