Unilever (UNA) plans to open a manufacturing plant in Ethiopia


17 March 2014-Addis Ababa-Unilever (UNA), the world’s second-biggest consumer-products manufacturer, plans to open a manufacturing plant in Ethiopia during the next year, Bloomberg reported citing a company official.

The company is renting premises for a plant in the Eastern Industry Zone in Dukem, 31 Km southeast of the capital, Addis Ababa, Dougie Brew, head of corporate affairs in Africa, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg on March 4.

“The plans are ambitious for Ethiopia because we see it as a growing market,” Brew said from London. “We’ve taken a long-term investment decision in Ethiopia because of the demography, broad-based growth and opportunity to create a genuinely inclusive and sustainable business model from scratch.”

The company plans to build a “comprehensive consumer-goods manufacturing business” in Ethiopia, which will source from Ethiopian suppliers, Brew said. “Retail is still a restricted sector so a lot of our work will be developing local Ethiopian companies that will act as distributors.”

Unilever, which already imports Knorr stock cubes and Omo detergent into Ethiopia, may initially produce cloth washing soap before moving into food products, he said.

Source: Bloomberg