Chinese-built regional landmark sets new engineering momentum in Ethiopia



Ethiopia’s Chinese-built landmark stature, which is already regarded as the tallest structure in East Africa, has set a new engineering momentum in Ethiopia’ s construction industry.

On Sunday, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) and the Chinese construction giant, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), marked the completion of structural and civil-works of Ethiopia’s new icon.

Located at the heart of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the future headquarters of CBE – Ethiopia’ s largest public-owned commercial bank – has also received much acclaim for serving as an impetus for aspiring young Ethiopian engineers and students, as well as local construction companies.

The 52-storey, including four under-ground floors, has so far hosted more than 5,000 visits from actors in Ethiopia’s construction sectors as well as various other professionals, according to figures from CSCEC.

The project has also provided internship opportunities for more than 90 groups of local university students, most of the students eventually joined Ethiopia’s construction industry with a first-hand experience of the most modern and state-of-the-art technology installed at the project.

Bacha Gina, President of CBE, told Xinhua on Sunday that the project, in addition to its timely completion, has served as a teaching-platform for Ethiopian engineering students as well as construction companies.

“It is a great construction project,” Gina said, he adding that “Since the project’s first phase, it has helped Ethiopian construction industry in so many ways.”

In addition to the main tower, the project also involves construction of a two 5-storey podiums.

Celebrating the completion of civil-structural works, officials drawn from the Ethiopian government, CBE, and CSCEC witnessed the building’s huge presence with capping ceremony held on its roof.

Isaias Gebre-Yohnnis, project supervisor and professor at the Addis Ababa University, also said the project has been “a practical teaching-center” for Ethiopia’s future engineers and construction sector professionals.

“The project has been very significant for the country as well as construction technology schools,” Gebre-Yohnnis told Xinhua.

“For one thing it is now an iconic image of Ethiopia, and also it ignites a new momentum in the country’s construction sector with the most modern and state-of-the-art technology,” he added.

The project construction was commenced in April 2015 on a 150,000 square meter of land, just miles away from the iconic African Union (AU) Headquarters that was also built by CSCEC, with a total budget of 266.5 million U.S. dollars.

Zhao Xishun, Chairman of CSCEC’s Eight Engineering Division, dubbed the building as “a symbol of CSCEC’s overseas project.”

Noting that the project is a testimony to the friendship between Chinese and Ethiopian employees, Zhao also said that the construction process is “a platform to promote the extensive friendship between China and Ethiopia, and the integration of China-Ethiopia cultures.”

“The unique shape of this building is like a brilliant diamond on the roof of East Africa,” Zhao added.

CSCEC, well known for its flagship AU headquarters building in Addis Ababa, is also currently building Ethiopia’s new National Stadium after an agreement that was signed with the Ethiopian Ministry of Youth and Sports in January 2016.

The company is also undertaking another landmark structure commissioned by the National Oil Company (NOC) Ethiopia.

Tadesse Tilahun, CEO of NOC Ethiopia, told Xinhua recently that the completion of the main part of the building in just less than one year, with an average of 10 days per single floor, clearly showcases CSCEC’s “great dedication both in terms of workmanship and delivery time.”

Tilahun also expressed his confidence that the building, upon its full completion, will be regarded as Addis Ababa’s major landmark.


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