H.E. First Lady Roman Tesfaye visited Ayka Addis Garment and Investment on February 16, 2016. The First Lady was accompanied by a group of women entrepreneurs currently working in the textile sector and the W/ro Nigest Haile, Executive Director of the Center for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE). Amongst the women entrepreneurs present were the owners and managers of Muya Ethiopia, Yirgalem Addis Textile Factory, Chic Living and Sole Rebels. The visit was led by the CEO of Ayka Addis where the First Lady and the group visited all aspects of the factory from the spinning section all the way through to the knitting, dyeing and sewing facilities.
The factory is located in Alem Gena, a few kilometers outside of Addis Ababa on an area of 220,000 square meters from which the factory sits on a total of 140,000 square meters. Ayka Addis is one of the largest textile factories in Ethiopia currently with around 7,500 employees. 80% of the employees of Ayka Addis are women working on the factory floors and 75 employees are ex-patriots from Turkey and around 40 employees are ex-patriots from other countries such as Pakistan, Uzbekistan and others.
The company has a state of the art facility capable of producing large numbers of different products at the same time with a minimum order capacity of 50,000 pieces. The company mostly exports its products where a majority of the products are exported to France, Germany and Japan. From the products being exported to Germany, a total of 80% of the exports go to Tchibo who is the single largest buyer for the company.
For increased collaboration and continued knowledge transfer, Ayka Addis works with companies such as Concept Garment by giving technical support in different areas as well as other support in the form of providing raw materials and other essential products.
Ayka Addis has plans to expand in the near future where they will be increasing the number of their workforce as well as expanding to a new site that is being developed in Ayer Tena.
This visit was very instrumental in starting to establish contact of the Ethiopian women exporters involved in textiles sector with Ayka Addis, where the CEO has agreed to provide dyeing services to those exporting companies.