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Ethiopia shoe factory widens footprint of China in Africa

A steady drone of machines hum as workers assemble shoes in a Chinese-built industrial park outside Addis Ababa, the first in Ethiopia by the Asian giant deepening its presence in Africa. A handful of Chinese supervisors at the Huajian factory watch hundreds of Ethiopian workers trim leather, glue soles and lace up boots in the Eastern Industry Zone in Dukem, 30 kilometres south of the Ethiopian capital.

It marks a shift in China’s traditional investments in Africa, which mainly involve heavy infrastructure development and oil production, while for Ethiopia it offers an alternative to export of unprocessed raw materials.