30/07/08 (B458) REUTERS : La Chine investit plus de 15 millions US$ dans une verrerie en Ethiopie / Chinese invest in Ethiopia’s first glass factory (En Anglais)

Chinese investors have built Ethiopia’s first glass factory worth $15 million, the Ministry of Trade and Industry announced on Tuesday.

The Chinese have been investing heavily in Africa, especially in resource rich areas. However, figures of their investment in Ethiopia were not readily available.

The China-Africa Development Fund, a private equity fund set up a year ago, funded the factory’s construction. It plans to spend about $300 million on projects on the continent in 2008.

« About 30 percent of the glass sheet produced by the factory will be for local use and the remaining 70 percent for export to East African countries, » the ministry said.

The Chinese construction company, CGC Overseas, built the factory in a suburb of the capital and plan to produce up to 60,000 tonnes of glass sheet per year, the ministry said.

Most raw materials such as silk sand and dolomite will be obtained locally but soda ash will be imported, it said.

CGC is involved in many development projects in Ethiopia including a $40 million water supply project for the historic eastern town of Harar and an agreement to import 2,000 construction vehicles for the Ministry of Works and Urban Development, according to government officials.

(Reporting by Tsegaye Tadesse,
editing by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura
and Victoria Main)