Ethiopia has a booming textile industry. Global companies are settling down in Ethiopia with self-built textile processing and finishing systems. Industrial parks in the north and as well in the south of the country are emerging.
However, safe and sustainable production conditions are not yet available in many companies by default and there is a lack of qualified labor power for the textile sector.
The aim of the EDUTEX project is to improve these aspects. EDUTEX is based on an international cooperation between Berliner Hochschule für Technik (BHT), the Mekelle University and the Hawassa University in Ethiopia. The objectives of this program are to develop and expand bilateral economic relationships and cooperation between universities and the economic sector of Germany and Ethiopia as well as to make academic education in Ethiopia more practical, sustainable and more market-oriented.
The project is funded within the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The funding agency of EDUTEX is the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The project lasts from August 2019 until the end of 2022.
The Ethiopian textile industry is divided into two clusters: Hawassa and Mekelle.
At this point, safe and sustainable production conditions in Mekelle as well as in Hawassa are not yet sufficient. Ethiopian companies often lack international certifications to take part in the international textile market.
Throughout the collaboration between German and Ethiopian partner companies and appropriate experts we envision to increase the practical relevance of academic degree programs in Ethiopian universities.
Hereby we will support graduate students to establish themselves on the job market on-site and to seek knowledge and competences within the framework of the international textile industry.
We used a Training Needs Assessment (TNA) and analyzed the existing courses and seminar offers by Mekelle University and Hawassa University to determine the development fields in the project. We are currently evaluating the topics and developing online modules and digital teaching materials together with local textile companies, external experts and the partner universities.
These modules and teaching materials cover areas such as the optimization of production processes, the modern design of textiles, compliance with environmental standards, improved resource management (especially water and wastewater management) as well as sustainability through environmental management systems including comprehensive chemical management.
With the Ethiopian Institute of Technology, the School of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and the Department of Garment Engineering, Mekelle University is leading important partners who are closely linked to the Ethiopian textile industry.
Recent collaborations with the textile industry include research activities on energy saving and energy management and research on the rehabilitation of communities that have been relocated due to the development of the textile industry.
The institute recently started working with GIZ and DBL (Deutsche Berufskleider-Leasing GmbH) to set up a “Center of Excellence in Textile”. Based on this cooperation, the aim is to carry out practical training to increase the skills of the employees.
In addition, the recently new partner university in Hawassa lays the foundation for the collaboration with the university's own Institute of Technology. We are currently planning an agile learning project with lecturers and students. In the next step, we would also like to involve textile companies from the Hawassa Industrial Park in the project.
With the help of the cooperation between BHT, Mekelle University, Hawassa University and the support of German and Ethiopian partners, the EDUTEX project aims to jointly improve the textile industry in Ethiopia. Through the close cooperation, we set ourselves the goal of creating a relevant change in the textile industry and to shape the partnership between Germany and Ethiopia at eye level.