Ethiopia's new USD 120 Million Conference Center in Addis Ababa

In a contract signed in Addis Ababa Sheraton hotel, CGCOC from China has been awarded a contract to build the first phase of the $120 million Addis–Africa International Convention and Exhibition Centre (AAICEC). The project  is expected to cover 11 hectares which will primarily be a conference venue with a capacity of up to 5,000 delegates. 

The city government and chamber of commerce, the Bank of Abyssinia as well as expatriate Ethiopians living in South Africa who are shareholders of AAICEC are contributing to finance the project. Investment in the scheme is also open with the company offering more shares to anyone who would like to contribute to the financing of the project.

First proposed by the chamber of commerce back in 2012, the project was to have been begun in 2015. However, the delay was attributed to complications in funding and assignment of contractors. 

AAICEC has maintained that the availability of a world-class venue in Addis Ababa is extremely important for the expansion of business, investment and export in Ethiopia. 

CGC Overseas Construction Group, was shortlisted from a list of 10 firms  which included companies from China, Dubai, as well as major Ethiopian players such as Teklebirhan Construction and Afro-Tsion. CGCOC was founded by the Chinese state-owned petrochemical group Sinopec and is active throughout Africa. The company has previously undertaken large road-building schemes in Ethiopia including the Nile bridge project. 

In its brochure for the project AAICEC has stated that “a world-class convention and exhibition center is one of the key urban infrastructures that Ethiopia is currently missing and which Addis needs to avail to the business community in order to affirm its regional and international position. Availability of a world-class venue in Addis Ababa is critical for the expansion of business, investment and export in Ethiopia.”

As soon as the centre is operational, it will help generate a great market for hotels, catering facilities, transport operators, airliners, tourist operators and other operators in the service industry as well as an create an increased demand for local products.

The first phase of the scheme will include the centre itself along with two exhibition halls, an amphitheatre, offices and restaurants. In the second phase, four exhibition pavilions will be added and the last phase will include a four-star hotel and a shopping mall.

The project work is expected to take atleast three years to complete, during which the AAICEC will provide share sales to sufficiently finance and keep the work on track. During the first offering 300,000 shares were floated and generated around $32m.

Posted on : 12 Dec,2018

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