África Têxtil to give jobs to youths - President

  • President João Lourenço witnesses reopening of Benguela's África Têxtil plant
Benguela - The Angolan President, João Lourenço, said Saturday that the start of production at textile factory África Têxtil will provide jobs for young people.

The President was speaking to the press shortly after witnessing the re-start of production at the factory located in Benguela province, which had been paralysed for 18 years.

He said that, with the resumption of production, some former workers would also return and others would be recruited for the first time, "all based on the criteria that the employer has already defined.

Management of the factory unit, located in the Cavaco industrial zone, was the responsibility of a private company that won the tender.

President Lourenço said that the criteria for hiring staff could not be imposed by the state.

"The entity has its criteria and we will let it have the freedom to select and, based on these criteria, it will select, train and complete its range of workers in order to get the best possible return from this large manufacturing unit," he said.

He said that the company had the possibility of operating this factory for a few years, as well as "Comandante Bula", formerly SATEC, in Dondo, in Cuanza Norte province.

"The state no longer has expenses. Therefore, all investment from now on, in raw materials and other types of investment, will be made by the management entity," he said.

According to the President of the Republic, the State not only stops investing, but also starts earning, through the taxes that the company has to pay.

"Therefore, the foreign currency will belong to the investor. But when I say that the foreign currency will belong to the investor, it is obvious that those operating in Angola have to buy foreign currency in Angola, they are not going to buy foreign currency in another country," he said.

He said that the banking system would sell foreign currencies to the factory, the start-up of which is part of the Privatisation Programme (Propriv).

"If it (the banking system) sells to other industries, it will certainly also sell to this important unit that came to provide employment to our young people," he said.

He acknowledged, however, that conditions had not been completely created, but he believed that the minimum conditions existed for the factory to start operating.

The Angolan statesman specified that the guidelines are given, both in relation to that unit, as well as those of Luanda and Dondo.

More than 2,000 jobs planned

With 175 workers, the industrial unit is operating on an experimental basis. When it becomes fully operational it expects to create around 2,200 direct jobs, in three shifts.

The industrial unit, which is geared towards transforming cotton into yarn and fabric for multiple uses, has an installed production capacity of 7.3 million bath towels per year and 7.68 million sheets per year.

In the first 12 months, production will be ensured by imported raw materials, after which the factory will rely on domestic supply.

For the factory's refurbishment the Angolan government has invested over US$400 million, under the terms of a financial agreement between the Angolan government and Japan's JBIC bank.

For its operation, the factory, inaugurated on April 14, 1979 by the first President of the Republic, António Agostinho Neto, has an input cost estimated at three million dollars per semester.

Currently, África Têxtil is managed by the BAOBAB Cotton Group, based in Zimbabwe, which has the right of exploration and management for a period of 15 years, with an option to buy after 10 years.

 

The President was speaking to the press shortly after witnessing the re-start of production at the factory located in Benguela province, which had been paralysed for 18 years.

He said that, with the resumption of production, some former workers would also return and others would be recruited for the first time, "all based on the criteria that the employer has already defined.

Management of the factory unit, located in the Cavaco industrial zone, was the responsibility of a private company that won the tender.

President Lourenço said that the criteria for hiring staff could not be imposed by the state.

"The entity has its criteria and we will let it have the freedom to select and, based on these criteria, it will select, train and complete its range of workers in order to get the best possible return from this large manufacturing unit," he said.

He said that the company had the possibility of operating this factory for a few years, as well as "Comandante Bula", formerly SATEC, in Dondo, in Cuanza Norte province.

"The state no longer has expenses. Therefore, all investment from now on, in raw materials and other types of investment, will be made by the management entity," he said.

According to the President of the Republic, the State not only stops investing, but also starts earning, through the taxes that the company has to pay.

"Therefore, the foreign currency will belong to the investor. But when I say that the foreign currency will belong to the investor, it is obvious that those operating in Angola have to buy foreign currency in Angola, they are not going to buy foreign currency in another country," he said.

He said that the banking system would sell foreign currencies to the factory, the start-up of which is part of the Privatisation Programme (Propriv).

"If it (the banking system) sells to other industries, it will certainly also sell to this important unit that came to provide employment to our young people," he said.

He acknowledged, however, that conditions had not been completely created, but he believed that the minimum conditions existed for the factory to start operating.

The Angolan statesman specified that the guidelines are given, both in relation to that unit, as well as those of Luanda and Dondo.

More than 2,000 jobs planned

With 175 workers, the industrial unit is operating on an experimental basis. When it becomes fully operational it expects to create around 2,200 direct jobs, in three shifts.

The industrial unit, which is geared towards transforming cotton into yarn and fabric for multiple uses, has an installed production capacity of 7.3 million bath towels per year and 7.68 million sheets per year.

In the first 12 months, production will be ensured by imported raw materials, after which the factory will rely on domestic supply.

For the factory's refurbishment the Angolan government has invested over US$400 million, under the terms of a financial agreement between the Angolan government and Japan's JBIC bank.

For its operation, the factory, inaugurated on April 14, 1979 by the first President of the Republic, António Agostinho Neto, has an input cost estimated at three million dollars per semester.

Currently, África Têxtil is managed by the BAOBAB Cotton Group, based in Zimbabwe, which has the right of exploration and management for a period of 15 years, with an option to buy after 10 years.