Decent Work and Sustainable Development

Improving industrial relations for decent work and sustainable development of the textile and garment industry in Ethiopia

Project Background

The emerging textile and garment industries in Ethiopia are generating a new dynamism in the development of the manufacturing sector attracting foreign direct investment and creating jobs.

If well governed, the industry will pave the way for the country’s industrialization and contribute to the pro-poor development goal.

However, the industry faces challenges related to industrial relations, working conditions and productivity that require action to improve governance and develop effective frameworks and practice in accordance international labour standards and national labour proclamation.

It is an opportunity for Ethiopia to be considered by major multinational brands such as H&M and others as one of potential sourcing countries, with an explicit commitment to fair global supply chains in full respect of universal human rights, ILO principles, and development goals of the sourcing countries.

Project Summary

The project aims to contribute to the development of socially sustainable textile and garment industry in line with Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II). For this purpose, the project will work at national, regional and factory levels to improve industrial relations, working conditions and productivity.

At national level, the project facilitate social dialogue among multiple stakeholders, under the leadership of tripartite partners in developing common vision and strategies to make Ethiopia an African hub of socially responsible production of garments for both global and domestic markets. Under the framework of the multi-stakeholder social dialogue, the project will assist the actors in developing and improving comprehensive approaches to 1) socially sustainable management of global supply chains in Ethiopia, 2) improving productivity and competitiveness of the textile and garment industry, and 3) improving labour market governance (labour law, wage policy, labour inspection, social dialogue, collective bargaining, dispute settlement) for better wages and working conditions, and respect of workers’ rights in the industry.

At regional and sectoral level, the project will assist labour administration in strengthening their capacity for labour inspection, social dialogue and dispute settlement for improved industrial relations. It will also build capacity of employers, workers and their organizations at sectoral and enterprise levels, in strengthening organizational capacity, developing sound industrial relations and social dialogue practices to improve wages and working conditions in tandem with improved productivity.

At factory level, it will provide demand driven capacity building support informed by baseline survey to improve productivity and strengthen labour relations in full respect of ILO principles.

The project will be guided by a Project Advisory Committee (PAC) and supported by Technical Working Group (TWG) composed MOLSA, MOI, CETU, EEF, ETGAMA, BOLSA, BOI, IFTLGWTU and other key stakeholders.