After it's recent move to a bright, spacious new factory building outside the capital Addis Ababa, Anbessa Shoe Share Company is not just the oldest shoe factory in Ethiopia, but also the most modern. The company focusses on fair treatment for its employees, use of sustainable materials and production of high quality shoes for several export markets.
Since its establishment in 1935, Anbessa has been a forward-thinking company. Today the company ranks 12th on a list of the 100 most admired African companies. It plans to do even better in the future, with a brand new factory building, new machinery, 500 additional employees (bringing the total to 1636) and the ambition to service new export markets.
Fair treatment of workers
Anbessa's 1636 employees (639 men, 997 women) enjoy several secondary benefits: lunch at a discount to be enjoyed in a spacious, clean cafeteria, free medical check-ups and a safety-controlled working environment. All employees must meet the minimum working age according to the national and International Labor Organization (ILO) standards. Strict enforcement ensures that no children can ever be found working on the premises.
With regard to environmentally sounds production practices, Anbessa is connected to the Green Tanning Initiative, a development project by Dutch leather chemicals company Stahl and NGO's Solidaridad and MVO NL. Together with Dutch footwear brand TD Leather Boots and Batu tannery it is developing a collection of environmentally friendly, chrome-free leather boots.
Integrated supply chain
To ensure a steady supply of high quality base materials, Anbessa recently bought a tannery in Bahir Dar. It also has its own outsole factory that can produce dual colour TR/PVC outsoles.
Anbessa designes and produces up to 10.000 pairs of shoes a day. The company can produce anything from casual men's and women's shoes to military style boots and safety shoes to bags and belts. Clients in Europe are for instance TD Leather Boots, SAWA and Pazolini.
Since Anbessa is currently not working at full capacity, it would like to expand its exports to different continents and countries. The future expanding target areas are: China, Japan and Australia, and European countries Belgium, Sweden, UK and Germany. Anbessa's Minimum Order Quantity is 1200 per style, colour, size.