Chinese donkey processing company recommences operations in Ethiopia after 7 years of closure

ETHIOPIA – Rhong Chang, a China-based company, has resumed operations at its donkey slaughterhouse in the Oromia Regional State, after seven years hiatus due to public outroar.

The facility which was built with an investment of over Br 60 million (US$1.3m) was closed by authorities following public affront for the business perceived as offensive to societal values and norms.


Rhong Chang resumed operations following consultations with religious and community leaders in the area as well as security and Assela Town Administration officials.

As part of the deal, the company cannot source donkeys within a 100Km radius of where the abattoir is located.

The abattoir with a processing capacity of 300 donkeys per day, slaughters aged and male herds, paying over Br 2,000 (US$42) per head.

It eyes both the local and export market and seeks to curb the illicit cross-border donkey trade to Kenya, reports Addis Fortune.


In the abroad market, Rhong Chang is set to serve the Chinese market with donkey hides, where they are used to make a traditional medicine known as elijao.

It is believed to be a remedy for everything from ageing to miscarriage and has seen a price upsurge in Chinese markets over the last decade. A kilogramme of the gelatinous substance can go for as much as US$900.

Out of a global population of 44 million, around 1.8 million donkeys are slaughtered every year to produce elijao, according to a report published in 2017 by the Donkey Sanctuary, a UK-based non-profit organisation working to protect and maintain the socio-economic value of donkeys across continents.

Ethiopia has an estimated donkey population of eight million, one of the highest in the world.

Ethiopian edible oil processor embarks on expansion plan

Meanwhile, Turaco, an Ethiopian FMCG holding company managed by 54 Capital PE Advisors has embarked on a major expansion at its production plant in Dukem Town.


According to New Business Ethiopia, the new facility will increase the company’s production by 130 % and creates more than 500 new jobs. It is set for completion in 2022.

Turaco manufactures and sells edible sunflower and soya oil under the brand name Tena, alongside other personal care products.

Last year, the company received a US$22 million investment from French development financial institution Proparco and Ethos Mezzanine Partners.

The growth capital raised is channelled towards funding the expansion of Turaco’s manufacturing operations, carried on by Health Care Food Manufacturers SC and ZAK Ethiopia Manufacturing & Trading Plc.

Some of the capital has been applied to upgrading these facilities to meet IFC performance standards relating to Environmental, Health, Safety and Governance.

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