By Dawit Tariku
Tigrai Onlne - April 24, 2014
In the all-out effort to realize the five-year Growth and Transformation (GTP), the FDRE government has finished the past three years (of the plan) with success. As it’s known, if the plan is to be realized within the planned schedule, it will surely play a major role in transforming the country from Agriculture-led to Industry-led development (strategy). Our country’s developmental government and people, who understood this fact, are exerting huge effort to make the plan successful.
There are many developmental sectors that are included in this plan; the Metal and Engineering Corporation or shortly known as ‘MetEC’ is the one and the main. In this article, I will try to walk my dear readers through the huge developmental works this huge corporation have done with regards to realizing its own goal that was set in the five-year Growth and Transformation plan (GTP).
But first, it’s important to look into the objective behind the corporation’s establishment and what’s it goals looks like. Metal and Engineering cooperation (MetEC); one of the developmental institution that was established to enable the industrial sector play a pivotal role within the Growth and Transformation plan, is a state-owned organization set up under council of ministers provision number 183/2002 with 10 billion birr capital with the aim of facilitating the country’s transfer into industrialization, and to facilitate the ground work for the industrial sector to take over the country’s economy, by coordinating the country’s technological capability and by following the path laid out by the government.
When this grand developmental institution was set up, it was with the objective of laying the groundwork for our country’s agriculture-led strategy to transfer into industry-led strategy. And it has goals outlined to help it realize this objective one of these goals is hugely curbing foreign exchange deficiencies by producing the metal machineries and spare parts that the country used to import from foreign countries (outside).
And with this, it has been able to create job opportunities by facilitating huge investments in its endeavor of ensuring rapid and huge technological transfer through strengthening local manufacturing factories capabilities.
In addition to this, it’s an institution that has the goal to link and support medium-scale and large-scale industries, to strengthen Micro and small Enterprises institutions by linking them with manufacturing and service sectors, to do a collaborative and supportive job in the hopes of taking them into the next development level by shoring up their procedural and technological capability, and to do and get involved in grand governmental industrial projects.
It can be recalled that, when the corporation was established based on the aforementioned objectives and goals, it was by operating many industries under it. And at this current time, these various industries numbers have reached 17. This grand governmental & development institution, by being the driving development engine of our country, it’s successfully carrying out its mission in the huge effort made to guarantee our march towards realizing our renaissance.
Under the government formulated five-year growth and transformation plan, the metal industry development institute, under the metal engineering industry sub-sector, aims to take national product to 104.1 billion birr; and to take metal consumption to 34.72 kg.
By increasing its capability to 95% by the end of the development plan, the corporation has a goal to support investors by locally producing the spare parts needed by the major industrial sub-sectors.
It’s obvious that it’s the five-year growth and transformation plan that will serve as the bridge that would lay the ground work for our country to transfer from agriculture to industry-led economy. And it’s also plainly obvious that in order for this process to be successful, the plans that are clearly laid out (outlined) at every sector should be executed.
In relation to this, it’s expected that the industry will record up to 20% growth annually (as its share) from the outlined goal of increasing National gross product to 11% (basic scenario) or 14.9% (best scenario). And compared to its current state, the economic developments implicates that it’s going very well.
The fact that the industrial sector recorded an 18.5% growth at the end of 2005 is an indication for this development. And with regards to this, out of the major undertakings the metal engineering corporation is supposed to take in the five-year growth and transformation plan, it’s currently carrying out its responsibility of producing power generating and distributing machineries, with flying colors.
So, looking at its three-year performance, it can be said that it’s satisfactory. Although the job description of the corporation concerns with all the power generating infrastructures, it’s currently taking 50% of the contractor responsibility in the construction of the ‘Grand Renaissance Ethiopian Dam’. And up to now, it’s doing things that are making the people and country proud.
Out of the three years performance of the corporation, the actions that stood out are the design improvement works done on the Hydro mechanical and hydraulic steel structure, and the increasing of the GERD power generating capability to 750MW, thereby increasing it to 6000 MW from the planned 5250 MW.
As we can recall, the corporation did this amazing work only a year after the GERD project was made official. As a result of this design improvement, it was able to save 4 billion birr from the initial budget held for the dam project.
At this time, there is a huge effort being exerted on producing electric power from alternative sources like wind, Geothermal and solar energies Metal and Engineering corporation, under its ‘Electrical power distributing transformers production and maintenance center’, is producing 20 transformers a day.
In addition to this, it has constructed a huge factory that would produce electric cables and wires in various shapes and sizes. Currently, it is in the process of installing 1200 tons worth of metal. At this time and moment where the dam’s project third year anniversary (since it became official) is being celebrated, the metal installation and concrete filling work is being done rapidly.
With regards to electro-mechanic machineries, two turbines and generators that are needed for the pre-power generating program are being done in collaboration with other manufacturing partners.
As its, known, the government’s main development and growth strategy centers around agriculture and the rural. Thus, in the five-year growth and transformation plan, the government and the people are exerting heavy effort into realizing the plan’s goal of increasing the agricultural output by double.
And the world is attesting to the fact that the government’s huge effort made together with the dedicated farmers and the whole people is bearing success.
The corporation is working hard by taking a huge role in moving up the agriculture and the economic sector. So, here it’s important to mention some of the works the corporation has done within the past three years.
The corporation has provided 5150 tractor engined with horse power, along with their full tools and in various models that would be put to use in small scale farm lands for farming. In addition to this, it has produced and provided 2394 farming tools to the farmers, which are giving huge help for the farmers to increase their production in double. In parallel with this, it’s producing centrifugal pumps along with their spare parts in various volumes.
The government has made it clear in the five-year Growth and development plan that, fertilizers plays an important role in increasing agriculture productivity by double. And in order to realize this, the corporation is currently building ten (10) fertilizer factories with the capacity to produce 300,000 tons each.
On top of this, the corporation is doing a research and experimental works to produce Biofuel, Biomass and synthetic kerosene that would replace the fuel consumption that’s taking its toll on our country’s economy. It’s in the process of preparing the necessary farm lands that would be used to gather the necessary plantations that would help this work start up.
Although, it can’t be said that it had moved into executing the plan, it can safely be said that the corporation is in some places replacing fuel by producing Jatropha plant in high quantity through technology.
This institution, which has a strong belief in its statement ‘our country’s usual buying and borrowing of technology should end’, is doing huge activities to enable our country have its own technology by learning the necessary technologies.
By understanding the level of our country’s technological capability, by studying our country’s actual and potential capability, and by linking the labor force ability and potential, the corporation is working hard to take our country to the needed technological level.
Having our government’s position of ‘our developmental projects should be carried out by our own citizens’; the corporation is carrying out practical works to realize it. Thus, it’s making huge effort to establish research and study centers in many of the industries. These research and creative results of the corporation are promising.
This institution with it ‘yes we can’ attitude not only reflects the government’s adhered path of building the developmental infrastructures by our own capabilities, it’s also playing its own role in enshrining developmental attitudes within the psyche of the public.
Truth be told, it can be safely said that the products and services the corporation is giving (producing), within these past three years of the plan have been thought to be impossible in Ethiopia. Nevertheless, the corporation’s commitment to undertake these activities shows the dedication it has towards realizing the technological transfer.
Especially, seeing as how the corporation is involved (out of the many others) in producing and maintaining engines, generators, solar panels, compact sub-stations and also in the making of wires and cables, it’s easy to see how much the institution is working in the technology transfer aspect.
As its known, transport is important in facilitating development; so the transport industry should be modernized and expanded. With regards to this, the corporation has produced and distributed city buses, Mini-buses and Midi-buses to various parts of our country, and it still is producing.
It’s also producing, both quality and quantity, pick-ups (with double and single cab), station wagons and motor bicycles that would serve governmental and non-governmental organizations, development and investment institutions and investors.
In addition to this, by producing trucks, dump trucks and Demo trucks, it has carrying its responsibility of lessening the problem associated with truck transportation.
Generally the institution by presenting 500 city buses, it has assembled, to Addis Ababa and other regional within three years only, it has made its own contribution of in lessening the country’s transport problem. Also the fact that it assembled 6000 of both heavy and easy construction machineries, and 109 trucks is another of its great works.
Not only this. It’s also involved in the government’s work to solve the country’s transport problem, in the construction of the train facilities for Addis Ababa light rail project and the huge cross–country rail projects and in the electric installation, and assembly and design of Addis light train project.
In addition to this, the rail trucks are being produced by the corporation. Recently, the government has made it official that the Addis Ababa light rail project is more than 50% completed; and at this juncture the corporation’s all-compassing support for this feat to be achieved should applauded.
I think its clear that the time is now to lay the base for the industry centers and the other dvelopmental sectors, in our country’s effort to transfer its Agriculture-led economy to an industry-led one. It’s also obvious that it’s by building the capacity of the construction industry that this developmental aspiration can be realized.
With regards to this, the small and heavy construction equipments that are being produced by the corporation are becoming the solutions. These construction tools are strengthening the social and economic links of the people through expanding further the fast-growing construction industry (in our country) and by linking cities, sub-cities and rural kebeles. Out of its products Loader, forklift, Grader, dozer, roller, Damper, trailer and compactor are the main ones.
In addition to this, out of the works this institution is recording successful results relating to sugar factories construction and expansion works on existing sugar factories. At this time and moment, ten new sugar factories are being built in various regions of the country fastily.
When the construction of these factories is completed, they will be able to produce 250,000 tons of sugar. At the end of the Growth and transformation plan, they will help the sugar output reach to 2.25 million tons of sugar (from the current output of 300,000 tons of sugar).
Of course, notwithstanding the majority of our peoples’ huge effort exerted by standing next to its government, as they understood realizing this plan means taking the country into another whole level, and despite its promising start, it can be recalled that there were forces, that don’t want to see the development of Ethiopia and its people, who said this development aspiration is too broad, and cannot be realized.
Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that the government and the whole people will work to realize this grand transformation plan with all their might, especially looking at their successful three-year performance.
Despite all this very few forces have been seen blackening the aforementioned very small (out of much more) works of the Metal and Engineering Corporation, through unfounded rumors. These sides not only claim that the corporation won’t realize its plan, but also they claim that as the institution is entering in to every sector it will shrink the private sector.
But, what these forces don’t realize; courtesy of their narrow-minded outlook, is that our country was recording double digit economic growth for seven consecutive year, even before the five-year growth and transformation plan (GTP) started.
So, it would be naiveté to think the government would back down from the developmental growth that it’s recording, courtesy of its formulated policies and strategies.
As the corporation is part of this same people and government, there is no reason why it wouldn’t realize its own plan. As anyone has the right to be delusional (at their own peril and prerogative), I think everyone consider these side’s rumor as anything but serious.
In parallel to this, the corporation involvement in the entire developmental sector would not shrink the private sector - in fact conversely, it will strengthen the sector. The truth is the institution focuses and works on working and developing together, unlike what these development hindrances are spewing sitting from their corner.
It doesn’t have a vision to work or develop alone. In fact the corporation main objective is to support and develop other state and private institutions that would facilitate other technological transfers.
As far as I can understand, METEC’s objective is to realize the country’s renaissance by working with these private sectors, not to shrink and put them out of the game.
And currently, the fact that the institution is working together with more than 800 partners confirms this truth. All in all, it should also be mentioned that the corporation is transferring works that it shouldn’t work, to the private sector.
In addition to transferring these works, the corporation is also doing a great work of strengthening many micro and small enterprises. These actions of the institution is strengthening the private sector and building their capacity through industry–led developmental activities for them to help their country.
It’s not shrinking them as what some jobless are blabbering. It’s boosting them. Thus, seeing as how the huge works of the corporation includes not only giving (sharing) some of the works to the private sector, but also activities that would strengthen their capabilities (capacities), the blabber is pointless.
Of course, as the responsibilities entrusted on the corporation on the developmental plan are important, it’s inevitable that the huge projects that it has been and is doing during the past three years will be fully realized within the remaining periods of the plan.
This will enable it to play its own successful role in the successful realization of the five-year growth and transformation plan. The totality of the institutions’ and the other actors of the development plan will create an iron strong base for the effort to realize our country’s renaissance. It will near the time of our renaissance. So, the corporation by continuing with its current great performance, it should further roam into the future by facilitating the road to development.