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SKILL FORMATION AND DIVISION OF LABOR IN ETHIOPIAN MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY: FOCUSING ON EMPLOYEES IN LEATHER SHOES INDUSTRY [Abstract ID: 0303-06]
Ethiopia is one of the few countries whose manufacturing industries have been recording high growth rates in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where manufacturing is generally not performing well. The country’s average annual growth rate during the last decade has been 12.8%, far higher than the 3.9% recorded for SSA. Ethiopia’s leather shoe production sector has also been growing rapidly. Before 1991, there were only two medium/large enterprises, but by 2015 the number had grown to 21. Ethiopia possesses a complete supply chain for shoe production, from raw materials, namely hide and skin, through to the end product, because the country has abundant livestock. Moreover, the Ethiopian government provides support for the leather industry through several policy measures. The Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI) under the Ministry of Industry conducts vocational training programs and provides facilities. This study aims to clarify skill formation and division of labor in the leather shoe industry as a typical example of a high-performing manufacturing sector in Ethiopia. The reason for this focus is that human resources are a key factor for enterprise development. I therefore describe working methods and organization in the industry. I researched six enterprises (two small, two medium-sized, and two large) in Addis Ababa. My research methods were participant observation and employee interviews. I identified differences in both the division of labor and in skills formation depending on company size. In the bigger companies, the division of labor is more precisely specified. With regard to skills formation, while all the companies provide on-the-job training irrespective of their scale, the medium-sized and large enterprises organize systematic training programs which entail direct or indirect costs.